Quantitative Environmental Footprints and Sustainability Evaluation of Contaminated Land Remediation Alternatives for Two Case Studies
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2013
Since the US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) launched its “green remediation” program and EU member states began to reassess their national regulations for environmental remediation in order to reach a Europe-wide consensus on policy and standards, the need and interest for sustainable remediation of contaminants from brownfields has grown considerably. Concomitantly, the ability to calculate and assess the suitability as well as the environmental footprints and associated risks of a growing number of remediation techniques has become a priority. The authors quantitatively evaluate the differences between various remediation techniques, and for this purpose, a number of ex situ and in situ remediation techniques are adapted to model 21 remediation scenarios for two contaminated sites in the Gothenburg region of Sweden: the Bohus Varv site on the Göta älv river bank and the Hexion site in Mölndal. A wide range of quantitative results for these models are presented, compared, and analyzed.
Based on the results from both projects, it is concluded that: (1) remediation techniques requiring long distance residual transportation have significant footprints, except the transportation of contaminated residuals by train due to Swedish energy production conditions; (2) residual transportation by ship results in much higher SOx, NOx, and particle releases compared to the other alternatives; and (3) residual transporation by truck results in high accident risks. Finally, activities powered by electricity result in a reduced footprint compared to activities powered by fossil fuels, considering Swedish energy production conditions.
The authors conducted a cross-benefit analysis of SiteWiseTM applications which recognizes its potential as a tool for presenting life cycle assessment analyses with appropriate system boundary definitions and an easy inventory analysis process. Results from this tool provide valuable support to decision makers aiming at more sustainable remediation.