Dr. Jerry Overton, one of ATOKA Inc.'s founding partners, was honored by the Oklahoma State University College of Arts & Sciences (A&S) with a 2016 A&S Distinguished Alumni Award. He was nominated by the Geography Department. A&S says Dr. Overton was chosen because his "life and achievements have demonstrated a record of distinguished service in [his] community, and extraordinary achievement in a particular discipline, organization, or cause."
Dr. Overton started ATOKA, Inc. in 1994, and along with Joe Henry and Cliff McBryde, combined companies into ATOKA, Inc. in 1996. This unique combination resulted in experience and expertise for just about any basic civil/environmental engineering or environmental project. ATOKA currently provides services from offices in Hot Springs and Little Rock with a satellite office in El Dorado, Arkansas.
A banquet set to honor Dr. Overton and the other 2016 nominees is set for September 9 at the OSU Stillwater campus.
This bioremediation project utilized injected microbial organisms that accelerated the natural breakdown of PCE to ethene, a simple hydrocarbon with low toxicity that biodegrades quickly in the presence of oxygen and sunlight and is unlikely to adversely affect terrestrial life (DOW, 2014). The chemical breakdown occurs by the transformation of the PCE molecule to trichloroethylene (TCE), then to dichloroethylene (DCE), then to Vinyl Chloride (VC), and finally to ethene.
The chemical concentrations of the breakdown process were monitored on a weekly basis and then monitoring was reduced to a monthly basis. The core area of concern had PCE concentrations reduced by more than 90 percent within only a few weeks. Each of the breakdown chemicals expected was identified and graphed to assure that the remediation process was taking place as expected. This particular method of remediation is highly effective, and commonly used, for chlorinated solvents, such as PCE, select toxic metals, nitrated explosives, perchlorate and nitrate.
Dow, 2014. Product Safety Assessment Ethylene Form No. 233-00280-MM-0714X, The Dow Chemical Company, revised July 1, 2014.