By John Bailey, Environmental Compliance Advisor
Green remediation is the practice of considering environmental impacts of remediation activities at every stage of the remedial process in order to maximize the net environmental benefit of a cleanup. Considerations include selection of a remedy, energy requirements, efficiency of on-site activities, and reduction of impacts on surrounding areas. -US EPA, 2009
The goal of green remediation is to minimize the environmental impact of remedial activities, without compromising the effectiveness of the clean-up. This can be accomplished by reducing:
• Total energy use – fuel burning vehicles, shipment of materials and supplies (from the point of manufacture to the site), computers, lights heat and air conditioning at the office where reports are prepared, fuel or energy required to operate remediation system;
• Byproducts of remediation – CO2, heat, and other byproducts emitted as a result of vehicle use, remedial system operation, and sometime breakdown of contaminants.
A key component to minimize environmental impacts is determining the impacts of off-site activities such as manufacturing, transportation, and power use. For example if a part for a remediation system located in Boston is sourced from a manufacturer in China the amount of energy required for transportation alone can be tremendous compared to local sourcing of parts. As you can see, the environmental impact of a remediation system can be reduced just by changing vendors.
Other ways to reduce environmental impact include:
• Minimize vehicle usage to reduce energy loss through fuel consumption. This does not mean not using vehicles at sites, but rather planning work to make the most effective use of vehicle time.
• Minimize soil and water disturbance during remediation by using in-situ remediation technologies such as monitored natural attenuation and chemical oxidation versus ex-situ remediation technologies such as pump-and-treat groundwater remediation or soil excavation.
There are many ways to make remediation activities more “green,” pre-project planning and on-going analysis during remediation are key components to identify what the true “environmental cost” of remedial activities are.
By Ian Lanza, Life Sciences Operations Coordinator
The Institute of Hazardous Material Managers (IHMM) CHMM and CHMP certification has received international accreditation from the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) under ANSI/ISO/IEC 17024, the international standard for personnel certification programs. This accreditation is a huge step for the IHMM. It recognizes the skills and abilities of professionals holding IHMM certifications. IHMM certified professionals have the skills and abilities to implement policies, practices, procedures for the management of hazardous materials to protect humans and the environmental from the potential dangers and risks of hazardous materials.
By Eric Chebator, Environmental Specialist
In a faulting economy pleasure boats and working vessels are being cast off into abandonment. Usually a money-pit for extra income, boats are now being found to be deserted to avoid disposal and storage fees. An estimated 12,000 dollars can amount for removal costs of just one sunken sailboat. California alone spends about 500,000 dollars each year removing orphaned recreational boats. These boats rotting away in boatyards or floating up onshore begin to leak oil and degrade hazardous bottom paint. Boat bottom coating usually contains Chromium, Lead, and Mercury among other hazardous chemicals which can lead to a dangerous environmental fate. Marine services such as proper decontamination, recycling, and decommissioning of these vessels can lead to a positive environmental impact. Costs for dismantling and recycling of vessels are usually only 15-20 dollars per foot. That is nothing compared to the estimated 1500 dollars for vessel abandonment fines! Best management practices for decommissioning and disposing of vessels include:
• Emptying the boat's fuel tanks for reuse or disposal of used gasoline as hazardous waste
• Remove and recycle/dispose of the following boat parts and fluid:
o Used oil
o Used antifreeze
o Boat engine (can be recycled as scrap metal)
o Any metals that can be recycled (aluminum, lead, zinc)
• Remove all mercury containing devices (i.e., some electronic equipment, bilge pump switches, old ship's barometers) and handle as hazardous waste.
• Decontaminate the hull with pressure washer and dispose of the wastewater as hazardous waste
Once the vessel is completely stripped it can then be cut into smaller pieces and disposed of in a local landfill. Proper permits and equipment is required for some of these decontamination procedures so be sure to contact a professional environmental services firm prior to disposal.
By Jeremy Brandl, Engineering Technician for External Compliance
Contamination affecting water groundwater quality may come from point or non-point sources, or a combination of both. Groundwater contamination could pose significant risk to health, safety, the environment, and public welfare. Point source pollution is the introduction of a non-native pollutants into a groundwater aquifer. A point source impurity enters the water resource at an identifiable, distinct location though a direct route. Discharges from point sources of pollution often are continuous, and easier to identify discharges into the environment.
Examples of point sources include:
* Industrial plants
* Commercial businesses
* Wastewater treatment plants
Non-Point source pollution is the introduction of a non-native pollutants into a groundwater aquifer. This source pollution is caused by rainfall or snowmelt moving over and through the ground. As the runoff moves, it picks up and carries away natural and human-made pollutants, finally depositing them into lakes, rivers, wetlands, coastal waters, and even our underground sources of drinking water. Because of these properties, non-point sources are difficult to control.
Examples of non-point sources include:
* Agricultural runoff
* Urban runoff
* Atmospheric Deposition
By John Bailey, Environmental Compliance Advisor
The Massachusetts Contingency Plan (310 CMR 40.0000 or "the MCP") is the regulatory framework for notification and cleanup of releases of oil and/or hazardous materials to the environment in Massachusetts. Section 40.0300 of the MCP includes conditions which require notification to the MA DEP within a set timeframe (2 hours, 72 hours or 120 days).
Releases and Threats of Release which require notification of the MA DEP within two hours include:
Sudden, continuous or intermittent releases to the environment of:
- OHM greater than reportable quantity or likely to exceed the reportable quantity within 24 hours;
- OHM of unknown quantity, quantity that is likely greater than reportable quantity, or likely to exceed the reportable quantity within 24 hours;
- Oil or waste oil that results in the appearance of a sheen on surface water;
- OHM indicated by the measurement of concentrations equal or greater than the RCGW-1 Reportable Concentration in a private drinking water well;
- Any OHM that poses or could pose an Imminent Hazard; and
- Any OHM indirectly discharged to the environment by a discharge to a stormwater drainage system or a sanitary sewer system.
A threat of release to the environment of OHM that:
- Is likely to be about to occur and will be equal or greater than the applicable reportable quantity; and
- Which poses or could pose an Imminent Hazard.
The next post on this topic will include information on other notification conditions, and important information to keep in mind when evaluating notification conditions.