Green & Sustainable Remediation


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Short introduction to new and developing rules and policies nationally and regionally for GSR. A 1-hour online version will be available in September, 2011.

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  • Welcome and thank you for choosing the online module “An Introduction to Green and Sustainable Remediation” In this course we will: 1. Define Green & Sustainable Remediation – which we will refer to as GSR 2. Review some of the regulations and policies governing GSR regionally and nationally 3. Look at the nuts and bolts of implementing GSR 4. Examine three case studies as examples of successful GSR projects 5. Project the likely future of GSR and 6. Offer you some useful links to online GSR resources The course is designed to take one hour to complete and includes 3 short quizzes.
  • The EPA Region 9 Greener Cleanups Policy establishes a preference for use of a range of practices, strategies and technologies to support the implementation of greener cleanups. These and other strategies are discussed throughout this module along with the tools and techniques that can be used to………….
  • OR DEQ = Dept of Env. Quality. “DEQ’s Cleanup Program will promote, support and implement more sustainable practices that lessen the overall environmental impacts of investigation and remediation projects.” NY DEC = Dept of Env. Conservation. “DEC is dedicated to developing and promoting innovative cleanup strategies that restore contaminated sites to productive use, promote environmental stewardship, and reduce associated costs while minimizing ancillary environmental impacts from these cleanups.” CA DTSC = Dept of Toxic Substances Control. “The advisory introduces the concepts of sustainability and life-cycle thinking and shows how these concepts can be incorporated into any stage of a cleanup project, …. This advisory also presents a simple tool, the green remediation evaluation matrix (GREM).
  • To answer this question – Why Consider GSR – we have to understand the principles of Green and Sustainable Remediation. Part of the EPA Mission is to protect human health and the environment. By promoting sustainable strategies in the removal of health threats from the environment, it provides added benefits through the use of sustainable cleanup actions. States are also promoting GSR for the same reasons – protection of public health and the environment for the long term. Other examples not listed here include: Conserve natural resources Achieve greater long-term financial return from investments Increase sustainability of site cleanups
  • There are 10’s of thousands of sites that have been or are undergoing remediation, and thousands more that will be ready for remediation over the coming decades. Federal facilities alone constitute over half a million locations nationwide through 2008. The cleanup strategies needed will almost certainly include consideration of the GSR principles for a combination of environmental protection, and increasingly for cost savings and energy efficiency reasons.
  • There is no legislation so GSR has evolved from a voluntary approach to achieve the overall goal of protection of public health and the environment. It begins with innovative project managers interacting with agency staff to find the most reasonable approaches. Change perspective from just removal of one source of hazard to elimination of as many sources as possible. Not just moving contamination from soil or GW to air, or on-site to off-site. Inclusive rather than exclusive. Not necessarily. There may be some increased efficiencies that result in an overall net cost benefit. Look long-term, not just short-term. Start with the simple ideas first, like low sulfur-diesel fuels, and use tools for decision making that include sustainable solutions. (See some on the EPA slide that follows later). Not allowed. Just because GSR is a good practice does not make it a lever for arguing out of all forms of remediation.
  • Here are a few examples of publicly available tools for evaluating the “footprint” of site remediation. Each of the sponsors is listed after the specific tool. Government, industrial, academic and non-profit organizations offer many Web-based calculators, software models, and supplemental materials. These may be free or commercially available. Most tools address more than one of the core elements of GSR ( discussed 4 slides previous ).
  • Green & Sustainable Remediation

