Environmental remediation

Webinar: Reuse Opportunities at Capped Superfund Sites

July 16, 2014, 1-3 PM CDT
Register here

Former landfills, abandoned dumps and other contaminated sites throughout the United States were once thought to be of limited or no value. Today, these sites are being transformed into viable commercial and industrial developments, recreational areas and wildlife areas. With forethought, coordination with regulatory agencies, and effective planning, communities and site stakeholders can return sites to productive use without jeopardizing the effectiveness of a remedial cap put into place to protect human health and the environment. Reuse can provide long-term benefits for the local community, the local government, site owners and even for EPA through continued site stewardship after remedial efforts are complete. This webinar will share examples and lessons learned from the effective assessment and successful reuse of capped sites.

New Adjuncts to ASTM Standard Guide for Greener Cleanups (ASTM E2893-13e1)

ASTM Incorporated recently released two adjuncts that facilitate use of the Standard Guide for Greener Cleanups. One adjunct is the Appendix X2 “Technical Summary Form” as a writable PDF
(ADJE289301). The second adjunct is the Appendix X3 “Greener Cleanup BMPs” table containing over 160 best management practices (BMPs) in an Excel format (ADJE289302). With the Excel format, users can sort BMPs applying to particular remediation technologies and core elements and add more BMPs. These adjunct files are available to purchase from ASTM separately or at a reduced rate with the standard.

For more information on purchasing the standard and adjuncts, see http://www.astm.org/Standards/E2893.htm .

Blight To Bright: Superfund Site Gets First Ever Utility Scale Solar Farm

Read the full story at Clean Technica.

Yes, the newly completed Hanwha Q CELLS utility-scale solar farm at a Superfund Site in Indianapolis is the first of its kind and it illustrates a point we’ve been hammering on for a while now: solar power lets you extract energy and value from already-built-upon sites, even blighted Superfund sites. That’s quite a contrast to the current practice of extracting coal by blowing the tops off pristine mountains in rural Appalachia.

Arsenic: out of groundwater and into concrete

Read the full story from Smart Planet.

Researchers have invented a system that filters arsenic out of water cheaply. They’re now working with cement and concrete companies to figure out a way to embed the resulting sludge in building materials.

Spill response ‘inadequate’ for tar sands crude on Great Lakes

Read the full story in Great Lakes Echo.

Oil that sinks is hard to clean up.

That was the big lesson after energy giant Enbridge’s pipeline burst, causing oil to flow into Michigan’s Kalamazoo River in 2010, some 75 miles from where it empties into Lake Michigan. After more than three years and a billion dollars, oil remains in the river.

So a refinery’s proposal to ship heavy crude oil from Superior across the Great Lakes has emergency responders gearing up to bolster gaps in current oil spill response plans.

And the gaps are substantial, according to a June 2013 report from the U.S. Coast Guard’s research and development division.

Rebuilding the Natural World: A Shift in Ecological Restoration

Read the full story in Yale Environment360.

From forests in Queens to wetlands in China, planners and scientists are promoting a new approach that incorporates experiments into landscape restoration projects to determine what works to the long-term benefit of nature and what does not.

On Ravaged Tar Sands Lands, Big Challenges for Reclamation

Read the full story at Yale Environment360.

The mining of Canada’s tar sands has destroyed large areas of sensitive wetlands in Alberta. Oil sands companies have vowed to reclaim this land, but little restoration has occurred so far and many scientists say it is virtually impossible to rebuild these complex ecosystems.

From mines to megawatts: The promise of ‘conflict-free Big Solar’

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

Arizona startup Green Energy Storage wants to transform an abandoned open-pit copper mine 45 miles south of Phoenix into a large-scale solar power and pumped-hydro storage facility.

Although still in the early days of development, the project (PDF), first pitched to federal energy regulators two weeks ago, could become a model for conflict-free Big Solar.

After all, contaminated former industrial sites and other degraded lands represent a relatively untapped opportunity for developers to steer clear of the litigious environmental conflicts and tradeoffs associated with large-scale solar power in ecologically sensitive and pristine areas.

China deploys drones for ‘war on pollution’

Read the full story at Smart Planet.

Numerous solutions have been suggested for fighting China’s notorious air pollution: sprinklers on top of skyscraperssmog-sucking vacuums, air-cleaning bikes.

Now, with scientists comparing China’s smog problem to a nuclear winter, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang is declaring a “war on pollution.” According to state media, that will include shutting down 50,000 “small coal-fired furnaces;” retrofitting coal-fired power plants to spew out less pollution; removing high-polluting vehicles from roads; and cleaning up water pollution.

Also, drones.