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David Major, Ph.D.


Groundwater Assesment & Remediation

Specialized In Situ Treatment Technology 

Sediment Assesment & Remediation 

Subsurface Vapor Intrusion to Indoor Air 



Ph.D., Biology, University of Waterloo, 1987 

M.Sc., Biology, University of Waterloo, 1984 

B.Sc., Biology (Honours), University of Waterloo, 1981 

Primary Disciplines:
Biological Sciences, Microbiology, Environmental Sciences,

Dr. David Major, principal environmental scientist based in Guelph, Ontario, focuses on managing and directing the development and deployment of effective remediation strategies for challenging sites associated with Fortune 500 companies, the U.S. Departments of Energy and Defense, and NASA. 

Practice Specialties
His area of expertise is in situ biodegradation of chlorinated solvents in natural or engineered environments.  He was a pioneer in the development, demonstration, and application of monitored natural attenuation (MNA) and enhanced in situ bioremediation (EISB) of these compounds.  He is a regular and significant technical contributor to the biennial Battelle conferences on In Situ and On-Site Bioremediation.  He aided researchers at the University of Waterloo developing the basis of zero-valent iron (ZVI) permeable reactive barriers (PRBs), and led the first full-scale ZVI PRB installation in 1994.  He worked with researchers at the University of Tennessee to commercialize the application of biomarkers (PLFA).  He also contributed to the commercialization of the University of Toronto’s intellectual property (Dehalococcoides ethenogenes) for the in situ biodegradation of chlorinated solvents. He has worked with Dupont and Stanford University on molecular biological tools to detect and quantify the genes of key dechlorinating microorganisms in the environment. 

Advancing the State-of-the-Practice
Dr. Major serves on various national scientific and regulatory advisory boards.  He is a member of the Remediation Technologies Development Forum (RTDF), a public-private organization dedicated to developing, demonstrating, and evaluating technologies for high priority environmental problems.  He has served on a U.S. EPA Expert Panel to address the benefits of partial source treatment of Dense Non-Aqueous Phase Liquids (DNAPLs), and on the U.S. National Research Council Committee on Geological and Geotechnical Engineering in the New Millennium.  He has served on the U.S. EPA Science Advisory Board to review the agency’s research on MNA, specifically on the attenuation of inorganic compounds (metals).  He is active on various workgroups for the Interstate Technology and Regulatory Council (ITRC), and developed and taught two ITRC courses to thousands of state and federal regulators.  The ITRC has recognized his contribution to the ITRC through several awards.  Dr. Major is also the author or co-author of over 50 peer-reviewed technical publications on environmental remediation topics, and over 45 conference publications, presentations, and posters. 

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Projects & Publications

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Bioaugmentation for Remediation of Chlorinated Ethenes: Technology Development, Status, and Research Needs
Evaluation of Biostimulation for Treatment of a Multicontaminant Plume in a Challenging Environment
Geochemical and Microbiological Characterization of In Situ Reductive Dechlorination in Fractured Bedrock
Degradation of Co-Disposed Chlorinated Solvent under Anaerobic Conditions and Resulting Accelerate Degradation Rates with KB-1® Augmentation
Microcosm Study of TCE Degradation by KB-1® in High Sulfate Groundwater
Laboratory Study of Treatment of Trichloroethene by Chemical Oxidation Followed by Bioremediation
Field Demonstration of DNAPL Dehalogenation using Emulsified Zero-Valent Iron
Quantifying Chlorinated Ethene Degradation during Reductive Dechlorination at Kelly AFB using Stable Carbon Isotopes
Advances in Molecular Technologies: Putting the Third Line of Evidence First
Performance Evaluation of Dehalogenation of DNAPLs using Emulsified Zero-Valent Iron
Optimization of Emulsified Zero-Valent Iron Particles for Reduction of DNAPL
Discussion of Environment vs. Bacteria, or, Let's Play, ‘Name that Bacteria’
Biosafety of Bioremediation Approaches in a Tetrachloroethylene-Contaminated Environment
In Situ Bioremediation of Chlorinated Solvents in Overburden and Bedrock using Bioaugmentation
Successful Bioaugmentation to Achieve Complete Dechlorination of Chlorinated Ethenes and Validation through Molecular Monitoring
Reductive Dehalogenation of DNAPLS using Emulsified Nano-Scale Zero-Valent Iron
Successful Field Demonstration of Bioaugmentation to Degrade PCE and TCE to Ethene. Bioaugmentation, Biobarriers, and Biogeochemistry
Bioaugmentation to Enhanced Anaerobic Bioremediation of Chlorinated Solvents in Groundwater: Six Case Studies
Rapid and Complete Treatment of Trichloroethene via Bioaugmentation in an Active Biobarrier
Successful Field Demonstrations of Bioaugmentation to Remediate Trichloroethene in Groundwater
Successful Field Demonstration of Bioaugmentation to Degrade PCE and TCE to Ethene
Field Demonstration of Bioaugmentation of DNAPL at LC34, Cape Canaveral
Designing Aqueous Amendment Delivery Systems for In-Situ Groundwater Remediation
Self-Sustaining Treatment for Active Remediation (STAR): Introduction of a New Technique for the Remediation of MGP Sites
Self-Sustaining Treatment for Active Remediation (STAR): In Situ Field Application for the Treatment of Coal Tar in Soils
Self-Sustaining Treatment for Active Remediation (STAR): Ex Situ Field Application for the Treatment of Hydrocarbon-Impacted Soils