Standard Guide for Integrating Sustainable Objectives into Cleanup
|Publication Date:||1 May 2013|
This guide presents a framework that allows and encourages the user to address sustainable aspects (environmental, economic and social) within cleanup projects. The user may implement this guide to integrate sustainable objectives into cleanup while working within applicable regulatory criteria.
The guide provides an overarching, consistent, transparent and scalable framework that helps the user identify and incorporate sustainable best management practices (BMPs) into site cleanup (which includes assessment and remediation), and enables the user to perform measurement of BMPs during the cleanup process. See Appendix X1 for example BMPs.
The guide is intended to encourage incremental steps to incorporate sustainable elements into cleanup projects. The user chooses whether to pursue BMP implementation alone (Section 6) or to also measure the benefits of the implemented BMPs (Sections 6 and 7). The user also chooses the phases of the cleanup to which they apply the guide.
The guide should be implemented within the existing site assessment and remediation process. The approach described in this guide should be used with other existing technical tools and policy to encourage the consideration of a more holistic approach with a broader range of cleanup options and activities than traditionally employed (NICOLE 2012(1))2.
BMPs implemented under this guide should address all three aspects of sustainability: environmental, economic and social, while assuring that human health and safety as well as ecological risks are addressed. The goal of implementing BMPs is to take actions to address the sustainable objectives identified for the site.
3.1.17 defines sustainable objectives; 188.8.131.52 defines sustainable aspects; 5.3 provides detail about core elements; and Section 6 describes a process to identify, evaluate, select, and implement BMPs.
While the guide specifically applies to the cleanup phases of a project (which includes assessment and remediation phases), decisions made in the cleanup may influence reuse activities. The anticipated reuse of the site may influence cleanup activities.
This guide may not be used as a justification for elimination or reduction of cleanup actions that are required to protect human health and the environment.
The guide is composed of the following sections: Section 2 Referenced Documents, Section 3 Terminology, Section 4 Significance and Use, Section 5 Planning and Scoping; Section 6 Selection and Implementation of best management practices (BMPs); Section 7 Quantifying Site- Specific results from BMPs; and Section 8 Documentation. Fig. 1 Using the guide is provided to assist the user in navigating the guide.
The user may pursue either the BMP implementation section or both the BMP implementation and measurement sections.
The environmental portions of the guide align with the Greener Cleanup Principles released by USEPA in August 2009 (2).
When evaluating the sustainable BMPs the user should consider the short and long-term environmental, economic and social aspects, including the potential negative impacts, while ensuring protection of human health and the environment.
The guide is intended to provide an overarching framework for integrating sustainable objectives in cleanup projects. The user may choose to consider the ASTM Work Item WK 35161 for greener cleanups along with this guide to more fully address the environmental elements of a project.
When implementing this guide, the user must comply with all applicable federal, state, and local statutes and regulations requiring or relating to protection of human health and the environment. This includes, but is not limited to, laws and regulations relating to health and safety, of the surrounding community, or on-site workers. No action taken in connection with implementing this guide should generate unacceptable human health or ecological risks.
CERCLA and RCRA include worker safety as part of health and safety plans following OSHA regulations.
Most sites fall under specific regulatory programs that include provisions for health and safety plans following OSHA regulations. For more information see OSHA FAQ (3).
For all sites, the user must identify potential risks to the surrounding community as well as to site workers and manage those potential risks appropriately.