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Developing a Guide for Implementing Green and Sustainable Remediation

Working with New York State Department of Environmental Conservation


While environmental cleanup projects have a reputation for being green, they are not all created equal. With the impacts of climate change becoming a progressively more important consideration, employing green and sustainable remediation (GSR) techniques has become an increasing focus for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC).

The NYSDEC has published several guidance documents, including DER-10, DER-31, CP-49 and EO-22, in an effort to reduce the environmental footprint of remediation projects, while still maintaining effective protection of human health and the environment. The guidance in DER-31 seeks to minimize the associated environmental impacts, such as greenhouse gas emissions and waste generation, and encourages the consideration of green remediation concepts through all phases of the remedial program, including promoting the use of best management practices (BMPs).

TRC has been working with the NYSDEC to promote GSR in several initiatives, including routinely calculating the environmental footprint of remediation projects. One successful initiative was the development of BMPs for various stages of the remediation process and remediation technologies.


TRC created a set of 10 informative fact sheets identifying BMPs for remediation projects.
These present GSR principals which can be applied throughout a project’s lifecycle by highlighting potential GSR opportunities at the investigation, remedy selection, remediation, long-term monitoring and optimization phases.

Additional BMPs are included in the fact sheets focused on specific project phases, such as feasibility studies and site management. Other BMPs for remediation technologies including excavation, soil vapor extraction, chemical injection, thermal treatment, landfill closure and pump and treat systems are included in the guide developed by TRC. The fact sheets are posted on the NYSDEC website here.

The NYSDEC Guide for Implementing Green and Sustainable Remediation is a great reference that combines information from the USEPA and practical lessons learned by TRC’s subject matter experts. The BMPs are presented in a quick reference format. Using the information presented in this guide will promote reductions in the environmental footprint at various stages of a remedial project.


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