University of Colorado at Boulder
Syllabus : Hazardous & Industrial Waste Management 
Instructor:Angela R. Bielefeldt, PhD, PE
Office:516 ECOT
Phone:(303) 492-8433
Web Site:
Prerequisites:CVEN 3414 Environmental Engineering Fundamentals
Fall 2008 Classes:Tues/Thurs 9:30 - 10:45 pm
Office Hours:TWR 11 am-noon; or by appointment

My primary goal for this class is for you to gain a general familiarity with the overall problem of hazardous and industrial wastes. Since this topic is so large, we will focus our attention on past contaminated sites, and specifically the clean-up of these sites which were contaminated by previous activities. This includes understanding the overall impetus behind site clean-up (i.e. risk reduction). In addition, you will gain a general familiarity with types of remedial approaches and the basics of design.

Specifically, by the end of the course you should be able to:

  • identify current regulations which are pertinent to industrial and hazardous wastes
  • describe factors which will determine the fate of chemical compounds in the environment
  • understand how quantitative risk assessments are conducted, and the limitations of the results of these analyses
  • understand the principles of design of the various site remediation methods
  • be able to select optimal treatment strategies for a particular site
  • understand the larger framework of site remediation, including ethical considerations, public involvement, cost/benefit analyses

LaGrega Hazardous Waste Management. 2nd edition 2001. McGraw-Hill.

In past years I have used both LaGregaís book and Suthersanís Remediation Engineering Design Concepts (1997). LaGrega is more general and deals a lot with currently generated hazardous wastes. Suthersan is more specific to remediation of past-contaminated sites. The LaGrega text is a great resource and reference, and introductory material for this course such as compound characteristics, regulations, and risk assessment are covered in depth. The LaGrega text covers some topics in more depth than is required for the course, so in some chapters not all of the information is critical (so donít be overwhelmed by the long chapters associated with some topics). Supplemental notes on a variety of topics are also available for downloading as PDF files from the course web-site.

In General
  • Read the text prior to class to gain general familiarity with material
  • Homework: do your OWN work
  • Ask questions in class!
  • Come for help outside of class

There is a lot of interesting and important information on hazardous waste to coverÖ.and not enough time for me to lecture about all of it in class. Therefore, reading the available information is critical to getting the most out of the class. In addition, reading the material prior to class will allow you to ask questions and for us to discuss current issues.

Periodically, extra materials will be made available via e-mail and my web page.

The course web page will also contain a list of "links" to other web sites that relate to the material being covered in class. Homework assignments will be available on my web page.

The purpose of the assigned homework is to apply what you have learned in class and through reading the textbook. The homework provides the opportunity for you to learn by doing. The textbook contains some example worked-out problems that may be helpful. If you have attempted the homework and need help: (1) ask your classmates, (2) send me an e-mail, (3) see me during office hours (or schedule an appointment outside of office hours). Homework sets are due in class on the due date. Late homework will be penalized at 33% per day. Solutions to the homework will be available via the website.

One midterm exam and a final exam will be given during the semester. In general, the exams will be less problem oriented than the homework sets. The exams will be more qualitative in nature, to test your overall grasp of the important points from the material. Exams will have some number crunching, but of much shorter length than on the homework. Exams are closed book, closed note, with 1 or 2 pgs of crib notes allowed (for midterm and final, respectively).

Group Projects

During the semester there are two group projects. The purpose of these assignments is to encourage working in teams, and to more fully apply (1) risk assessment and (2) remedial design principles. Both projects will require an in-class presentation, and evaluation of each presentation by both the class as a whole and the instructor. Presentation style will be evaluated in addition to technical content. Written reports for each project will also be submitted by each group. Finally, a confidential evaluation of the level of effort and participation of each group member will be submitted by each student, to ensure that all team members are awarded a grade appropriate for the level of work invested. To help prevent a last minute crunch of all the work for the projects, "milestone" dates will require submissions (as shown in the schedule in small text; as a team submit your ideas for check +/- and feedback from me)

In-Class Participation

Your active participation in class will benefit everyone. Therefore, in order to encourage an interactive environment during class, participation will be included as a factor in determining your final course grade. Course participation will be included in determining your grade after the final point totals are calculated and may increase your grade up to 1/3 letter grade.

Homework Standards

Homework should be completed on standard engineering problems paper, using only the front of the page. Make sure to clearly state the problem being solved, any assumptions used in your solution, and relevant equations. The logical steps used to solve the problem should be included, and the final answer clearly marked. Often, your approach to the problem solution will be more important than the final answer! In addition, be sure that your answer contains a logical number of significant figures and the proper units. Finally, be sure to put your name on each page. There will be additional problems for students in CVEN 5474.

Try to solve each problem on your own first. You may work with others to check problem approach and final solutions. However, copying the work of others is not acceptable, and persons involved in copying will be penalized. Also, feel free to come in during office hours or send in e-mail with questions.

  • 30% Homework (& book review for 5474)
  • 15% Midterm
  • 17% Group Project 1
  • 15% Group Project 2
  • 23% Final