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Significance and Use
4.1 Purpose—This guide provides a process for evaluating implementing, documenting, and reporting activities to reduce the environmental footprint of a cleanup as defined by the following core elements.
4.1.1 Minimize Total Energy Use and Maximize Use of Renewable Energy—Reducing total energy use while also identifying means to increase the use of renewable energies throughout the cleanup. Possible methods may include reducing energy use, use of energy efficient equipment, use of onsite renewable resources (for example, wind, solar), and purchase of commercial energy from renewable resources.
4.1.2 Minimize Air Pollutants and Greenhouse Gas Emissions—Reducing total air emissions, including emissions of air pollutants and greenhouse gases, throughout the cleanup. Possible methods may include minimizing the generation and transport of airborne contaminants and dust, efficient use of emitting equipment (for example, vehicles and heavy equipment), use of advanced emission controls, and use of cleaner fuels or hybrid technologies.
4.1.3 Minimize Water Use and Impacts to Water Resources—Minimizing the use of water and impacts to water resources throughout the cleanup. Possible methods may include conserving water use in cleanup processes, use of water efficient products, water capture and reclamation for reuse, water efficient revegetation, and employing traditional BMPs for storm water, erosion, and sedimentation control.
4.1.4 Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle Materials and Waste—Minimizing the use of virgin materials and generation of waste throughout the cleanup as well as maximizing the use of recycled materials. Possible methods may include using recycled and locally generated materials, reusing waste materials (for example, concrete made with coal combustion products), diverting construction and demolition debris from disposal by recycling recovered resources, and using rapidly renewable materials or certified wood products.
4.1.5 Protect Land and Ecosystems—Reducing impacts to the land and ecosystem services throughout the cleanup. Possible methods may include minimizing the area requiring activity and use limitations by the removal or destruction of contaminants; identifying the presence of and limiting the disturbance of mature, non-invasive, native vegetation, surface hydrology, soils, and habitats in the cleanup area; and minimizing noise and light disturbance.
4.2 Professional Experience—This guide requires the skills of a lead environmental professional and project team, as appropriate, to evaluate and apply greener cleanup practices, processes, and technologies to each cleanup phase while meeting regulatory program-specific requirements and ensuring protection of human health and the environment. This guide presumes the lead environmental professional is knowledgeable in cleanup practices and experienced in identifying and satisfying applicable statutory or regulatory cleanup requirements and expectations.
4.3 Uncertainty in Greener Cleanups—Professional judgment, interpretation, and some uncertainty are inherent in the process even when decisions are based upon objective scientific principles and accepted industry practices. Although such uncertainties are inevitable, they typically will not detract from the ability of the user to achieve meaningful improvements in the site cleanup.
4.4 Regulatory Context—The user is responsible for determining the regulatory context, and associated constraints and obligations for each site, and shall comply with all applicable laws and regulations, including CERCLA, RCRA, TSCA, and other environmental laws.
4.4.1 The user shall comply with health and safety requirements under the Occupational Safety and Health Act and parallel state statutes and regulations.
4.4.2 This guide may not be appropriate for certain cleanups, such as some emergency response actions, that do not allow sufficient time for its application.
4.4.3 Implementation of this guide may involve additional costs or require changes to the cleanup schedule; however, its implementation should not unduly delay a cleanup or result in the imposition of unreasonable costs.
4.5 Process Implementation—This guide may be initiated at any time during any cleanup phase, including during: site assessment; remedy selection; remedy design/implementation; operation, maintenance, and monitoring; and remedy optimization.
4.6 Process Overview—At initiation, the user should review Section 3, Terminology, and then proceed to Section 4, Significance and Use, and Section 5, Planning and Scoping. Users who plan to implement the BMP process only, should proceed to Section 6. Users who plan to employ a quantitative evaluation should proceed to Section 7, prior to implementing Section 6. Section 8 describes documentation and reporting.
4.6.1 Section 5, Planning and Scoping, describes information the user should collect and consider to assist in making several site-specific, user-defined decisions for implementing the guide.
4.6.2 Section 6, BMP Process, describes steps for identifying, prioritizing, selecting, and implementing BMPs.
4.6.3 Section 7, Quantitative Evaluation, describes a process for implementing a footprint analysis or LCA. Section 7 is not designed to instruct the user on how to perform footprint analysis or LCA. It presumes that a member of the project team is knowledgeable in a quantitative evaluation approach applicable to the site.
