The Baylor Geosciences Department is sad to report the passing of alumni Dwayne Crumpler (MS, 1989). Our thoughts and prayers are with Dwayne’s family and friends during this difficult time.
Dwayne Crumpler passed away suddenly Sunday, May 27, 2018 from a heart attack. He leaves his wife Suzanne Dahl Crumpler, son Travis Crumpler (20) and daughter Lydia Crumpler (17). He will be deeply missed both family, friends, and those lucky enough to have worked with him.
Dwayne had wide ranging experience in groundwater issues including risk assessment, modeling, permitting and remedial investigations for a wide range of sites and facilities. He oversaw sampling and modeling efforts to evaluate and predict contaminant migration from landfills, waste sites, sludge ponds and U.S. DOE disposal sites. Dwayne was a hydrogeologist’s hydrogeologist. He passionately wanted to understand why and how. He used the tried and true techniques he learned in school about stratigraphy, geochemistry, and waste movement to establish where contaminates came from, how they were traveling and where they were going. It was so simple for him, so obvious. Recently he was excitedly explaining to Suzanne how to follow the dip of the beds to explain how water is moving at one of his site. He never lost his love and kid like excitement for the basic science and how to apply it. It gave him a thrill to unravel the story. He had that rare quality of being able to explain his understanding, be able to relate to people and bridge gaps in technical explanations. He reached out to people and drew them in. In addition, he could write it all clearly too.
Besides focusing on the how and why of geology and hydrogeology, he had sat hundreds of wells, and boreholes and drilled with every kind of drill rig and in strata ranging from unconsolidated overburden, sandstones and shales, and granite basalts in his career.
Dwayne received a BS Geology at Lamar University and an MS Geology at Baylor University specializing in Hydrogeology. While at Baylor he met Suzanne, who would become his wife while they both worked geology field trip. Apparently he liked how she looked when serving up cokes on the lunch stop. His thesis was on the Paluxy Sandstone, a geochemistry approach to hydrogeology.
He worked on sites in California for IT Corporation conducting groundwater risk assessments, conducting and interpreting groundwater/fate and effects modeling for landfills. He also conducted comprehensive site remedial investigations of a landfill. He continued his work in California for Ogden Environmental and Energy Services preparing Environmental Impact Reports under the California Environmental Quality Act and Environmental Impact Statements under NEPA. He also conducted remedial investigation of large industrial and municipal landfill in Hawaii for the U.S. Navy.
After leaving California he and Suzanne moved to Washington State and the Tri-Cities (Kennewick, Pasco, and Richland) area where they raised their family, Travers and Lydia. Dwayne became an independent consultant working as field manager for the hydrogeological characterization landfill siting for the hazardous waste facility in Arlington, Oregon. He continued this work, working for RUST Environmental and Infrastructure developing the information needed for a RCRA Part B Modification. He prepared field reports of drilling and well installation, and hydrogeological and geochemical results from those wells. He next worked on the Burial Ground Complex Remedial Investigation (RI) at the U.S. DOE Savannah River Site (SRS) in South Carolina. He supervised geological logging of boreholes and monitoring well installations at both SRS and the Arlington site. He then worked on the RI and Feasibility Study (FS) for a mining treatability investigation and did aquifer tests at the Bingham Copper Mine, Utah. He then served as site geologist at the Environmental Remedial Disposal Facility at the U.S. DOE Hanford site, while continuing work at the Arlington site.
Dwayne then became a Senior Geologist for Jacobs Engineering Group, preparing RCRA and NEPA documentation for the Hanford site. This work included RCRA Facility Investigation Reports for high-level waste (HLW) tanks to determine the nature and extent of contamination from leaks and releases. This work included evaluating the regulatory framework needed for closure of the units. He prepared Site Specific Single-Shelled (SST) Tank Phase 1 RCRA Facility Investigation/Corrective Measure Study (RFI/CMS) Work Plans. He developed a Site Hazard Assessment Plan for sampling and analysis needed to meet corrective action requirements for a mixed waste facility and sites containing diesel, gasoline, metals and pesticides. He also worked on the Hanford Tank Initiative looking at the risks, both short-term and long-term, to human health, environmental and groundwater impacts. This work was focused on meeting the regulatory requirements of the State of Washington, U.S. EPA and U.S. DOE. Dwayne also worked on the EIS needed to support shipping HLW from Hanford to the Idaho National Environmental and Engineering Laboratory. Dwayne would spend over 20 years working on issues at the Hanford site.
He then joined Columbia Energy & Environmental Services as Senior Hydrogeologist and Regulatory Analyst working on a number of RCRA, CERCLA and NEPA documents. He worked on the performance assessment for the Waste Management Area C at Hanford. This work included developing site conceptual models, data from recharge events, evaluating engineered surface barriers, evaluating nature and extent of contamination, and waste release from SSTs in both the groundwater and the vadose zone. He also worked on the RFI/CMS Work Plan for the same area.
Dwayne then joined the Waste State Department of Ecology, Nuclear Waste Program. He served as Senior Hydrogeologist overseeing U.S.DOE cleanup of the Hanford site. He worked on groundwater issues associated with a large variety of units at Hanford including the SSTs, disposal ponds, disposal cribs and trenches, and evaporation ponds. He served as lead hydrogeologist for the development of revision 9 of the Hanford Dangerous Waste permit, including review of numerous groundwater engineering reports needed to support that effort. While at Ecology, he oversaw the “Big Dig.” This was a remediation of a highly contaminated site containing chromium, reaching groundwater and the Columbia River. The effort took months to follow the chromium in the soil. Dwayne evaluated the chemistry and basic geology of the area and continually pushed the contractors to continue removing it. The effort followed the contaminated soil down to groundwater, some 80 ft. But it stopped the chromium impacts to both groundwater and the River, and saved millions of dollars in costs that would were going to be spent on a pump and treat system.
Dwayne loved the application of science and hydrogeology to help heal the environment, and always passionately felt we could make it happen. He was instrumental in the remediation of chromium along the Columbia River, a long-time expert on tank farm soil and groundwater issues, and an expert in bridging the gap between the dangerous waste permit and groundwater issues. Beyond his technical expertise, he knew how to work with people and bring them together.