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

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


Additional Resources


Phytoremediation Database
Famulari, S., North Dakota State University, 2012

Living plants can be used to remove, transfer, stabilize, and/or destroy contaminants in the soil, air, and groundwater and can be used for radioactive toxins, metals and metalloids, and many types of organic compounds, including hydrocarbons. This database consists of phytoremediation research data gathered, illustrated, and compiled between 2007 and 2011. The database can be searched by type or name of contaminant and common or scientific names of plants.

Phytotechnology Project Profiles Database

Over 165 projects encompassing international, completed, and ongoing phytotechnology applications have been found in the literature and documented in this database. Each profile contains information about relevant site background, the types of contaminants treated, type of vegetation used, phytotechnology mechanisms, planting date, project size, location, cost, monitoring and performance results, as well as points of contact and references.

Superfund Remedy Report
U.S. EPA, Office of Superfund Remediation and Technology Innovation.

This report documents treatment technology applications at more than 1,900 soil and groundwater cleanup projects at National Priorities List (NPL) sites. The ASR is based on the analysis of Records of Decision signed since 1982.


This searchable database contains abstracts of recent research results from the USDA's Agricultural Research Service. Information concerning ARS/USDA phytoremediation studies can be found there.

Technology Innovation News Survey

The Technology Innovation News Survey contains market/commercialization information; reports on demonstrations, feasibility studies and research; and other news relevant to the hazardous waste community interested in technology development. The database is updated every two weeks. Search Archives for 'Phytotechnologies'

Interest Groups

COST 859: Phytotechnologies to Promote Sustainable Land Use and Improve Food Safety

During its 5-year period of activity (2004-2009), COST Action 859 demonstrated ways in which plants can be used to accumulate toxic metals and organic pollutants from contaminated sites for cleanup purposes, to prevent further degradation of our environment, and to remediate damage caused by an industrialized society. It also showed that crops with a reduced capacity to accumulate toxic metals and organic pollutants in edible parts are valuable to improve food safety.

International Phytotechnology Society

The International Phytotechnology Society (IPS) is a nonprofit, worldwide professional society comprised of individuals and institutions engaged in the science and application of using plants to deal with environmental problems. Abstracts from the International Phytotechnologies Conference are available on the site.

Interstate Technology Regulatory Council (ITRC)

ITRC is a state-led coalition working together with industry and stakeholders to achieve regulatory acceptance of environmental technologies. A team of state regulators and phytotechnology experts has produced several resources on phytotechnologies, including a 2009 update.


Phytoremediation Electronic Newsgroup Network, sponsored by the Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Parma, Italy

Kansas State University.

This mailing list is for the discussion of research and development of the use of plants to remediate contamination. Any topic relevant to the use of plants for the remediation of soils, sediments, and groundwater is appropriate.

Literature Resources

Plant-Based Remediation Processes
Gupta, D.K. (ed).
Springer, New York. Soil Biology, Vol. 35, ISBN: 978-3-642-35563-9, 299 pp, 2013

The main focus of this volume is on advances in the use of green plants for phytoremediation of various metals and metalloids. Topics include biomonitoring of heavy metal pollution, amendments that promote higher uptake of toxic metals, transport of heavy metals in plants, and toxicity mechanisms, agro-technological methods for minimizing pollution while improving soil quality, transgenic approaches to heavy metal remediation, and protocols for metal remediation via in vitro root cultures. Additional Information

Short Rotation Populus: A Bibliography of North American Literature, 1989-2011
Zalesny, R.S. and D.R. Coyle (compilers).
U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station. General Technical Report NRS-110, 103 pp, 2013

This bibliography contains 864 unique citations that are cross-listed among as many as three topic areas, resulting in 1,395 total entries. The topic areas are cell and tissue culture, conservation, diseases, economics and social science, general, genetics, global change, growth and productivity, insects and mites, physiology, phytotechnologies, silviculture, and wood science and wood products. The phytotechnologies bibliography concerning the use of poplars for environmental remediation covers pages 82-90.

Multimedia Resources

The Clean Green-Phytoremediation
U.S. EPA, Environmental Response Team, 15 minutes, 2001

At the Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland, a field-scale pilot project uses poplar trees to contain toxic materials in a limited area and possibly degrade them into nontoxic byproducts. At a former battery manufacturing facility in Trenton, New Jersey, a field of lead-tolerant plants is removing lead from the soil around the outside of the factory building.

Crozet Phytoremediation
U.S. EPA, CLU-IN Publications and Studio, 16 minutes, 2007

This video shows how specialized ferns are being used to manage arsenic contamination from past pesticide use at a small residential property in Crozet, Virginia. The video discusses the financial and ecological advantages this process has over traditional techniques. The project incorporates many of the principles of Green Remediation.

Tree Selection & Growth: Opportunities for Phytotechnologies in Urban Areas
Zalesny, R.S. Jr., U.S. Forest Service, Northern Research Station.
Urban Natural Resources Institute, Video (58 minutes), 21 Mar 2012

The webcast can be viewed using the embedded video viewer, or a copy of the webcast can be downloaded. Supporting material Adobe PDF Logo (53 slides) is also available.

Presentations, Papers, & Reports

2000 Phytoremediation: State of the Science Conference, Boston, Massachusetts

2003 International Applied Phytotechnologies Conference

This conference provided technical information and assisted professionals in the regulatory community tasked with oversight of design, implementation, and monitoring at sites that use phytotechnology. Information on international efforts was provided by speakers from Asia, Australia, Europe, and South America.

