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

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

Recent Announcements

Global Efforts to Advance Remediation at Contaminated Sites

AquaConSoil 2013-2017

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AquaConSoil 2017 | AquaConSoil 2015 | AquaConSoil 2013 | ConSoil 2010 | ConSoil 2008 | ConSoil 2005

AquaConSoil, previously known as ConSoil, is an international conference on soil-water systems in Europe. At AquaConSoil:

  • Scientists are able to exchange the latest results of their fundamental research
  • Engineers present progress in technical innovation
  • Managers communicate about current and future technologies and business challenges
  • Policy makers discuss the shaping of national and international strategies and attempt to harmonize international legislation
  • Companies active in remediation, consulting, banking and insurance present and exchange news, knowledge and practice
  • International networks meet and present themselves to a broad audience.

AquaConSoil 2017, Lyon, France

The 14th International AquaConSoil Conference focused on sustainable use and management of soil, sediment and water resources. The USEPA's Technology Innovation and Field Services Division (TIFSD) contributed to this event by presenting information in a training session and poster.

  • SpS 4a.1: Implementation of Treatment Technologies and Innovative Remediation Practices in the USEPA Superfund Program
    Organizers: Carlos S. Pachon and Stephen A. Dyment (United States Environmental Protection Agency)

    Since the inception of the Superfund program in the United States, federal, state and local governments, and private industry have invested billions of dollars annually to clean up sites contaminated with hazardous waste and petroleum products. A technology innovation program was established early in Superfund for the advancement of promising state-of the-art technologies and tools for streamlining and improving the cost, performance and duration of site cleanups. In this session, EPA experts from the technology innovation program presented a summary of recent analyses on trends in the use of innovative technologies and engineering practices at Superfund sites.

    The 90-minute session included recent insights on the selection of treatment technologies, including an analysis of how remedies are combined and managed to gain maximum leverage of their strengths. Combined remedies address site contamination spatially and temporally to capitalize on synergies between technologies and help meet remedial action objectives. The session also summarized findings from over two hundred remedy optimization efforts conducted at major Superfund remediation projects. An analysis of more than 700 unique optimization recommendations identified five major recommendation categories; remedy effectiveness, technical improvement, cost reduction, site closure and green remediation.

  • Poster Session: Westward Expansion to Urban Remediation and Watershed Reclamation — US EPA Superfund Optimization Lessons Learned at Legacy Mining and Smelter Sites in the American West
    Organizers: Carlos S. Pachon and Stephen A. Dyment (United States Environmental Protection Agency)

    Westward expansion and development in the American West includes a history rich in mining and smelting operations. This same legacy has resulted in tens of thousands of historical and abandoned hard rock mine and smelter sites throughout the Western United States. The most contaminated and dangerous sites are often addressed through EPA's Superfund removal and remedial programs. These large remote mining sites and historical smelters in populated areas can each present unique and significant challenges to characterization, risk assessment, and remediation. Smelter sites in residential settings often focus on metals exposures from soil and dust while mining sites and districts can present challenges from metals contamination in groundwater, surface water, soil, and sediment.

    This 90-minute session explored the evolution of addressing mine and smelter sites in the US EPA Superfund program and presented a series of best practices identified through recent optimization reviews of existing remedies. The best practices reflect programmatic challenges as well as opportunities to approach these sites from a watershed perspective seeking to characterize and remediate these sites using a holistic approach. This session identified characterization strategies, tools, and techniques along with passive/active remediation technologies currently operated in the Superfund program, soil amendments, and other techniques that highlight EPA's efforts to address mining sites in the most sustainable and protective manner. For smelter-related sites, the session discussed historical efforts to address lead, arsenic and other smelter related metals in residential soil while providing the latest findings and best practices associated with the use of x-ray fluorescence (XRF) analysis and incremental sampling for residential soil and indoor dust at Superfund sites.

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AquaConSoil 2015, Copenhagen, Denmark

The 13th International AquaConSoil Conference focused on sustainable use and management of soil, sediment and water resources. The USEPA's Technology Innovation and Field Services Division (TIFSD) contributed to this event by presenting information in three training sessions and one panel session.

