Examples of Greener Cleanups
State-of-the-art technologies, novel field methods, and "tried and true" design and engineering techniques can be combined to address the core elements of a greener cleanup. Best management practices (BMPs) are in place under a range of cleanup programs including Superfund, RCRA, federal facility, brownfield, and state voluntary actions.
De Sale Restoration Area, Slippery Rock Watershed, PA
Using alternative treatment techniques, a Pennsylvania non-profit coordinated conversion of an abandoned coal mine to a natural resource conservation area. A series of natural gradient-driven engineering steps involving settling ponds, vertical-flow ponds, and constructed wetlands were used to passively neutralize 180 pounds of acid discharge per day.
Frontier Fertilizer Superfund Site, Davis, CA
An onsite photovoltaic (PV) system that covers half an acre offsets 100% of the non-renewable energy needed to treat the site’s contaminated groundwater. Use of this system is anticipated to reduce indirect emission of carbon dioxide (equivalent) by approximately 119,000 pounds each year over 20 years. The project team is also evaluating options for reusing the treated groundwater to irrigate nearby municipal properties.
Massachusetts Military Reservation (MMR), Cape Cod, MA
Efforts to minimize consumption of energy, water, and other natural resources and streamline activities during long-term cleanup at this federal facility involve: optimizing operation of existing systems for groundwater extraction, treatment, and monitoring; implementing energy conservation techniques; and deploying a large-scale renewable energy system to offset the high rates of onsite electricity consumption and associated air emissions from power plants.
Profiles of Projects Involving Green Remediation Strategies
EPA’s Office of Superfund Remediation and Technology Innovation offers 29 site-specific profiles of projects using the BMPs to improve environmental outcomes of cleanup. Each project applies a tailored strategy to address the core elements of a greener cleanup while continuing to meet remedial goals. The projects involve diverse technologies for site remediation and are implemented under a range of cleanup programs, including Superfund, RCRA, brownfields, or voluntary actions under state oversight.
Sustainable Redevelopment of Brownfields
EPA’s Brownfields and Land Revitalization Program offers reports and fact sheets highlighting lessons learned from pilot projects and describing the Program's initiative to bring greener cleanup approaches to brownfield assessment, cleanup, and redevelopment.