Passive Cleanup

Passive remediation technologies are increasingly common in some applications, and take advantage of naturally occurring chemical or biological

A microbe discovered in the mud in the bottom of the Hudson River may solve the problem of treating groundwater contaminated with the industrial solvent TCA (trichloroethane). The microbe, which lives without oxygen, converts TCA into chloroethane, a compound that can more easily be removed from groundwater. The Environmental Protection Agency lists TCA as a contaminant of concern at 696 of its 1,430 priority cleanup sites.

immobile not moving ion an electrically charged atom or group of atoms plume a visible or measurable discharge of a contaminant from a given point of origin; can be visible, invisible, or thermal in water, or visible in the air as, for example, a plume of smoke processes that degrade contaminants to less toxic forms. The accepted term for this group of technologies is monitored natural attenuation (MNA), which is the result of regulatory recognition that natural biological processes are capable of degrading certain contaminants under specific conditions and that dispersion may aid in achieving objectives. MNA is employed for the cleanup of organic contaminants such as petroleum hydrocarbons in situations where the longer time frame associated with MNA does not increase the risks posed by the contamination. MNA recognizes that, while these processes are possible, they must be monitored to insure that the expected progression actually occurs. In the State of Florida, MNA is being used as an approved cleanup action for some former dry cleaning sites. At these sites, natural processes are being monitored as they degrade chlorinated solvents from the former dry cleaning operations.

MNA is one example of major innovation in this area. Environmental cleanup is a dynamic field. Advances in science and engineering fuel innovative approaches and technologies, and advanced technologies provide greater capabilities in meeting the ultimate goal of a safer and healthier environment. see also Abatement; Bioremediation; Dredging; Economics; Incineration; Laws and Regulations, International; Laws and Regulation, United States; Love Canal; Nonaqueous Phase Liquid (NAPL) Superfund; Times Beach; Underground Storage Tank; WAter Pollution.

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