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Hudson River Superfund Site

How to Minimize Cleanups’ Environmental Footprint

Hudson River Superfund Site“Greener cleanup” tools can help remediation professionals minimize the environmental footprint of a contaminated site’s cleanup, according to an EPA blog.

The EPA worked with stakeholders to develop ASTM International’s Standard Guide for Greener Cleanups in 2013 and an updated version in May. The standard reflects EPA’s Greener Cleanup Principles, including the goal of minimizing water use and impacts to water resources, and the agency encourages its use at cleanup sites.

The ASTM guide has more than two-dozen best management practices that protect water resources and more than 100 total best management practices.

In the blog, the EPA’s Deborah Goldblum, who spearheaded the effort that led to ASTM International’s Standard Guide for Greener Cleanups, asks readers to imagine a contaminated site where best practices have been implemented. “Rainwater is captured on-site and used for dust control. Equipment is cleaned using phosphate-free detergents to protect the nearby stream. Native plants are used in site restoration to provide habitat and protect waterways. Porous pavement is used to reduce runoff from the site.”

The guide can help cleanup professionals implement these and other best-practices to reduce the environmental impact of remediation efforts.

Last month the EPA said it will ask more than 150 companies and other groups to foot the $746 million bill to clean up the Portland Harbor Superfund Site along Oregon’s Willamette River. The agency says the hazardous substances found at the site include polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), dioxins/furans, pesticides and heavy metals, which can harm people and the environment.

Of the 150 potentially responsible parties identified by the EPA, 10 have already agreed to help with the cleanup process. These include Arkema, Bayer CropScience, BNSF Railway Company, Chevron, Phillips 66, Union Pacific Railway and the city of Portland.

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