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Cicero, IL, United States

Kumar K.,Monitoring and Research Dep | Hundal L.S.,Monitoring and Research Dep
Journal of Environmental Quality | Year: 2016

Large tracts of abandoned urban land, resulting from the deindustrialization of metropolitan areas, are generating a renewed interest among city planners and community organizations envisioning the productive use of this land not only to produce fresh food but to effectively manage stormwater and mitigate the impact of urban heat islands. Healthy and productive soils are paramount to meet these objectives. However, these urban lands are often severely degraded due to anthropogenic activities and are generally contaminated with priority pollutants, especially heavy metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. Characterizing these degraded and contaminated soils and making them productive again to restore the required ecosystem services was the theme of the "Soil in the City- 2014" conference organized by W-2170 Committee (USDA's Sponsored Multi-State Research Project: Soil-Based Use of Residuals, Wastewater, & Reclaimed Water). This special section of Journal of Environmental Quality comprises 12 targeted papers authored by conference participants to make available much needed information about the characteristics of urban soils. Innovative ways to mitigate the risks from pollutants and to improve the soil quality using local resources are discussed. Such practices include the use of composts and biosolids to grow healthy foods, reclaim brownfields, manage stormwater, and improve the overall ecosystem functioning of urban soils. These papers provide a needed resource for educating policymakers, practitioners, and the general public about using locally available resources to restore fertility, productivity, and ecosystem functioning of degraded urban land to revitalize metropolitan areas for improving the overall quality of life for a large segment of a rapidly growing urban population. © American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America. 5585 Guilford Rd., Madison, WI 53711 USA. Source


Brose D.A.,Monitoring and Research Dep | Hundal L.S.,Monitoring and Research Dep | Oladeji O.O.,Monitoring and Research Dep | Kumar K.,Monitoring and Research Dep | And 3 more authors.
Journal of Environmental Quality | Year: 2016

The former US Steel Corporation's South Works site in Chicago, IL, is a 230-ha bare brownfield consisting of steel mill slag fill materials that will need to be reclaimed to support and sustain vegetation. We conducted a case study to evaluate the suitability of biosolids and dredged sediments for capping the steel mill slag to establish good quality turfgrass vegetation. Eight study plots were established on a 0.4-ha parcel that received biosolids and dredged sediment blends of 0, 25, 50, or 100% biosolids (v/v). Turfgrass was successfully established and was thicker and greener in biosolids-amended sediments than in unamended sediments. Concentrations of N, P, K, and micronutrients in turfgrass tissues increased with increasing biosolids. Soil organic carbon, N, P, and micronutrients increased with increasing biosolids. Cadmium, Cu, Ni, and Zn concentrations in biosolids-amended sediments also increased with increasing biosolids but were far below phytotoxicity limits for turfgrass. Lead and Cr concentrations in biosolids-amended plots were comparable to concentrations in unamended sediments. Groundwater monitoring lysimeters and wells below the study site and near Lake Michigan were not affected by nutrients leaching from the amendments. Overall, the results from this case study demonstrated that blends of biosolids and dredged sediments could be successfully used for capping steel mill slag brownfield sites to establish good quality turfgrass vegetation. © American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America. 5585 Guilford Rd., Madison, WI 53711 USA. Source

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