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Guide to Remediating Contaminated Sediment Sites

hazmat suitIn an effort to facilitate cleanups at contaminated sediment sites, the EPA has issued guidance that includes 11 recommendations to consider when evaluating and implementing response actions at these sites under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA).

The document, sent to regional administrators, does not supersede existing EPA CERCLA policy. It also includes updated Contaminated Sediment Technical Advisory Group (CSTAG) Operating Procedures.

The 11 recommendations are especially important to consider when evaluating sites contaminated with bioaccumulative contaminants that pose an “unacceptable risk” to human health resulting from the consumption of contaminated fish or shellfish, the agency says.

“Although the Directive is not legally binding, some of its recommendations may help achieve the dual goals of remedy effectiveness and cost-effectiveness, and consequently stakeholders at sediment sites should consider the Directive’s recommendations when preparing Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Studies or otherwise interacting with EPA,” according to the National Law Review.

This latest document follows an EPA paper published last month that provides guidance for remediation firms and other environmental managers that produce groundwater monitoring reports.

Also last fall the agency issued guidance on Consideration of Greener Cleanup Activities in the Superfund Cleanup Process. It followed an updated version of ASTM International’s Standard Guide for Greener Cleanups, which the EPA helped develop.

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.


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