Green and Sustainable Remediation

When decision makers consider environmental, social, and economic factors throughout a site remediation, they can lessen negative effects of the cleanup, protect human health and the environment—and still meet regulatory objectives. The consideration of these factors is termed “Green and Sustainable Remediation” (GSR). GSR is defined as the site-specific use of products, processes, technologies, and procedures that mitigate contaminant risk to receptors while balancing community goals, economic impacts, and net environmental effects. GSR has emerged as a beneficial approach that optimizes all phases of site remediation, from site investigation to project closeout.

The ITRC Green and Sustainable Remediation (GSR) team facilitates discussion in the regulatory community regarding sustainable and green remediation. Many state and federal agencies are assessing and applying GSR in their regulatory programs. The ITRC GSR project serves as an important resource for those agencies currently initiating GSR programs and currently offers two guidance documents:

This guidance describes current approaches to green and sustainable efforts and provides regulators and other environmental practitioners with a clearly defined path for implementing GSR.

The GSR team has also developed an Internet Based Training (IBT) that is currently available through ITRC at http://www.itrcweb.org/Training#GSR. This training provides background on GSR concepts, a scalable and flexible framework, metrics, tools, and resources to conduct GSR evaluations on remedial projects. Beyond basic GSR principles and definitions, participants will also learn the potential benefits of incorporating GSR into their projects, when and how to incorporate GSR within a project's life cycle, and how to perform a GSR evaluation using appropriate tools. In addition, the IBT provides the student with a variety of case studies that demonstrate the application and results from using a GSR approach. The IBT provides an important primer for organizations initiating GSR programs, as well as for those organizations seeking to incorporate GSR considerations into existing regulatory guidance.