Green Remediation: The Sustainable Approach to Hazardous Waste Site Cleanup

My name is Josh Shkrab and as a new Environmental Intern at EES, I would like to provide a brief summary of my background.  I moved from a mid-sized town in Florida to Philadelphia to pursue my Master’s degree in Environmental Policy.  I obtained my B.S. in Environmental Science and Policy from the University of South Florida.  My environmental interests include renewable energy policy, hazardous waste remediation and relevant laws and regulations, and sustainability.

As an increasing number of businesses around the world are becoming aware of their impacts on the environment, the principles of sustainability have never been more important.  Specifically, the remediation of hazardous waste sites, commonly referred to as Superfund sites, is a process that is inherently unsustainable.  The traditional methods for site remediation are extremely energy intensive, produce a substantial amount of waste and can remain in operation for decades.  For these reasons, EPA has acknowledged that a push towards sustainable remediation is an absolute necessity.

In the last year, EPA has developed numerous strategies and policies aimed at ushering in a new approach to site remediation, including their website designed specifically for green remediation.  Within the website, remediation companies and other interested parties can learn about the latest technologies and approaches to green remediation.  The primary objectives of green remediation include reducing greenhouse gas emissions, reducing raw material consumption and waste generation and limiting the adverse impacts to local water sources.  Reductions in greenhouse gas emissions can be achieved through installing renewable energy sources at the site and by using ultra-low sulfur fuel for equipment.  The use of recycled materials needed for the construction of remediation equipment can reduce the consumption of new raw materials.  These are just a few of the approaches EPA uses in their green remediation programs.

EPA has recently published a draft document outlining new methodologies for reducing a cleanup project’s environmental footprint while implementing sustainable principles.  EPA has asked the remediation community to review the draft document and provide feedback about the advantages and disadvantages by November 16th.  In early June of this year, the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and EPA co-hosted a massive international conference dedicated to sustainable remediation.  The topics included a myriad of incipient green technologies that can be applied to site remediation.  Additionally, EPA has several upcoming webinar events on October 26th and 27th pertaining to green remediation, which can be found by visiting their website, http://www.clu-in.org/greenremediation/.  It is evident that growing concerns over the unsustainable nature of hazardous site remediation has warranted the development of greener technologies and approaches.

Call me at 215-881-9401 or email me at josh@eesolutions.net to find out more.

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