  • SpS 1A.7S. US EPA Session 1: Best Practices for Site Characterization (7.2MB/37pp/PDF)
    Organizers: Carlos S. Pachon and Stephen A. Dyment (United States Environmental Protection Agency)

    A clear theme arising from EPA's optimization studies is the need for more accurate characterization of site conditions to ensure remedy efficiency and success. The goal of the session was to share our lessons learned, discuss opportunities and challenges with professionals in the audience and to gain insights from the experiences of others. This session presented an overview of efforts to "optimize" site characterization, including leveraging the use of existing site data, the importance and application of a "life-cycle" Conceptual Site Model (CSM), the use of high resolution site characterization techniques to improve the design and implementation of groundwater remedies, the use of incremental sampling methodologies to improve the representativeness of characterization of soils, and the use of newer visualization tools to better plan and monitor site cleanup.

  • SpS 1C.30S. US EPA Session 2: Evolution of Optimization and other Key Trends in Cleanups: A Superfund Perspective (8.0MB/63pp/PDF)
    Organizers: Carlos S. Pachon and Stephen A. Dyment (United States Environmental Protection Agency)

    The evolution of the Superfund program has progressed from an early focus on pump & treat systems and long term monitoring networks, to a more comprehensive and holistic site evaluation conducted at any phase throughout the cleanup process. The ultimate goal is design, construction, and operation of the most efficient, effective, and protective remedies EPA and stakeholders can provide. This session explored the evolution of EPA's optimization programs and highlighted how thinking has evolved from presumptive application of large scale aggressive remediation technologies to a focus on high resolution site characterization and conceptual site model development in support of adaptive management for application of multiple targeted treatment technologies. The session was opened for a discussion on key trends in cleanup, research and development efforts, and needs faced by the cleanup community as a whole.

  • SpS 1C.31S. US EPA Session 3: Optimizing remedies, greener cleanups and trends in site cleanup
    Organizers: Carlos S. Pachon and Stephen A. Dyment (United States Environmental Protection Agency)

    As the EPA Superfund Cleanup program moves forward with the cleanup of the most contaminated sites in the U.S., the concept of remedy optimization has become a central tenet to maximize the return on cleanup investments. This session was more in-depth and technical than session 1C.30S, focusing on trends in the use of various treatment technologies in the context of lessons learned from optimization reviews. The session also covered green remediation perspectives, including developments and findings from the application of green remediation in the U.S. Superfund and other cleanup programs and insights on the recently released American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) Standard Guide for Greener Cleanups. The session included a brief discussion of how EPA integrates social and economic elements of sustainability in Superfund cleanups.

  • SpS 1C.4S. Sustainable Remediation — avoiding greenwash by striving to demonstrate better results
    Organizers: Claudio Albano (CH2M Hill & SuRF Italy & International SuRF Network), Laurent Bakker (TAUW & NICOLE SRWG)
    Moderators: Jonathan Smith (Shell Global Solutions & SuRF UK), Dominique Darmendrail (COMMON FORUM on Contaminated Land in Europe)

    In London 2008 Soil and Groundwater Technology Association (SAGTA) in association with Network for Industrially Contaminated Land in Europe (NICOLE) held the first European conference raising the issue of sustainability in land remediation. Concurrently Sustainable Remediation Forum-UK (SuRF-UK) along with a NICOLE Working Group on Sustainable Remediation were established providing new forums to exchange information and innovating concepts. Now there are Sustainable Remediation Fora all around the world and international knowledge exchange is well established. Over the years these networks have strived to present case studies proving the advantages of sustainable remediation but have noticed many case studies of "greenwash" instead. Decision making should be kept simple when possible and more complex if appropriate. We have noticed a trend that all kinds of complex tools and methodologies are now being used although the reasoning to choose the most suitable sustainable solution is often obvious, primarily when proper stakeholder engagement is in place. The session provided updates on activities and learnings and opportunities for discussion and networking.

