Risk, Sustainability and Resiliency Considerations in Polluted Site Remediation

  • Krishna R. ReddyEmail author
  • Girish Kumar
  • Yan-Jun Du
Conference paper
Part of the Environmental Science and Engineering book series (ESE)


Environmental pollution including the soil and groundwater contamination has been a major problem faced by the U.S., and many other countries across the world. Realizing the impact contaminated sites had on human health and environment, some of the major environmental regulatory agencies were formed that imposed strict regulations to condemn improper waste disposal practices and to clean up the contaminated sites. Over the years, the environmental regulations and policies have evolved from being ambitious and impractical to a more rational risk-based remediation approach. Several remediation technologies have been developed based on their suitability to different site characteristics. However, the choice of the final remedial technology has always been dictated by its ability to reduce the contaminant concentrations to remedial goals, the cost, and speed of implementation of the technology at the contaminated site. The enormous use of energy and resources by the remediation activities and consequently, the broader environmental impacts that follow from various remediation activities goes unaccounted. In recent years, a more holistic approach, the green and sustainable remediation, involving the quantification of net environmental, economic, and social impacts/benefits (the triple bottom line) of site remediation activities is given great importance to achieve sustainable development. Moreover, with the global climate change and regularly occurring extreme events, it is essential that the remediation plan and design is resilient/adaptable to the extreme events. This study presents an overview of risk-based site remediation approach, and green and sustainable remediation and the tools that aid in quantifying the sustainability of remediation alternatives. In addition, the importance of considering resilient design in remediation projects is discussed. Finally, the challenges and opportunities that needs to be addressed to realize sustainable and resilient remediation are highlighted.


Contaminated sites Pollution Sustainable remediation Resilience 


  1. ASTM (2010) Standard guide for risk-based corrective action applied at petroleum release sites, E1739-95(2010)e1. ASTM International, West ConshohockenGoogle Scholar
  2. ASTM (2014a) Standard Guide for Greener Cleanups, E2893-13e1Google Scholar
  3. ASTM (2014b) Standard Guide for Integrating Sustainable Objectives into Cleanup, E2876-13Google Scholar
  4. China MEP (Former China Ministry of Environmental Protection) (2014a) National soil contamination survey report. China MEP, BeijingGoogle Scholar
  5. China MEP (Former China Environmental Protection) (2014b) HJ25.3. Technical guidelines for risk assessment of contaminated site. China MEP, BeijingGoogle Scholar
  6. China MEP (Former China Environmental Protection) (2014c) HJ25.4. Technical guidelines for site soil remediation. China MEPGoogle Scholar
  7. China MEP (Former China Environmental Protection) (2014d) HJ25.1. Technical guidelines for site soil remediation. China MEPGoogle Scholar
  8. China MEP (Former China Environmental Protection) (2014e) HJ25.2. Technical guidelines for environmental site monitoring. China MEP, BeijingGoogle Scholar
  9. Hou D, Al-Tabbaa A (2014) Sustainability: a new imperative in contaminated land remediation. Environ Sci Policy 39:25–34CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. ITRC (2018) Decision making at contaminated sites: issues and options in human health risk assessment.
  11. Josa A, Alavedra P (2006) El concepto de sostenibilidad. In: Losada R, Rojí E, Cuadrado J (eds) La Medida de la Sostenibilidad en Edificación Industrial: MIVES. Universidad Politécnica de Valencia, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya and Labein-Tecnalia, Bilbao, Spain, pp 59–70 (in Spanish)Google Scholar
  12. NRC (National Research Council) (1983) Risk assessment in the federal government: managing the process. The National Academies Press, Washington, DC.
  13. NRC (National Research Council) (2011) Sustainability and the U.S. EPA. Committee on Incorporating Sustainability in the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Science and Technology for Sustainability Program, Policy and Global Affairs Division.
  14. O’Connell S, Hou D (2015) Resilience: a new consideration for environmental remediation in an era of climate change. Remediat J 26(1):57–67CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Reddy, KR, Adams, JA (2015) Sustainable remediation of contaminated sites. Momentum Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  16. Reddy KR, Kumar G (2018a) Addressing sustainable technologies in geotechnical and geoenvironmental engineering. In: Geotechnics for natural and engineered sustainable technologies. Springer, Singapore, pp 1–26Google Scholar
  17. Reddy KR, Kumar G (2018b) Green and sustainable remediation of polluted sites: new concept, assessment tools, and challenges. In: XVI Danube-European Conference on Geotechnical Engineering, Skopje, R. MacedoniaGoogle Scholar
  18. Reddy KR, Kumar G (2018c) Role of geochemistry in sustainable geotechnics. In: Environmental geotechnics, recycled waste materials, and sustainable engineering. Springer, SingaporeGoogle Scholar
  19. Reddy KR, Chetri KJ, Kumar K, Trentin A, Thome A (2019) Sustainable remediation of contaminated sediments: a case study. In GeoCongress 2019Google Scholar
  20. Sadasivam, BY, Reddy, KR (2017) Approaches to selecting sustainable technologies for remediation of contaminated sites: case studies. In Sustainability issues in civil engineering. Springer, Singapore, pp 271–306Google Scholar
  21. Sharma, HD, Reddy, KR (2004) Geoenvironmental engineering: site remediation, waste containment, and emerging waste management technologies. Wiley, HobokenGoogle Scholar
  22. Simon JA (2015) Editor’s perspective—the effects of climate change adaptation planning on remediation programs. Remediation 25(3):1–7CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) (2015) Climate change adaptation technical fact sheet: contaminated sediment remedies, EPA 542-F-15-009. Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  24. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) (2018) Regional Screening Levels (RSLs).
  25. Yargicoglu EN, Reddy KR (2013) Green and sustainable remediation of contaminated Indian Ridge marsh site in Chicago, USA. In: Manassero et al (eds) Proceedings of coupled phenomena in environmental geotechnics (CPEG). Taylor & Francis Group, LondonGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Civil and Materials EngineeringUniversity of Illinois at ChicagoChicagoUSA
  2. 2.Institute of Geotechnical Engineering, Southeast UniversityNanjingChina

Personalised recommendations