20 Nov 2023

Case Studies and Analysis of Sustainable Remediation Techniques and Technologies

Report no. 11/23: The concept of sustainable remediation has become well established in the remediation industry and its application has spread around the world. However, there is a recognised gap in the provision of detailed case studies documenting the practical implementation of sustainable remediation in the real world, particularly in a European context. A consequence of this gap is that the further refinement of guidance is impeded by a lack of knowledge of what aspects work well in practice, versus poorly.

Concawe commissioned a study to a) gather, prepare and publish ten European case studies that demonstrate sustainable remediation techniques and technologies and b) provide an analysis of the case studies to identify key success factors that facilitated the adoption and success of these projects at different sites.

A long-list of twenty case studies was identified. Each case study was scored by the project team on how closely it matched ISO Standard on Sustainable Remediation 18504:2017, its relevance to Concawe and its ability to be delivered to time. Ten case studies were recommended for selection, agreed by Concawe and a case study provider contracted. Case study information was then collected in a common template and reviewed by the project team, CL:AIRE’s Technology and Research Group and Concawe. A series of ten detailed case study bulletins are freely available on-line from the CL:AIRE and Concawe websites.

In addition, a cross comparison analysis of the ten case studies has been carried out, seeking to help practitioners compare these case studies to their own projects. The cross comparison analysis focused on the following attributes: site location and type of site (former use); saturated/unsaturated zone impact; targeted contaminants; risk drivers; envisaged land use; objectives for sustainability assessment; remediation options compared; stakeholder engagement; boundary conditions; scope (environmental, economic, social); key constraints/opportunities; and assessment type (qualitative, semi-quantitative etc).

Sustainable remediation techniques and technologies are being used on sites in Europe, particularly in the UK which has benefitted from the work of SuRF-UK and a pragmatic regulator. Working with a risk-based conceptual site model, effective engagement with stakeholders and a sound understanding of sustainable remediation practices are seen as key success factors from these case studies.

Based on this analysis and recently published guidance, a practical approach for deploying sustainable remediation on operational sites has been proposed.

For more information, please contact us