A variety of microbial dechlorination mechanisms have been demonstrated in laboratory microcosms, pure cultures, and in situ sedimentary environments. New perspectives on in situ processes from these efforts allow the design of more realistic bioremediation strategies that complement natural processes regardless of whether the strategy used is one of engineered accelerated bioremediation or natural attenuation. Since 1994 the scientific community has acquired considerable knowledge regarding natural attenuation of organochlorine compounds. Natural attenuation of chlorinated solvents has been documented at a number of field sites. Reductive dechlorination driven by co-contaminants or naturally occurring organics as substrates in combination with aerobic or co-metabolic degradation contains certain chlorinated solvent plumes. Although natural attenuation is not a panacea, at sites where it is applicable, it offers a scientifically sound, cost-effective method to remediate groundwater contaminated with chlorinated solvents.


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  • Article Type: Review Article
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