By Ken Kastman, P.E.
There is a new awareness in the selection of remediation
technologies at brownfield sites which considers the impact of remediation on
the environment. This approach, which considers sustainability issues, has been
dubbed "green remediation" and seems to be growing throughout the brownfield
Green remediation considers whether the process of getting to the
end point overshadows the end result and takes a more holistic assessment of the
way in which the process will be achieved. For example, a site in Kentucky has
an obvious dig-and-haul remedial solution, but the soil needs to be transported
to a hazardous waste landfill in Canada. The resulting carbon footprint for
transportation, the potential for roadway accidents and the resulting
concentration of waste in one location suggest that a local solution might be
more environmentally acceptable and sustainable. An in-situ destruction process
would limit the carbon footprint, eliminate the potential for roadway accidents
and totally alter the hazardous nature of the soil, even though it might entail
a higher initial capital cost.
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