“Sustainability’ is the new buzz word being used to show that businesses and governments care about the planet and inhabitants. Manufacturing and commercial companies and governmental agencies have developed policies and practices to show how green their operations are and are used to obtain “Green Entity” or “Responsible Resource Management” certificates from various certifying bodies.
Yet sustainability has not been applied to remediation in a consistent and constant manner. The public demands past releases be cleaned up yesterday and does not care about the energy demands, space and resource requirements and secondary impacts caused by the remediation process. Other interested parties only focus on greenhouse gases (GHG) as though sustainable water and land use is easily converted into equivalent GHG units.
Even in these situations, sustainable remediation technology can be used to cause less adverse impact to the environment and human health than leaving the contamination in place. This paper will discuss how to remediate the contaminated in a cost effective, holistic and plant friendly process without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs.