Environmental remediation

5 Years After BP Oil Spill, Effects Linger And Recovery Is Slow

Read the full story from NPR.

Five years ago, BP’s out-of-control oil well deep in the Gulf of Mexico exploded. Eleven workers were killed on the Deepwater Horizon rig. But it was more than a deadly accident — the blast unleashed the nation’s worst offshore environmental catastrophe.

In the spring and summer of 2010, oil gushed from the Macondo well for nearly three months. More than three million barrels of Louisiana light crude fouled beaches and wetlands from Texas to Florida, affecting wildlife and livelihoods.

Today, the spill’s impacts linger.

​Scientists develop mesh that captures oil — but lets water through

Read the full story from Ohio State University.

The unassuming piece of stainless steel mesh in a lab at The Ohio State University doesn’t look like a very big deal, but it could make a big difference for future environmental cleanups.

Water passes through the mesh but oil doesn’t, thanks to a nearly invisible oil-repelling coating on its surface…

The mesh coating is among a suite of nature-inspired nanotechnologies under development at Ohio State and described in two papers (here and here) in the journal Nature Scientific Reports. Potential applications range from cleaning oil spills to tracking oil deposits underground.

$6.1M more to clean ex-mill site

Read the full story in the Times-Union.

More toxic PCBs will be removed from the polluted former Adirondack Steel mill in the third taxpayer-subsidized cleanup going back to the 1990s, with a new owner eyeing plans to redevelop the site as an industrial park.

The state Department of Environmental Conservation is planning a $6.1 million project to remove PCB-tainted soil from the former mill and forge, which closed in the late 1980s and deteriorated into a hulking eyesore off Watervliet Shaker Road near the border with Watervliet.

Could algae be the key to cleaning up Cornish mine water?

Read the full story in Western Mining News.

Westcountry scientists are using algae to develop an innovative new method of cleaning up contaminated mine water while harvesting valuable resources in the process.

Research teams from universities in Exeter, Bristol, Bath and Cardiff are piloting the technique using untreated water from Cornish tin mines.

They are hoping the process will allow them to remove precious heavy metals from the water while at the same time generating biofuels.

2015 Brownfields Assessment and Cleanup Grants

EPA’s Brownfields Assessment and Cleanup grants may be used to address sites contaminated by petroleum and hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants (including hazardous substances co-mingled with petroleum). Opportunities for funding include Brownfields Assessment Grants (each funded up to $200,000 over three years; Assessment Coalitions are funded up to $600,000 over three years) and Brownfields Cleanup Grants (each funded up to $200,000 over three years). Explore and apply here.

Application Deadline: December 19, 2014

Redevelopment in Milwaukee’s Menomonee Valley: What Worked and Why?

Download the document.

The revitalization of Milwaukee’s Menomonee Valley as an industrial, recreational, and entertainment district has been lauded both locally and nationally as a successful and sustainable urban redevelopment project. In this report, the Public Policy Forum explores how the Valley’s major improvements over the last 15 years were achieved, including an examination of the public policies, financial resources, and partnerships that were crucial to the redevelopment effort.

The purpose of this research effort is not to evaluate the success of Valley redevelopment. Indeed, we start with the premise that Valley redevelopment has been successful. Our objective, instead, is to identify and analyze the ingredients of success so that consideration can be given to replicating them elsewhere. Through analysis of Valley data and documents, and through an extensive series of interviews with public and private sector leaders, we are able to cite the major barriers that inhibited Valley redevelopment, and examine the policies, activities, and strategies that helped to overcome those barriers and facilitate private sector investments.

The report begins with a brief overview of the economic, environmental, and community improvements that have occurred in the Menomonee Valley since the late 1990s. We then explore the work that brought about those outcomes by examining five “success factors” deemed critical to the Valley’s revitalization, and by presenting four major Valley projects as case studies.