EPA Likely to Release 'More Robust' Version Of Green Site Remediation Strategy in May

Via Janice Valverde, BNA Daily

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) expects to release in May a “more robust” version of the Green Remediation Strategy, its guidance on reducing the environmental footprint of practices used in cleaning up superfund sites, an EPA official said March 23.

The forthcoming version of the Green Remediation Strategy, although more “robust,” will not be substantially different from the first, Pachon said.  The strategy, which was released in August 2009 for public review and comment until November 10, 2009, essentially “considers all environmental effects of remedy implementation, including options to minimize the environmental footprint of cleanup actions,” Pachon said. 

The strategy is specific to superfund sites, Pachon said. “Consultants and contractors are aware and are already integrating green remediation” into their proposals and their practices, Pachon told BNA. Nonetheless, it is also being applied in the field to cleanups that fall under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and to state cleanup programs, too, he said.  Applying the strategy need not be a matter of developing new practices, although it may be, Pachon said. “It's a matter of ‘greening' existing remediation strategies,” he said.

Not all superfund sites have the potential for sustainable redevelopment after cleanup, according to Pachon. The green remediation strategy does not directly address redevelopment or sustainability; it focuses more on the cleanup process itself, although it often prepares sites for sustainable redevelopment, he said. EPA has begun to implement some of the 46 specific actions in the current version of the strategy, according to Pachon. Much of it is in the form of information available on EPA's website, including technical bulletins, fact sheets, a list of EPA regional green remediation strategy coordinators, and links to related documents.