Fear of Trying

by John Prendergast, Assoc. Editor; Civil Engineering Magazine, ASCE World Headquarters, 345 East 47th Street, New York City, NY.,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1991, Vol. 61, Issue 4, Pg. 52-55

Document Type: Feature article


Conventional methods for cleaning up hazardous-waste sites are expensive, subject to increasing restrictions, and don't work that well for certain types of waste. Innovative technologies could be cheaper, faster and more efficient. Everyone says so. It's just that they don't necessarily want to be the first regulatory agency to permit their use, or consulting firm to recommend them, or owner to face possible fines or lawsuits if they fail. The article describes EPA's recent efforts to encourage the use of bioremediation, physical/chemical techniques, thermal desorption and ground-water extraction and treatment approaches and information sources available, as well as liability concerns and other factors involved in the tug-of-war between federal and state and regulatory agencies, engineering consulting firms and clients over the use of alternative methods.

Subject Headings: Consulting services | Hazardous wastes | Water treatment | Waste treatment | Waste sites | Permits | Owners

Services: Buy this book/Buy this article


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