4.6.4 Section 8 describes recommended documentation and reporting on the implementation of the guide.
4.6.5 Section 9 provides keywords for indexing and searching purposes.
4.6.6 This guide includes four appendices.
188.8.131.52 Appendix X1, Supporting Documentation, provides supplemental reference material for the user to consider when implementing this guide.
184.108.40.206 Appendix X2, Technical Summary Form, is a template for the user to report general information about the site (for example, location), document process steps, and describe greener cleanup outcomes from implementing the guide. The user may employ this template or another applicable format for reporting results from implementation of this guide.
220.127.116.11 Appendix X3, Greener Cleanup BMP Table, supports Section 6 by providing a comprehensive list of BMPs to assist the user. Standard best management practices for cleanup (that is, those related to engineering and technology, but unrelated to reducing environmental footprints) are generally not included in the Greener Cleanup BMP Table.
18.104.22.168 Appendix X4, Supplemental Information for a Quantitative Evaluation, supports Section 7 by providing general information on footprint analysis and LCA, including their uses, similarities, and differences.
1.1 Cleaning up sites improves environmental and public health conditions and as such can be viewed as “green.” However, cleanup activities use energy, water, and natural resources. The process of cleanup therefore creates its own environmental footprint. This guide describes a process for evaluating and implementing activities to reduce the environmental footprint of a cleanup project in the United States while working within the applicable regulatory framework and satisfying all applicable legal requirements.
1.2 This guide may also be used as a framework for sites that are not located in the United States; however, the specific legal references are not applicable.
1.3 This guide describes a process for identifying, evaluating, and incorporating best management practices (BMPs) and, when deemed appropriate, for integrating a quantitative evaluation into a cleanup to reduce its environmental footprint.
1.4 This guide is designed to be implemented in conjunction with any cleanup process and should be used with other technical tools, guidance, policy, laws, and regulations to integrate greener cleanup practices, processes, and technologies into cleanup projects.
1.5 This guide provides a process for evaluating and implementing activities to reduce the environmental footprint of a cleanup and is not designed to instruct users on how to clean up contaminated sites.
1.6 ASTM also has a guide on Integrating Sustainable Objectives into Cleanups (E2876). That guide provides a broad framework for integrating elements of environmental, economic, and social aspects into cleanups. This guide may provide assistance with implementing E2876 and other sustainable remediation guidance, such as Holland, et al. (2011)(1).
1.7 This guide specifically applies to the cleanup, not the redevelopment, of a site. However, the reasonably anticipated use of a site, if known, may influence the cleanup goals and scope.
1.8 This guide should not be used as a justification to avoid, minimize, or delay implementation of specific cleanup activities. Nor should this guide be used as a justification for selecting cleanup activities that compromise stakeholder interests or goals for the site.
1.9 This guide does not supersede federal, state, or local regulations relating to protection of human health and the environment. No action taken in connection with implementing this guide should generate unacceptable risks to human health or the environment.
1.10 This guide may be integrated into complementary standards, site-specific regulatory documents, guidelines, or contractual agreements relating to sustainable or greener cleanups.
1.10.1 If the cleanup is governed by a regulatory program, the user should discuss with the regulator responsible for site oversight how this guide could be incorporated into the cleanup and whether the regulator deems it appropriate for the user to report the process and results to the regulatory program.
1.10.2 The contractual relationship or legal obligations existing between and among the parties associated with a site or site cleanup are beyond the scope of this guide.
1.11 This guide is composed of the following sections: Referenced Documents (Section 2); Terminology (Section 3); Significance and Use (Section 4); Planning and Scoping (Section 5); BMP Process (Section 6); Quantitative Evaluation (Section 7); Documentation and Reporting (Section 8); and Keywords (Section 9).
1.12 This standard does not purport to address all of the safety concerns, if any, associated with its use. It is the responsibility of the user of this standard to establish appropriate safety and health practices and determine the applicability of regulatory limitations prior to use.
ICS Number Code 13.030.99 (Other standards related to wastes)
UNSPSC Code 77101505(Environmental monitoring)
ASTM E2893-13e1, Standard Guide for Greener Cleanups, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PA, 2013, www.astm.orgBack to Top