Client Profile - Second Vetiver Trial of the Puerto Rico Highways Authority

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

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Back in October 2009, I wrote the post Vetiver in Defense of Road Embankments where I presented the first trial of the Puerto Rico Highways Authority with Vetiver or Road 30, near the town of Las Pideras.  The embankment, now populated by the vetiver and other plants, has proven stable over several significant weather events.

Now, a second trial project has been completed where 3400 plants complement the repair and stablilization work done on a segment of Road 856 in the town of Carolina. This landslide, caused by a strong weather event in 2010, required complex grading and reinforcing to ensure stability and proper drainage.  The construction work as well as the planting  was expertly performed by Constructora Harmann who were the contractors for the Road 30 project as well.

In our tropical, hilly island, landslides in road slopes are a frequent aftermath to extended rain events. The continued adoption of Vetiver by our goverment agencies will create contractors skilled in the Vetiver System that can provide this service at the public and private level. A full set of images can be seen in the slideshow below and in this Picasa album.



Phytoremediation Of Lead Contaminants

Sunday, March 18, 2012

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The March 12, 2012 edition of NorthJersey.com, the online relative to the New Jersey daily newspaper The Record, includes a fascinating article titled Exotic grass could help clean lead from soil that describes vanguard research being done at Montclair State University using vetiver for phytoremediation of soils that are contaminated with lead residues.

We all forget that lead from old paint chips (prior to 1978) and leaded gasoline (prior to the 1990s) are still around in our environment, and New Jersey still reported more than 1300 cases of lead poisoning among children in 2010. Much research remains to be done, but preliminary tests of vetiver's ability to remove contaminants from soil are very encouraging and validate what many of us vetiver practitioners have been saying for years.

Vetiver's survival during the harsh winters of the northern states remains a high hurdle but the southern states my find this a viable solution. The development of a cold-tolerant strain of vetiver has been the holy grail of vetiver growers for many years. Perhaps research such as this will encourage geneticists to develop such a plant.

Take a few minutes to read the full article online or download a PDF formatted copy for printing from my Google Docs.


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