The primary objective of the CTFR is to address concerns associated with a broad range of contaminants (e.g., metals and organics) in different environmental media (e.g., water, soil, sediment, and air). The mission of the CTFR is two-fold: (1) to promote a better understanding of physical, chemical, and biological processes in order to detect, assess, and manage risks associated with the use and disposal of toxic chemicals in urban environments; and (2) to disseminate the results of the research to various stakeholders including industry, state and local officials, community groups, and federal agencies.
A major goal of the CTFR is to develop an understanding of contaminant behavior that contributes to environmental management decisions. This scientific knowledge will aid in determining ways to prevent exposure and control pertinent contamination. The information gained from the CTFR’s activities will provide technical expertise for all stakeholders (including regulators and potentially impacted communities).
The interdisciplinary and multimedia nature of environmental problem-solving demands a diverse array of engineering and scientific talent and facilities. The CTFR will actively look to partner with other public and private institutions to conduct applied research. The CTFR will facilitate collaborative efforts and the integration of knowledge that cannot be achieved by investigators working on their own. The CTFR will employ a multidisciplinary approach to risk assessment and risk management issues relevant to specific environmental problems.
Developing and developed countries throughout the world have had a long history of contamination associated with human waste and heavy industrial development in steel production, agrochemical production and manufacturing, specialty chemical production, petroleum refining, shipbuilding, and transportation. An unfortunate consequence of this industrialization is the presence of human waste in surface waters and industrial waste and pollution at dump sites, abandoned facilities, in sediments, in surface and ground waters, and the release of toxic compounds from ongoing activities. Urban residents are concerned over exposure to toxic chemicals from Superfund sites, landfills, incinerators, leaded paint, Brownfields, industrial contamination, contaminated sediments, and pesticide use. Through a combination of laboratory and field-scale research, the CTFR has addressed contaminants and sources that are known to be prevalent in urban environments.