EPA Clean and Green Remediation Policy

May 8, 2009
by DARRYL BORRELLI
Client Alert Newsletter May 2009

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA") is considering options for the development of voluntary standards and a verification system which will promote and properly recognize the benefits of conducting green cleanups at contaminated sites. EPA's Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response is currently working with state agencies to develop a framework outlining desired outcomes for a green cleanup standard which it plans to finalize and post in June 2009. Thereafter, EPA will collaborate with ASTM International on the standards development process. EPA considers green cleanups to promote efficient, cost effective, low impact remedies which can also spur sustainable development. In concert with this approach, EPA Region 2 has produced a Clean and Green Policy which is available on its website.

Interestingly, in an effort to promote cost effective site cleanups and contaminated site reuse, we have historically advised clients to utilize many of the green concepts now being promoted by EPA, particularly the on-site reuse of demolition and other waste materials. In establishing its life cycle scoring system, remedies which minimize the use of fossil fuels, such as natural attenuation and engineering controls, should be given priority points. If you are interested in providing input to EPA on its green cleanup standard initiative or in discussing the concepts of green cleanups, please contact Darryl Borrelli.