DoD Memorandum on Sustainable Remediation

Office of the Under Secretary of Defense, August 10, 2009

The Department of Defense (DoD) has issued a memorandum titled "Consideration of Green and Sustainable Remediation Practices in the Defense Environmental Resotoration Program".

Consistent with Executive Order 13423, Strengthening Federal Environmental, Energy, and Transportation Management, the DoD is considering additional options for minimizing the environmental Impact of existing and future remedial systems.

"'Green and sustainable remediation' expands upon the Department's current environmental practices and empolys strategies for cleanups that use natural resources and energy efficiently, reduce negative impacts on the environment, minimize or eliminate pollution at its source, protect and benefit the community at large, and reduce waste to the greatest extent possible.  Green and sustainable remediation uses strategies that consider all environmental effects of remedy implementation and operation and incorporates options to maximize the overall environmental benefit of cleanup actions."

The memorandum requests that each DoD Component brief the department of the Under Secretary of Defense on current efforts to implement green and sustainable remediation (December 2009) and progress towards integrating efforts into remediation programs (June 2010).  Specific efforts and considerations are requested in the following areas:

  • Sustainability analysis during remedy selection
  • Sustainability analysis of existing remediation systems
  • Preserving natural resources
  • Minimizing energy use and increasing energy efficiency
  • Minimizing emissions
  • Use of passive sampling where feasible
  • Minimizing fresh water consumption and maximizing water reuse in treatment systems
  • Maximizing recycling, reuse, and reduction of materials including waste
  • Consideration and/or implementation of environmental remediation technologies with inherent sustainability aspects (e.g., phytoremediation, engineered wetlands, biowalls, etc.)
  • Minimizing the overall environmental footprint of the remedial system and monitoring program