U.S. EPA Contaminated Site Cleanup Information (CLU-IN)

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
U.S. EPA Technology Innovation and Field Services Division
Best Management Practice (BMP) Toolkit - Core Elements: Energy
Core Elements Graphic Air & Atmosphere Water Land & Ecosystems Materials & Waste

Green remediation strategies for energy build on requirements or standards under the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007. Cleanup at many sites involves use of energy-intensive technologies such as pump-and-treat (P&T), thermal desorption, multi-phase extraction, air sparging, and soil vapor extraction. BMPs focus on opportunities to improve energy efficiency of onsite equipment and buildings, meet electricity demands of treatment systems through renewable energy instead of fossil-fuel based energy, and reduce consumption of petroleum-based fuels for routine vehicles and heavy machinery.

Sample BMPs

  • Use gravity-based techniques rather than electric pumps to convey water to or from a treatment unit
  • Installing a solar or wind energy system to replace or offset electricity requirements otherwise met by the utility
  • Selecting the optimal size and type of equipment for each task, to avoid unnecessary energy consumption while achieving comparable outcome
  • Using "smart grid" meters for electricity consumption monitoring and control, enabling treatment processes to operate heavily during off-peak utility periods

Site-Specific Examples

View page 19 of Green Remediation: Incorporating Sustainable Environmental Practices into Remediation of Contaminated Sites (56 pp, 814K) to learn more about energy considerations involving system optimization, renewable energy integration, and low-energy remediation systems.

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