SacPEMA March Meeting POSTPONED - Thursday, March 26, 2020

Due to concerns regarding the transmission of COVID-19, the SacPEMA board has decided to postpone the meeting scheduled on March 26, 2020.   If you have already registered for this meeting, we will honor your reservation for a future meeting or you may request a refund by e-mailing eventsatsacpema [dot] com.  We appreciate your understanding and will reschedule the meeting at a later date.

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Measuring Indoor Air & Soil Gas Concentrations with Passive Samplers to Provide a More Accurate Vapor Intrusion Risk Assessment

Synopsis: When determining potential health risks from vapor intrusion of organic compounds, indoor air samples typically have been collected over 24 hours or less. Research has determined that the temporal variability of indoor air contaminant concentrations from vapor intrusion can vary by
orders of magnitude and that long-duration samples collected over days or weeks may better represent the health risks to building occupants.  The USEPA notes that employing longer collection periods with time-weighted average sampling are expected to yield a more reliable basis for estimating both long-term and short-term exposure than a one-day sample event.

Using sorbent samplers to passively sample soil gas or air over days or weeks will provide long-duration, time-weighted average concentrations that overcome the temporal variability and episodic occurrences of vapor intrusion. Further, passive samplers can target chlorinated and petroleum compounds at trace levels with reporting limits in the pptv range in both air and soil vapor.  Beacon participated in a third-party study and found that uptake rates were consistent up to and beyond 2+ week sampling intervals. The low uptake rates, which are less than 1.0 ml/min, make these passive samplers ideal for also reporting concentration data when sampling soil vapor.

A discussion on the applications of the technology will be provided, including an on-going indoor air monitoring program where passive samplers have replaced Summa canisters in a DoD program to sample annually more than 600 homes and commercial buildings that are located above a chlorinated solvent plume. The talk will cover the benefits and limitations of passive methods, applications, range of target compounds, detection limits, complimentary technologies, and research work completed by BEACON. Included in the presentation will also be current federal and state standards that reference passive samplers for sampling indoor and ambient air, as well as a discussion of the requirements from ISO 16017:2 and the new USEPA Method 325 that requires passive samplers be used to monitor emissions of benzene from refineries.

Speaker 1: Harry O' Neill is president of Beacon and has managed soil gas and vapor intrusion investigations for more than 25 years, working on federal, state, and commercial projects throughout the United States, including throughout California, as well as internationally across six continents.  Harry has been 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 a member of AWMA, ITRC, and ASTM. Harry is the lead author of an ASTM Standard, and has published and presented findings throughout the United States, as well as internationally as an invited speaker.

Speaker 2: Lowell Kessel, PG, is a senior geologist and project manager with over 20 years of experience in site assessment and remedial design. He provides technical support and guidance on use of Beacon air and gas sampling equipment and analysis for many volatile and semi-volatile compounds at hundreds of contaminated sites for clients across California and all of Latin America. Beacon is a DoD ELAP, NELAP, and ISO 17025 accredited laboratory for the analysis of air and soil gas samples and supports clients throughout the United States, as well as internationally across seven continents (even Antarctica).

Date: Thursday, March 26, 2020

Time: 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. (registration/networking from 11:30 a.m. to noon)

Where: Firehouse Restaurant, 1112 2nd Street, Sacramento, CA 95814


  • Sliced Grilled Steak Sandwich - garlic sauteed mushrooms, crispy onion rings, rosemary roll
  • Baby Gem and Blue Cheese Salad with Grilled Chicken - Point Reyes Bay blue cheese, pickled onion, baton croutons, crispy bacon
  • Wild Mushroom Pasta (vegetarian option) - cream, butter, truffle, asiago cheese


  • Members -
    $30.00 + $1.20 cc fee
  • Non-Members - $35.00
    + $1.30 cc fee
  • Walk-ins -

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The Professional Environmental Marketing Association (PEMA) is an organization comprised of local and regional chapters whose membership is involved in business development, sales, marketing, and other related professional activities in the environmental field. The Sacramento California Chapter of PEMA operates in the greater Sacramento metropolitan area which includes Sacramento, El Dorado, Placer, Yolo, and San Joaquin counties. Sacramento PEMA was founded as a marketing and networking organization in 1995 as an affiliate of the Northern California Chapter of PEMA. Networking encourages formation of business relationships, development of business and teaming opportunities, and exchange of ideas. Sacramento PEMA recently broadened its scope to provide technical and regulatory information of interest to its members.