    1. Introduction to the session

    2. Sustainable remediation, update on results and activities
      • International cooperation (Nicola Harries; CL:AIRE, SuRF International)
      • US EPA Experiences Building Sustainability into Contaminated Site Programs (Carlos Pachon; US EPA)
      • The NICOLE roadmap and European experiences (Laurent Bakker; TAUW & NICOLE)
      • Key findings of the 3rd Sustainable Remediation Conference at Ferrara, September 2014 (Claudio Albano; CH2MHILL, SuRF Italy)

    3. Discussion: International Fora and Programmes — Strengths and Weaknesses
      • Are there learnings from an international exchange?
      • Where are Opportunities and Threats to national SuRF chapters?
      • Have you ever seen a case study providing records and demonstrating all three pillars of sustainability?
      • Are we heading in the right direction, do we oversee things?

    4. Summary and next activities

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AquaConSoil 2013, Barcelona, Spain

The scope of the 2013 conference expanded from the prior eleven conferences to include soil-water system functions use, resource efficiency, and resource management in semiarid regions. The USEPA's Technology Innovation and Field Services Division (TIFSD) contributed to this event by presenting information in technical and special sessions and full-day training.

  • D3.3. Methods and Tools for Environmental Footprint Assessment

    This technical session provided examples from the US, UK, Spain, Australia, Italy, and Belgium where various techniques for green and/or sustainable remediation were used to reduce the environmental, economic, and/or social footprint of contaminated site cleanup. The USEPA's presentation addressed "Protecting Human Health & the Environment with a Lower Environmental Footprint: US EPA's Experience to Date"

  • SpS9b. Common Themes and Practice in Achieving Sustainable Remediation Worldwide, with Case Studies and Debate: Sustainable Remediation in Practice

    This special session included two case studies, one in the Netherlands and one in the UK, followed by a panel discussion on international implementation of sustainable remediation approaches. The three-member panel, which consisted of representatives from industrial, cleanup service, and regulatory organizations, discussed issues such as how regulatory approaches impact sustainability, major barriers for improving sustainability in remediation, and the most important benefits of international cooperation. (Presentation [208KB/10pp/PDF])

  • EPA 1,2,3. The Best Management Practices for Site Assessment, Site Remediation, and Green Remediation Footprint Reduction

    The USEPA held this one-day training course to: (1) describe how best management practices (BMPs) can be used to significantly reduce data collection costs, expedite project schedules, enhance stakeholder communication, and improve project and site decision quality; (2) present an overview of available remedial technologies, considerations for selecting the appropriate remedy, specific remedial approaches, and BMPs to consider throughout the remediation process; and (3) summarize the USEPA's view on green remediation and the performance of environmental footprint assessments, as described in the USEPA's "Methodology for Understanding and Reducing a Project's Environmental Footprint" report.

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ConSoil 2010, Salzburg, Austria

ConSoil 2010The 11th International UFZ-Deltares/TNO Conference on Management of Soil, Groundwater and Sediment (aka ConSoil 2010) brought together parties from all aspects of the cleanup community to exchange ideas and experiences on the management of soil, groundwater, and sediment. Themes for the conference included restoration, new functions of the subsurface, sustainable management of land use and the subsurface, and management of contamination at a regional scale.

The USEPA's Technology Innovation and Field Services Division (TIFSD) conducted five 90-minute training sessions; four focused on environmental cleanup optimization regimens conducted at specific project phases and one focused on how to effectively leverage a variety of U.S.-based information resources to support optimization and cleanup efforts. The training courses were taught by subject matter experts from EPA and supporting organizations and covered:

The USEPA also participated in two special sessions:

  • SpS 8A. Sustainable Remediation: International Initiatives

    This panel session focused on the state of international implementation of sustainable environmental remediation. Speakers included representatives from the USEPA; Environment Canada; SURF US, SURF UK, SURF NL, and SURF Australia; EURODEMO+; NICOLE; and the Common Forum. In support of this session, a draft white paper (938KB/22pp/PDF) was prepared to: define the concepts of sustainable remediation and green remediation; highlight their synergies and differences; present information on the evolution of the practices; and identify recent and future collaborations of the international organizations.

