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  Smart Energy Resources Guide, Complete Report and Appendices (EPA/600/R-08/049) March 2008

Image: Report cover for Smart Energy Resources Guide
Remedial actions taken to clean up hazardous waste sites for environmental restoration and potential reuse are often sources of diesel and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Many remediation systems, such as pump-and-treat, may operate for many years, demanding electricity from fossil fuel-powered utilities. Heavy-duty equipment used in construction during site remediation is usually diesel powered. Opportunities to lessen these emissions exist through innovative approaches and new technologies. The purpose of this guide is to provide information on available mechanisms to reduce these emissions at cleanup sites.

Reducing GHG and diesel emissions are important challenges facing the United States. Executive orders have been issued and federal and state laws passed to address both concerns. GHG emissions from human activities are directly linked to global climate change. Diesel emissions are known to cause premature deaths and a wide variety of respiratory illnesses. The Cleanup-Clean Air Initiative (CCA) was established by EPA's Region 9 Superfund and Air Divisions to encourage GHG and diesel emissions reductions at cleanup sites. Through these efforts, CCA staff have engaged in pilot projects and changed Emergency and Rapid Response Service and Response Action Contracts to include language on renewable energy and clean diesel.

This document discusses many opportunities to reduce emissions due to energy use from remediation activities. Examples include energy efficiency upgrades, implementing on-site renewable energy projects, and carbon sequestration. An overview of renewable energy technologies is presented including costs, availability, applicability, estimated emissions reduction benefits, considerations, permitting, vendor information, funding resources, and success stories. Renewable energy technologies covered in this guide are solar, wind, landfill gas, anaerobic digesters, and gasifiers. Additional methods for using renewable energy are provided. Similar information is provided for diesel emissions reduction technologies and cleaner fuels. This document includes information on reducing diesel emissions through retrofitting diesel equipment, using cleaner and alternative fuels, and simple, low-cost practices such as idle reduction. Currently, there are approximately 15 EPA cleanup sites that are using cleaner diesel technologies and fuels or renewable energy to power their remediation systems.

The Smart Energy Resources Guide is a tool for project managers to help them assess and implement these technologies and practices at Superfund sites as well as other cleanup sites. With this information, project managers may be better prepared to discuss emissions reductions strategies with contractors and developers. While resources cited in this document focus on Region 9 territories, many are applicable in other parts of the United States.


Steven Rock

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