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First, Do No Harm

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There is an emerging awareness of the importance of sustainability and an integrated cross-cutting approach to environmental policy development. These trends along with technical and scientific developments underpin a variety of new environmental clean-up paradigms. Central to these new paradigms are new metrics for evaluating remedial actions with respect to environmental burden and collateral damage. For example, if we define water intensity as the amount of water necessary to remove one pound of contaminant we can then evaluate a groundwater remediation system with regard to resource conservation. Likewise we can evaluate the energy efficiency of a groundwater remediation system by studying the energy intensity or kWhr-pound of contaminant removed. And finally, the carbon intensity lb CO2- lb contaminant can be determined from the energy intensity using readily available data from the power industry. This paper introduces this new type of thinking through the analysis of a typical groundwater remedial action and relates it to the various spatial and temporal concentration regimes within a plume of contaminated groundwater and its’ subsequent remediation. This new paradigm is also extended to other environmental actions and policies by considering the significance of risk transfer from one media to another.

2007 Georgia Water Resources Conference -

Autor: Nichols, R. L. - Looney, B. B. - -


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