  • SpS 8B. Sustainable Remediation - Case studies: Does it make a difference?

    This session provided examples from the US, UK, and Australia where green and/or sustainable remediation aspects were considered in either remedy selection or during implementation of site remediation. Case studies provided information on particular constraints given by regulatory frames or within participatory processes. The USEPA's presentation addressed, "Greening Environmental Cleanups with Traditional and Innovative Technologies" (Abstract [61KB/1p/PDF]) (Presentation [1MB/18pp/PDF])

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ConSoil 2008, Milano, Italy

The 10th ConSoil Conference continued the successful program of previous ConSoil events. Besides the traditional ConSoil focus on contamination of soil and groundwater, ConSoil 2008 again dealt with the functioning of soil-water systems. With this multi-media focus, ConSoil 2008 followed the European Union policy that aimed at sound and integrated management of soil-water systems in Europe. ConSoil stayed the platform to exchange news and knowledge among scientists, policy makers, consultants/service providers, administrators, site owners/river basin managers, remediation companies/contractors, and banking and insurance companies.

USEPA's Technology Innovation and Field Services Division (TIFSD) participated at ConSoil by conducting numerous training sessions. Through panel discussions, TIFSD provided a perspective on the expanding influence of specific best management and technical practices and introduced the concept of green remediation.

  • Introduction to the Tools and Mechanics of Systematic Planning (Presenter Bios) (MS PowerPoint [16.7MB/PPT]) (Adobe Acrobat [4.90MB/PDF])
  • Conducting a Demonstration of Method Applicability and Designing Quality Control Programs for X-Ray Fluorescence in Soil (Presenter Bio) (MS PowerPoint [6.36MB/PPT]) (Adobe Acrobat [1.80MB/PDF])
  • Green Remediation: Evolving Best Management Practices (Presenter Bios) (MS PowerPoint [3.95MB/PPT]) (Adobe Acrobat [1.18MB/PDF])
  • The Critical Role of Data Management (Presenter Bios) (MS PowerPoint [13.3MB/PPT]) (Adobe Acrobat [5.99MB/PDF])
  • Triad Best Management Practices Part 1 - Conceptual Site Model Case Studies (Presenter Bios) (MS PowerPoint [50.7MB/PPT]) (Adobe Acrobat [7.78MB/PDF])
  • Triad Best Management Practices Part 2 - Dynamic Work Strategies Case Studies (Presenter Bios) (MS PowerPoint [61.4MB/PPT]) (Adobe Acrobat [9.99MB/PDF])
  • Sampling Design Avoiding Pitfalls in Environmental Sampling - Part 1 (Presenter Bios) (MS PowerPoint [2.91MB/PPT]) (Adobe Acrobat [1.22MB/PDF])
  • Sampling Design Avoiding Pitfalls in Environmental Sampling - Part 2 (Presenter Bios) (MS PowerPoint [2.65MB/PPT]) (Adobe Acrobat [1.38MB/PDF])
  • U.S. - European Union Panel (Presenter Bio) (MS PowerPoint [0.56MB/PPT]) (Adobe Acrobat [0.12MB/PDF])

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ConSoil 2005, Bordeaux, France

During ConSoil 2005, a set of panel sessions entitled "25 Years of Contaminated Land Management - Achievements and Work Still to Be Done" was presented and for the first time in ConSoil history, the live audience was joined by additional participants via the Internet and telephone. The panel sessions discussed the fact that in the 1980s, several countries around the world were confronted with soil contamination as a 'new', but very real threat. The sessions reflected on what happened, described the status, and peeked into the future.

Panel 1: Shifts in Contaminated Site Management in the EU and US

Panel 2: From Site Screening to Redevelopment, Progress in Every Step

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For more information on Global Efforts to Advance Remediation at Contaminated Sites, please contact:

Carlos Pachon
Technology Integration and Information Branch

PH: (703) 603-9904 | Email: pachon.carlos@epa.gov