    1. 1. INTRODUCTION TO GREEN AND SUSTAINABLE REMEDIATION (GSR) One-Hour Module Online Learning Copyright 2011
    2. 2. What’s in a Name? <ul><li>The term “Green Remediation” has evolved into “Green and Sustainable Remediation.” </li></ul><ul><li>This reflects ideas & practices that are effective in the short-term for cleanup, and offer long-term solutions to some of the carbon footprint and sustainability issues associated with cleanup itself. </li></ul>Photo source: Pixomar at
    3. 3. What is GSR (1)? <ul><li>Definitions (1) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) “..Sustainability is considered in cleanups by establishing a preference for using strategies, practices and technologies that reduce the environmental footprint of Superfund and RCRA cleanups.” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Source: EPA. September 14, 2009. Greener Cleanups Policy – EPA Region 9. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) “ Green Remediation involves employing technologies and cleanup approaches to reduce a project’s environmental footprint.” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Source: DTSC. December 2009. Interim Advisory For Green Remediation. </li></ul></ul>
    4. 4. What are the Rules on GSR? <ul><li>There are NO REGULATIONS …yet. But that does not mean there are none being developed. </li></ul><ul><li>Federal Policies - 2011 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>All 10 EPA Regions have GSR policy statements. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Military installations and federal facilities apply GSR as part of the Sustainability requirements under Executive Order 13514 (Federal Register Vol. 74, No.194, Thursday October 8, 2009). </li></ul></ul>Photo source: Jeroen van Oostrom at
    5. 5. Are there Policies on GSR? <ul><li>State Policies </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Several states have policies in final or draft form that encourage GSR, e.g., California, Oregon and New York, but none have statewide regulations. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>California DTSC – Interim Advisory, December 2009 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Oregon DEQ – June 17, 2011 (Draft) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>New York DEC – January 20, 2011 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If remediation is State funded it may provide impetus for inclusion of sustainability in remedy review. </li></ul></ul>Photo source: Ohmega1982 at
    6. 6. No Rules – Why Consider GSR? <ul><li>Achieve remedial action goals </li></ul><ul><li>Support use and reuse of remediated parcels </li></ul><ul><li>Increase operational efficiencies </li></ul><ul><li>Reduce total pollutant and waste burdens on the environment </li></ul><ul><li>Minimize degradation or enhance ecology of the site and other affected areas </li></ul><ul><li>Reduce air emissions and greenhouse gas production </li></ul><ul><li>Minimize impacts to water quality and water cycles </li></ul>Source: Green Remediation: Incorporating Sustainable Environmental Practices into Remediation of Contaminated Sites . U.S.EPA; Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response. April 2008 EPA 542-R-08-002 renjith krishnan at
    7. 7. Are there many Sites for GSR? <ul><li>Federal Facilities: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Superfund Sites. By 2008, this program undertook > 9,400 removal actions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>RCRA Sites. EPA estimated > 3,700 in 2008 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Underground Storage Tank Sites. Through September 2007 , 365,000 cleanups were completed, and ~109,000 sites were yet to be remediated </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Department of Defense Sites ~ 8,000 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Department of Energy Sites ~ 4,000 contaminated or potentially contaminated areas </li></ul></ul><ul><li>S tate, Brownfield, and Private Sites: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>EPA estimates that during 2006 and 2007 cleanups were completed at over 18,900 sites </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Source: Green Remediation: Incorporating Sustainable Environmental Practices into Remediation of Contaminated Sites . U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response. April 2008 EPA 542-R-08-002 </li></ul></ul>Xedos4 at
    8. 8. A Few GSR Myths… <ul><li>It is an additional regulatory burden </li></ul><ul><li>It diverts resources from removing hazardous or harmful materials </li></ul><ul><li>It costs so much remediation is not feasible </li></ul><ul><li>It is too hard to define the benefits </li></ul><ul><li>It will force responsible parties to argue out of remediation </li></ul>Source: ASTSWMO. August, 2009 . Green Remediation: Getting Started by Debunking Some Myths. photostock at
    9. 9. Nuts & Bolts – What Can be Included as GSR? <ul><li>Clean diesel and idle-reduction strategies </li></ul><ul><li>Reduce number of trips and amount of transportation required </li></ul><ul><li>Use renewable energy where possible e.g., solar, wind, anaerobic digestion, geothermal </li></ul><ul><li>Use combined heat and power and energy efficient equipment </li></ul><ul><li>Use concrete where steel slag has been swapped out for carbon-intensive Portland cement </li></ul><ul><li>Use industrial byproducts rather than virgin materials </li></ul><ul><li>Recycle or reuse site materials from demolition </li></ul><ul><li>Minimize use of materials containing toxic substances </li></ul><ul><li>Reduce water use </li></ul>Photo source: Danilo Rizzuti at
    10. 10. Nuts & Bolts – Tools <ul><li>Publicly Available Tools Designed for Green and Sustainable Site Cleanup ( listed September, 2010 ) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Decision Software </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Green Remediation Evaluation Matrix (GREM) - California Department of Toxic Substances Control </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Greener Cleanups Matrix - Illinois EPA </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Decision Matrix </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>SiteWise™ - US Navy Engineering Command, Army, Army Corps of Engineers, and Battelle (V2, 3/3/2011) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Sustainable Remediation Tool™ (SRT ) - Air Force Center for Engineering and Environment </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>Tools offer different types of information, e.g., energy efficiency, renewable energy use, water use, air emissions, land & ecosystem, and materials & waste. </li></ul>Photo source: kratuanoiy at
    11. 11. Example of GSR - Aerojet-General Corporation, Rancho Cordova, CA 6-MW Farm The fully operational Aerojet solar farm encompasses more than 29,000 individual solar cells. Air Stripping Towers Since 1983, nine treatments plants have gone on line to treat ground water extracted from over 100 wells. This facility uses air stripping as well as ultraviolet/peroxide and biodegradation technologies to remove volatile organic compounds, NDMA, and perchlorate from ground water at a flow rate of 4,800 gallons per minute. Aerojet-General Corporation: Green Remediation Strategy: “ Capture solar energy in remote portions of the site to produce electricity that could offset air emissions associated with using utility-supplied electricity for extracting and treating more than 20 million gallons of ground water each day…”, accessed 7/25/11
    12. 12. Aerojet-General Corporation <ul><li>Sample of GSR Results </li></ul><ul><li>Avoiding an estimated 6,000 tons of carbon dioxide, 4 tons of sulfur dioxide, and 5 tons of nitrogen oxide emissions </li></ul><ul><li>Offsetting approximately 30% of the total electricity used by the groundwater extraction and remediation equipment </li></ul><ul><li>Began fully operating the expanded (6-MW) solar farm in June 2010 </li></ul>, accessed 7/25/11
    13. 13. Where is GSR Heading? <ul><li>Emerging technologies to increase cleanup efficiency and reduce GHG emissions e.g., terrestrial carbon sequestration </li></ul><ul><li>New Standards to be issued by ASTM – possibly by early to mid-2012 </li></ul><ul><li>Improved Risk Assessment </li></ul><ul><li>to inform the Risk </li></ul><ul><li>Management process </li></ul><ul><li>EPA Superfund Landfill Methane-to-Energy Pilot Project (December 2010). </li></ul>Jscreationzs at
    14. 14. CONTACT INFORMATION GILLIAN I. MARKS, Ph.D. [email_address] Phone: 714.206.6149 Skype: gillian.marksphd