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

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
U.S. EPA Technology Innovation and Field Services Division
ASTM Standard Guide for Greener Cleanups

EPA representatives worked with ASTM International to develop a consensus-based standard intended to encourage property owners, regulatory agencies, responsible parties, developers and communities to voluntarily use greener practices for contaminated site cleanup. As a starting point for the standard development process, EPA's Office of Land and Emergency Management (OLEM), EPA regional offices and state agencies developed a framework outlining the desired outcomes of a potential standard for greener cleanups. The framework reflected EPA's Principles for Greener Cleanups, which focus on five core elements associated with a cleanup project's environmental footprint.

Application Examples in Green Remediation Profiles:

Webcast Icon   June 28, 2018, Web Seminar:
Perspectives on the Implementation of Greener Cleanups
This seminar shared the experiences of three major federal agencies applying the ASTM Standard Guide for Greener Cleanups at three sites. The seminar is available for on-demand viewing or presentation downloading.

Greener Cleanup Bulletin: Use of the ASTM Standard Guide for Greener Cleanups at the North Ridge Estates Superfund Site
As one in a series of bulletins about environmental footprint reductions at specific sites undergoing cleanup, this bulletin summarizes EPA's application of the ASTM Standard Guide for Greener Cleanups to plan remediation at operable unit 1 of the North Ridge Estates site near Klamath Falls, Oregon.

The standard is intended to complement regulatory and voluntary cleanup programs and accommodate each phase of a cleanup

ASTM International issued the ASTM Standard Guide for Greener Cleanups (E2893-13) in November 2013 and an updated version (E2893-16) in May 2016. The guide includes:

  • A systematic protocol to identify, prioritize, select, implement
    and report on the use of best management practices (BMPs) to reduce the environmental footprint of cleanup activities
  • A list outlining 115 greener cleanup BMPs that are linked to the core elements of a greener cleanup and to relevant cleanup technologies
  • Guidelines to quantify the environmental footprint of cleanup activities, and
  • A reporting structure to promote public availability of information relating to the decision-making process and communication of outcomes across the five core elements.

EPA anticipates that use of this private sector standard guide will advance EPA's objectives by:

  • Providing clear definitions, methods, expectations and goals that can be used by all stakeholders involved in a cleanup, making it easier for regulators and the regulated community to implement greener cleanups
  • Establishing a framework to support new tools for evaluating impacts from cleanups, and
  • Building upon state and local government incentives for greener cleanups.

In partnership with the ASTM team, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency collaborated with Brownfield Revolving Loan Fund borrowers to pilot the Standard Guide at four sites: Chicago — Whitney Young Library, Schaumburg — Murzyn/Anderson Property, South Beloit — Corner Parcel and South Beloit — Foundry Parcel.

Frequently asked questions:

Does the U.S. EPA require use of the standard guide?
No, the standard guide is not a government regulation and its use is not mandated by the U.S. EPA. Site cleanup programs operated by some federal, state or other regulating agencies, however, may recommend it as a tool to implement existing regulations and policies.
How do I obtain the standard guide?
The standard guide may be purchased directly from ASTM International online. Purchasers have the option to (1) immediately download an electronic file of an Adobe PDF, or (2) request shipping of a hard copy. Some organizations have subscriptions with ASTM enabling individuals within those organizations to access the standard guide at no additional cost. If your agency or company has a library, check there first.
How much does the standard guide cost?
The standard guide costs $75. Associated adjuncts also are available for purchase. The purchasing process involves shopping-cart checkout via major credit card followed by generation of a printable receipt.
Can I share the standard guide with others?
The Guide is subject to copyright protections. Reproduction or distribution of the standard guide is prohibited except by the copyright owner. Upon purchasing the standard guide, see the license agreement (including copyright restrictions) for specific allowances and restrictions.
Which types of remediation technologies are addressed in the standard guide?
The standard guide lists 115 best management practices (BMPs) that could apply to a range of technologies, depending on site scenarios. To provide users with a starting point, relevancy of each BMP is assigned to one or more of 12 cleanup technologies:
  • soil vapor extraction: 76 BMPs
  • air sparging: 77 BMPs
  • pump and treat: 79 BMPs
  • in-situ chemical oxidation: 58 BMPs
  • bioremediation and monitored natural attenuation: 58 BMPs
  • in-situ thermal treatment: 72 BMPs
  • phytotechnology: 51 BMPs
  • subsurface containment and installation of PRB: 55 BMPs
  • excavation and surface restoration: 59 BMPs
  • ex-situ bioremediation and chemical oxidation: 60 BMPs
  • landfill covers and caps: 55 BMPs
  • vapor intrusion mitigation: 34 BMPs
How do I reference the standard guide in my report?
The following citation should be used: ASTM E2893-16, 2016, Standard Guide for Greener Cleanups, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2016,

Other questions about technical or logistical aspects of the standard guide should be directed to ASTM International. For general information about applying the standard guide under EPA's site cleanup programs, contact EPA program office representatives.

For background information:

  • See the December 2013 memorandum (PDF) (3 pp, 611K) from EPA's OLEM Assistant Administrator to regional administrators and OLEM office directors recognizing the standard guide as a resource to reduce the environmental footprint of cleanups. In line with the Agency's pursuit of a cleaner, safer environment, OLEM recommends that EPA's regional offices and OLEM program offices facilitate and encourage use of the standard guide in efforts to implement greener cleanup practices.
  • View EPA's Winter 2016 update (PDF) (1 pg, 266K) on this effort.
  • See the April 2010 OLEM position (PDF) (3 pp, 618K) on a standard guide for greener cleanups.

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