EPA Seeks Comment on Superfund Green Remediation Strategy; Issues Principles for Greener Cleanups
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is seeking public comment on an initial draft strategy that sets out its current plans to reduce energy use and enhance the environmental performance of remedial and non-time critical removal actions undertaken to address hazardous waste sites. The Superfund Green Remediation Strategy is an initial effort to outline key actions and related activities that can be undertaken to promote green remediation. These action items fall into three major categories: policy and guidance development, resource development and program implementation, and program evaluation. The strategy also contains several recommendations including a call for EPA to implement a series of near-term program initiatives and to establish a baseline of Superfund energy usage. The public comment period is open for 60 days.
Reducing the demands placed on the environment during cleanup of contaminated land, while continuing to protect human health and the environment, is a high priority for EPA. In addition to the Superfund Green Remediation Strategy, EPA has developed Principles for Greener Cleanups. Among other things, the principles call for EPA?s cleanup programs to utilize greener approaches during any phase of site work, and establish the goal of evaluating cleanup actions more holistically to ensure protection of human health and the environment while reducing the environmental footprint of cleanup activities, when feasible. Cleanups that do not satisfy threshold requirements for protectiveness, or do not meet site specific cleanup objectives, do not qualify as a greener cleanup.