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

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
U.S. EPA Technology Innovation and Field Services Division
State Resources

Authorities of individual states are working with commissioned utilities, local agencies, and property owners or developers to establish a host of tools and incentives for using green practices during site remediation or related sector activities.

  • The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) recommends use of green remediation practices to improve environmental outcomes of site cleanups and reduce associated costs while restoring contaminated sites to productive use. The recommendations address corrective actions and site characterization/investigation with a focus on energy efficiency and vehicles. ADEQ also recommends green remediation practices applying to different types of remediation activities such as conducting chemical injections and operating pump-and-treat or vapor extraction/treatment systems.
  • The California Environmental Protection Agency/Department of Toxic Substances Control's green remediation initiative promotes the use of technologies that are least disruptive to the environment, generate less waste, are recyclable, and emit fewer pollutants and greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.
  • The California Public Utilities Commission Self-Generation Incentive Program provides incentives for installation of renewable-energy systems, and provides rebates for systems sized up to 5 MW. Qualifying technologies include photovoltaic systems, microturbines, fuel cells, and wind turbines.
  • The Colorado Division of Oil and Public Safety (OPS) Petroleum Program Guidance encourages incorporation of green and sustainable remediation principles and practices into the assessment and cleanup of leaking petroleum storage tanks. OPS offers a checklist of green BMPs intended to aid responsible parties and consultants in the preparation of corrective action plans.
  • The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) encourages the use of green and sustainable remediation (GSR) practices in conducting site investigation and cleanup. The Connecticut DEEP also considers the employment and utilization of green remediation technologies in bid solicitations, requests for proposals, and negotiation of contracts for environmental remediation of brownfield properties (General Statutes of Connecticut, Title 4e, Chapter 62, Section 4e-50).
  • The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (Illinois EPA) developed a matrix of best management practices for use at Illinois cleanups, and recognizes the ASTM Standard Guide for Greener Cleanups as a valuable resource for implementing greener cleanup. In partnership with the ASTM team, Illinois EPA collaborated with brownfield stakeholders 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.
  • The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MASS DEP) promotes incorporation of sustainability considerations into remedy selection, implementation, and optimization for cleanup and spills at "21E" sites under the state Superfund law, as part of the Commonwealth's clean energy policy goals. In October 2014, the MASS DEP issued Greener Cleanups Guidance (WSC #14-150) on maximizing the net environmental benefit when conducting response actions at disposal sites regulated under the Massachusetts Contingency Plan.
  • The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency Green Practices for Business, Site Development, and Site Cleanups: A Toolkit provides online tools to help organizations and individuals make informed decisions regarding sustainable best practices for use, development, and cleanup of sites.
  • The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) Site Remediation and Waste Management Program (SRWMP) focuses on priority initiatives supporting the state's Site Remediation Reform Act (SRRA). A 2019 SRRA amendment requires the NJDEP to encourage use of green and sustainable practices during remediation of a contaminated site.
  • The New York Department of Environmental Conservation program policy on green remediation (DER-31, January 20, 2011) provides a holistic approach to improve the overall sustainability of cleanups by promoting use of more sustainable practices and technologies. The New York City Office of Environmental Remediation manages a Clean Soil Bank that provides recycled clean native soil for potential use in brownfields cleanup and redevelopment.
  • The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) green remediation policy establishes a foundation to promote, support, and implement more sustainable approaches that lessen the overall environmental impacts of investigation and remediation projects within DEQ's cleanup programs. DEQ is developing guidelines for implementing the policy, developing related case studies, and incorporating sustainability language into DEQ cleanup program contracts.
  • The Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation Investigation and Remediation of Contaminated Properties Rule (final adopted rule effective July 6, 2019) requires that evaluations of corrective action alternatives for all new investigation and remediation work consider the environmental impact and sustainability of alternatives. An evaluation should include a discussion of waste generation and disposal requirements, as well as a discussion of methods to implement best management practices to reduce the environmental impact of the proposed remedies in accordance with EPA guidance or the ASTM Standard Guide for Greener Cleanups.
  • The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Remediation and Redevelopment Program manages the Wisconsin Initiative for Sustainable Remediation and Redevelopment (WISRR). The WISRR focuses on applicability of sustainable technologies in site remediation and encourages use of green technology during the redevelopment process. Saving energy, reducing greenhouse gases and minimizing waste through reuse and recycling are key aspects of WISRR. Chapter NR 722, Standards for Selecting Remediation Actions, of the Wisconsin administrative code requires evaluation of criteria such as total energy use, air pollutant generation, water use, ecosystem enhancement, and material or waste reduction for a selected remedial action (NR 722.09).

State-specific information about current policies, incentives, and tools is available from "one-stop" resources dedicated to selected green remediation issues.

  • The Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE) provides quick access to information specific to renewable energy incentives and regulatory policies administered by federal and state agencies, utilities, and local organizations. Information is updated frequently through a partnership among the North Carolina Solar Center, Interstate Renewable Energy Council, and the U.S. Department of Energy.
  • EPA's State and Local Climate and Energy Program offers tools to help state, local and tribal governments develop policies and programs that can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, lower energy costs, improve air quality and public health, and help achieve economic development goals.
  • The State and Local Energy Efficiency Action Network (SEE Action) is a state- and local-led effort facilitated by the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to take energy efficiency to scale and achieve cost-effective energy efficiency by 2020. SEE Action offers information resources and technical assistance to state and local decision makers as they provide low-cost, reliable energy to their communities through energy efficiency.

National organizations comprising state members and supporting state needs are conducting initiatives to facilitate green remediation at the state level.

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