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 Solid Waste and Emergency Response (OSWER), 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.

ASTM International issued the final ASTM Standard Guide for Greener Cleanups (E2893-13) in November 2013. The guide includes:

Webcast Icon   November 17, 2015, Web Seminar:
Implementing Greener Cleanups through ASTM's Standard Guide (E2893-13). *New*
This seminar provides an overview of the Guide, shows how the Guide can inform project decisions, and describes experiences in using the Guide at sites across the U.S. under state or federal cleanup programs. The webinar includes a virtual exercise in prioritizing greener cleanup BMPs based on their anticipated environmental footprint reductions.

  • 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 more than 160 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.

Webcast Icon   Greener Cleanup Bulletin: Use of the ASTM Standard Guide for Greener Cleanups at the North Ridge Estates Superfund Site *New*
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. Use of the standard guide helped project staff screen, prioritize and select BMPs that were incorporated into the design and construction contracts for the remedy, which involves extensive excavation and soil cap construction.

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
  • A list outlining more than 160 greener cleanup BMPs that are linked to the core elements of a greener cleanup and to relevant cleanup technologies
  • Establishing a framework to support new tools for evaluating impacts from cleanups, and
  • Building upon state and local government incentives for greener cleanups.

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 $60. Shipping of a hard copy costs an additional $10.35. 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 161 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 11 cleanup technologies:
  • soil vapor extraction: 90 BMPs
  • air sparging: 88 BMPs
  • pump and treat: 95 BMPs
  • in-situ chemical oxidation: 88 BMPs
  • bioremediation/monitored natural attenuation: 90 BMPs
  • in-situ thermal treatment:100 BMPs
  • phytotechnology: 92 BMPs
  • subsurface containment & treatment barriers: 80 BMPs
  • excavation and surface restoration: 93 BMPs
  • ex-situ bio/chemical oxidation: 75 BMPs
  • vapor intrusion mitigation: 77 BMPs
How do I reference the standard guide in my report?
The following citation should be used: ASTM E2893-13, 2013, "Standard Guide for Greener Cleanups," ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2013, DOI: 10.1520/E2893, www.astm.org.
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 OSWER program office representatives.

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


For background information:

  • See the December 2013 memorandum (PDF) (3 pp, 626K) from EPA's OSWER Assistant Administrator to regional administrators and OSWER 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, OSWER recommends that EPA's regional offices and OSWER program offices facilitate and encourage use of the standard guide in efforts to implement greener cleanup practices.
  • View EPA's Fall 2015 update (PDF) (1 pg, 262K) on this effort. *New*
  • See the April 2010 OSWER position (PDF) (3 pp, 618K) on a standard guide for greener cleanups.

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