Environmental remediation is the removal of impurities from sediment, groundwater, surface water, or soil. In case of a risk to humans’ health or environmental damage, environmental remediation reclaims the contaminated area.
Environmental Remediation Process
The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) institutes the vital standards that apply when there is a need for remediation. In certain areas, though, more legislative standards might apply.
Sometimes organizations trash their environs, and so they must deal with experts of environmental remediation after they contaminate the environment. These specialists are familiar with the applicable standards and regulations.
The remediation process involves the following phases:
1. Phase I: Site Assessment
This phase involves assessing the situation of the suspected contaminated area. Depending on the extent of the incidence, the process could include sampling materials such as groundwater and soil to determine the extent and nature of the contamination.
Remember, though, Phase I and environmental remediation do not always necessarily have to happen right after an incidence. At times, a company might seek an environmental remediation expert’s help to study the site’s history ahead of time. For example, if a carrier wants to put up a cell tower at a certain site, do site assessment first to ensure the construction team or environment are not at risk.
2. Phase II: Remediation and Evaluation
The site assessment gives the remediation crew a summary of the contamination. At times, if the information provided from Phase I is not enough, the crew does Phase II to gather more information. This data will guide the experts in making decisions on how to address the contamination. Different contamination types need different technologies and processes to remediate.
These team experts usually also account for applicable regulations and standards when picking which technology to use. Also, they use the information from the initial assessment to find out the required safety measures they have to take to protect the workers involved with the remediation.
There are many different types of remediation; here are some common examples:
- Dredging: At times, contamination could affect bodies of water such as rivers. In such an instance, the environmental remediation team could dredge the river’s bottom to collect the silt clay affected.
- Excavation: If there is dangerous stuff in the soil, the affected areas would have to be excavated and the affected soil safely disposed of.
- Thermal desorption: Thermal desorption technology occurs when basic excavation does not allow for the thorough collection of the harmful contaminants. This tool separates the soil from the contaminants. This makes removing and collecting processes much easier.
- Nanoremediation: Not all these methods can properly remediate hazardous materials. In such a case, the remediation specialists might pick nanoremediation as the method of choice. With this technology, they use extremely tiny radiative agents to degrade the contaminants.
This process is mostly used for groundwater remediation, though undergoing studies is trying to determine its effectiveness in soil remediation.
- Pump and treat: This method is useful when there is groundwater contamination. The environmental remediation experts pump the groundwater to filter it carefully, removing all contaminants.
These are only some of the examples. The remediation teams might use various other tools and processes, depending on the extent of the pollution. Also, they work with the community closely to make sure the community leaders understand the procedure. The process of remediation naturally involves handling contaminants. It is, therefore, necessary to ensure community members are not exposed during the process.
At times, the remediation project could need rezoning to happen. This would prevent harm to the nearby community. Citizens tend to be resistant when negotiating to rezone an affected area.