2005 Third International Phytotechnologies Conference, April 20-22, 2005

This conference contributed to the understanding of different plant-based technologies, provided examples of the integration of research science and field applications, and identified research needs.

2009 Sixth International Phytotechnologies Conference, December 1-4, 2009: Presentations

Adobe PDF Logo2010 Seventh International Phytotechnologies Conference, September 26-29, 2010: Abstracts

Adobe PDF LogoAbstract Book: 11th International Phytotechnologies Conference, September 30-October 3, 2014, Heraklion, Crete, Greece

Selected papers from the 2014 conference were published in a special issue of the International Journal of Phytoremediation 18(6):2016.

Adobe PDF LogoAbstract Book: 12th International Phytotechnologies Conference, 27-30 September 2015, Manhattan, KS: Phytotechnologies for Sustainable Development

Application of Phytotechnologies for Cleanup of Industrial, Agricultural, and Wastewater Contamination
Kulakow, P.A. and V.V. Pidlisnyuk (eds.).
Springer, New York. ISBN: 978-90-481-3592-9, 198 pp, 2010

Following several introductory chapters on general background topics, chapters 4 through 7 discuss the potential of phytotechnologies to reduce the risks associated with the presence of persistent organic pollutants. Chapters 8 through 10 focus on plant-based methods to address inorganic contaminants, such as radionuclides, arsenic, and coal fly ash. The final three chapters focus on the use of vegetation to manage organic contaminants, including the use of evapotranspiration covers to manage landfill leachate. Table of contents and abstracts

Enhancing Stakeholder Acceptance of Bioremediation Technologies
Focht, W., M. Albright, and R.P. Anex Jr.
DOE/ER/63798-1, 228 pp, 2009

This report details the results of an inquiry into the judgments and beliefs of people living near DOE reservations and facilities at Oak Ridge, TN; Hanford, WA; and Los Alamos, NM, about bioremediation of subsurface contamination. The purpose of the investigation was to identify strategies based on these judgments and beliefs for enhancing public support for biological remediation technologies, such as bioremediation, phytoremediation, and biobarriers.

Adobe PDF LogoLinking Phytoremediated Pollutant Removal to Biomass Economic Opportunities
L.A. Licht and J.G. Isebrands. Manuscript version of a paper published in Biomass and Bioenergy 28(2):203-218(2005)

Case studies of commercial applications of phytohydraulic control of leachate, surface water, or groundwater are presented for a riparian buffer, a landfill buffer vegetation filter, a landfill cap of poplar trees, and the Ashland Chemical Superfund site.

Adobe PDF LogoNew Technologies to Compute Transpiration and Water Balances for Phytoremediation Projects
M. McClung and M. van Bavel.
IP Tech, 17 presentation slides, 2005

Phytotechnologies in Practice: Biomass Production, Agricultural Methods, Legacy, Legal and Economic Aspects, October 14-17, 2008, Verneuil-en-Halatte, France: Book of Abstracts
INERIS (Inst. National de l'Environnement Industriel et des Risques), ISBN: 978-2-85498-024-0, 107 pp, 2008

This book of abstracts documents the October 2008 meeting of COST Action 859 Working Group 4 for the integration and application of phytotechnologies. The program focused on two main topics: phytotechnologies in practice (phytoextraction, phytostabilization, constructed wetlands, phytoremediation of organics), and the legacy, legal, and economic aspects of biomass production and valorization. The final session was devoted to the potential of phytoremediation in emerging countries, particularly to application of phytotechnologies on contaminated areas around Chernobyl and plant uptake of heavy metals in dredged aquatic sediments in Vietnam.

Adobe PDF LogoRadionuclide Biological Remediation Resource Guide
EPA 905-B-04-001, 68 pp, 2004

This guide presents technical information and identifies resources related to phytotechnologies, bioremediation, and other cleanup technologies applicable to radioactive materials.

Web Sites

Bioremediation and Phytoremediation Glossary

This glossary presents terms related to bioremediation (biological treatment) and phytoremediation (remediation using green plants) of environmental pollutants. Links to other environmental glossaries are at the bottom of the page. Copyright 1998

The International Journal of Phytoremediation

This journal is the first serial publication devoted to the presentation of current laboratory and field research describing the use of plant systems to remediate contaminated environments.

Adobe PDF LogoMaking the Case for Ecological Enhancements
Interstate Technology & Regulatory Council (ITRC) and the Wildlife Habitat Council.
ECO-1, 86 pp, 2004

Phytotechnologies used in remediation can play a part in ecological restoration. This report contains 25 brief brownfield reclamation case studies, 14 of which involve phytoremediation (both successes and failures).

University of Colorado, Department of Biology, Student Projects.

In a series of Web-based reports, students at the University of Colorado have developed reviews focused on different uses of phytotechnologies for a wide range of contamination problems.

Phytoremediation of Organics Action Team
Remediation Technologies Development Forum (RTDF).

The former Action Team's mission was to bring together technological, environmental, and regulatory interests to develop and demonstrate phytoremediation technologies that can clean up soils and groundwater contaminated with organics, and to achieve regulatory and public acceptance of these technologies. The Technical Documents section contains reports, meeting summaries, information on phytoremediation demonstration projects, and a searchable database of over 1,100 citations. Although the RTDF became inactive at the end of June 2006, the Web site and all RTDF products will be available until at least 2010.

U.S. Geological Survey, Toxic Substances Hydrology Program