EPA Region 2 Announces 'Clean & Green' Policy for Remediation Projects

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May 5, 2009

On March 17, 2009, in the spirit of green for St. Patrick’s day, Region 2 posted its “Clean & Green” policy for remediation projects.  The policy establishes a preference for sustainable technologies and practices, such as use of renewable energy, cleaner fuels, greenhouse gas emission reduction technologies, water conservation and sustainable site design. The policy applies to Superfund cleanups performed by potentially Responsible Parties, as well as by EPA and Army Corps of Engineer contractors. It will also apply to RCRA corrective action cleanups performed under EPA oversight and cleanup work under EPA’s Brownfields grant program.  Of course it will apply to work on federal facilities.

The region has focused on four key green remediation technologies it refers to as “Touchstone Technologies:” The use of these technologies is required unless site specific conditions, as evaluated by EPA, make it impractical to use them or favor another green alternative. The Touchstone Technologies are: 1) the purchase of 100% of electricity from renewable sources; 2) use of concrete made with Coal Combustion Products to replace a portion of traditional cement, 3) use of clean diesel fuels and technologies, and 4) methane capture at landfill sites. Other green practices, such as reusing or recycling industrial materials, using WaterSense products, employing sustainable site design or converting the site to an environmental use such as solar power generation, are voluntary.

Region 2 intends to measure the cost differential and environmental benefits from implementing the policy by tracking quantities of materials reduced, reused or recycled, water saved, GHG emission reductions and the like. Region 2 also intends to encourage the use of the policy by state authorized and state led remediations.