Harry O’Neill

President, Beacon Environmental

Harry O’Neill is the President of BEACON, which is an internationally recognized laboratory, and has managed soil gas and vapor intrusion investigations for more than twenty-five years, providing U.S. EPA approved methods throughout the United States, as well as internationally across all seven continents. Under his direction, BEACON has achieved ISO/IEC 17025, U.S. DoD ELAP, and NELAP accreditation for the analysis of air and soil gas samples to target VOCs and SVOCs using sorbent samplers. Mr. O’Neill has been on the forefront of the acceptance of passive sampling technologies at the national and international level, working with regulators, as well as multiple universities on research projects, and has managed the implementation of thousands of soil gas and air sampling surveys. He is the lead author of ASTM Standard D7758: Standard Practice for Passive Soil Gas Sampling in the Vadose Zone; and has published and presented findings throughout the United States, as well as internationally as an invited speaker.

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Quantitative Passive Sampling Methods for Vapor Intrusion Assessments

The presentation will discuss the use of passive sorbent samplers to provide time-weighted average measurements of VOCs and SVOCs over days or weeks to assess vapor intrusion risks and/or characterize sites. The ability to easily collect long duration samples overcomes the challenges of the documented temporal variability of vapor concentrations. Further, for soil vapor sampling, a passive method has the additional advantage of sampling under steady state conditions, which is more representative of actual soil vapor concentrations as compared to a canister method that actively samples in a vacuum-induced condition that can bias the results. Passive samplers, which are easy to employ and transport, do not require flow controllers, pumps, helium shrouds, or other equipment that can present opportunites for failure or error. The use of passive samplers and adoption by state regulators to sample soil vapor, sewer gas, crawl spaces, vent pipes, indoor air, and ambient air will be discussed.