U.S. Water News Online
WASHINGTON -- After being successfully used in dozens of Superfund cleanup projects, bioremediation holds the key to redevelopment of abandoned industrial properties known as "brownfields," the nation's mayors were told.
According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), there are more than 450,000 brownfield sites across the nation, mostly located in major urban areas. Shunned by commercial and industrial developers because of legal liability of environmental contamination, these sites are the focus of a new EPA initiative that actively encourages redevelopment.
"Bioremediation is a natural process used to clean soil and groundwater and is based on the same principles we use to treat municipal and industrial wastewater," said Paul Fenelly, senior vice president of the environmental services firm ENSR, at the U.S. Conference of Mayors. "It is a proven technology that has successfully achieved federal cleanup levels," Fenelly added, "is relatively low-cost, and because it is an on-site solution, has minimal disruption to the nearby residents."
Citing the economic benefits of bioremediation to the 250 mayors, Fenelly noted that biotreatment technology has been used on 88 Superfund site cleanups and that ENSR has successfully used the technology on more than 50 hazardous waste projects.
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