Remediation standards

January 6, 2014

In the USA the most comprehensive set of Preliminary Remediation Goals (PRGs) is available from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 9. A set of standards used in Europe exists and is often called the Dutch standards. The European Union (EU) is rapidly moving towards Europe-wide standards, although most of the industrialised nations in Europe have their own standards at present. In the UK, for example, the Environment Agency (EA)has produced a framework for the use of rapid measurement techniques (RMT) in the risk management of land contamination and a draft report has been produced for the Verification of Remediation of Land Contamination where verification is defined as demonstrating that the risk associated with land contamination has been reduced to meet remediation objectives, based on a quantitative assessment of remediation performance. The ‘Model Procedures for the Management of Land Contamination’ (CLR11) identifies verification as a key part of the risk management process.

This draft report aims to provide guidance on designing and implementing a verification plan to increase confidence in the outcome of remediation of contaminated soils and water. It is intended to:

–          support the use of CLR11 for implementation of remediation

–          emphasise the need to plan verification with remediation

–          emphasise the importance of reviewing the conceptual model and developing lines of evidence

–          show the importance of timescales when linked to the duration that pollutant leakages may need to be managed (this is important for passive and containment technologies)

–          show that decisions must be clearly stated and justified.

Overall the intention of the EA is to promote an approach that will lead to greater confidence in the outcome of remediation works within a wide range of stakeholders.

The draft document provides a step-by-step framework to enable the user to develop a clear understanding of the verification needs for a particular remediation programme. An initial review stage is carried out to prepare a verification plan, within a quality management framework, after which a programme of sampling and monitoring activities will be designed specifically to demonstrate whether the remediation carried out on-site has achieved its objectives.  All identified sampling and monitoring activities must link clearly to the lines of evidence developed with the implementation plan, and hence to the conceptual model and remediation objectives.

Once the verification plan has been implemented and data periodically reviewed to ensure that remediation objectives are met any necessary changes to the verification plan will have been justified and agreed with all relevant parties.

The key output from implementation is the verification report that may need to be presented to a wide range of stakeholders. It is important that the decision of whether remediation objectives have been met should be clearly demonstrated. The need for long-term monitoring will have been established during preparation of the verification plan and written in to a monitoring plan. Monitoring requirements should relate to pre-defined long-term remediation criteria that need to be achieved, and be clearly stated in the verification report.

Ultimately all remediation objectives will have been met and a final report will include a review of the conceptual model and the documented decision to cease monitoring.  These reports should then be lodged with the verification report to provide a complete record of activities.

Where Van Walt Ltd comes in is we can provide a variety of gouges, augers and corers for soil sampling, including mechanised window sampling systems. And we can also provide detection meters and remediation pumps, together with a selection of product recovery systems from Geosorb kits, Passive and Active Skimmers and Filter Buckets.

To find out more call us on +44 (0)1428 661 660.

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