Partnering with the Enemy

by Teresa Austin, Assistant Editor; Civil Engineering Magazine, ASCE World Headquarters, 345 East 47th Street, New York City, NY.,


Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1995, Vol. 65, Issue 3, Pg. 40-43


Document Type: Feature article

Abstract: When you think of EPA and a major corporation, you probably envision them squaring off in court over a Superfund site. But these days representatives from the two groups are just as likely to meet over lunch to discuss the development progress of a cutting edge cleanup system. Once opponents, they are now working together through various EPA-sanctioned public/private partnerships. Their efforts may develop technologies that hasten the cleanup of thousands of contaminated private and Federal sites. The freeze between the two groups began to thaw early in 1992, when Monsanto's CEO Dick Mahoney approached then-EPA administrator William Reilly about the lack of available technology to clean up contaminated soils. EPA and representatives from Fortune 500 companies gathered at meeting dubbed Project Listen. EPA discovered that several companies, those with deeper pockets and a variety of resources, had begun developing new remediation methods to clean their contaminated sites. EPA encouraged the pooling of resources, and helped match technologies with needy Federal sites. A soil remediation technology, a process to eliminate volatile organic compounds from ground water and saturated souls, and a photolytic destruction process using ultraviolet light exposure combined with a chemical reaction to destroy vapor phase chlorinated hydrocarbons are undergoing field testing this year.

Subject Headings: Cooperation | Environmental Protection Agency | Partnerships | Private sector | Remediation | Waste sites

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