Article

A Framework for Net Environmental Benefit Analysis for Remediation or Restoration of Contaminated Sites

Environmental Sciences Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37831-6036, USA.
Environmental Management (Impact Factor: 1.65). 10/2004; 34(3):315-31. DOI: 10.1007/s00267-004-0089-7
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Net environmental benefits are gains in value of environmental services or other ecological properties attained by remediation or ecological restoration minus the value of adverse environmental effects caused by those actions. Net environmental benefit analysis (NEBA) is a methodology for comparing and ranking net environmental benefits associated with multiple management alternatives. A NEBA for chemically contaminated sites typically involves comparison of several management alternatives: (1) leaving contamination in place; (2) physically, chemically, or biologically remediating the site through traditional means; (3) improving ecological value through onsite and offsite restoration alternatives that do not directly focus on removal of chemical contamination; or (4) a combination of those alternatives. NEBA involves activities that are common to remedial alternatives analysis for state regulations and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, post-closure and corrective action permits under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, evaluation of generic types of response actions pertinent to the Oil Pollution Act, and land management actions that are negotiated with regulatory agencies in flexible regulatory environments (i.e., valuing environmental services or other ecological properties, assessing adverse impacts, and evaluating remediation or restoration options). This article presents a high-level framework for NEBA at contaminated sites with subframeworks for natural attenuation (the contaminated reference state), remediation, and ecological restoration alternatives. Primary information gaps related to NEBA include nonmonetary valuation methods, exposure-response models for all stressors, the temporal dynamics of ecological recovery, and optimal strategies for ecological restoration.

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    • "Landis and Wiegers (2007) developed the relative risk model for regional assessments, which assigns numerical values for each stressor source and habitat, weighted by a level of exposure and degree of effect for each assessment endpoint. Efroymson et al. (2004) considered a framework involving net environmental benefits as a Acc e p ted P r e p r i nt This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved way to structure decisions pertaining to remediation and restoration. "
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    ABSTRACT: Ecological risk assessment as currently practiced has hindered consideration of ecosystem services endpoints and restoration goals in the environmental management process. Practitioners have created barriers between procedures to clean up contaminated areas and efforts to restore ecosystem functions. In this paper we examine linkages between contaminant risk assessment approaches and restoration efforts with the aim of identifying ways to improve environmental outcomes. We advocate that project managers and other stakeholders use an ecological planning framework, with restoration options included upfront in the risk assessment. We also considered the opportunities to incorporate ecosystem services as potential assessment endpoints in the Problem Formulation stages of a risk assessment. Indeed diverse perspectives of stakeholders are central to understand the relevance of social, cultural, economic, and regional ecology as influences on future use options for the landscape being restored. The measurement endpoints used to characterize the existing ecological conditions for selected ecosystem services can also be used to evaluate restoration success. A regional/landscape/seascape focus is needed throughout the risk assessment process so that restoration efforts play a more prominent role in enhancing ecosystem services. In short, we suggest that practitioners begin with the question of "how can the ecological risk assessment inform the decision on how best to restore the ecosystem?" This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management 06/2015; DOI:10.1002/ieam.1673
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    • "In particular, in the context of the assessment of the sustainability of remedial actions and site redevelopment, it appears necessary to integrate the LCA procedure with specific site information and with the public perception. The NEBA is another methodology that can be used as an alternative to LCA and whose objective is to evaluate the changes in the values of natural resources associated with different soil management alternatives (Efroymson, et al. 2004). The NEBA has the advantage of being more flexible and adaptable than the LCA (Colombo et al., 2012). "
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    ABSTRACT: Although in the last decades site remediation activities have received more attention and funds, the high cost required for the remediation projects and the limited resources available have resulted in a limited implementation of site remediation practices. Considering the recent economic crisis which has taken several countries worldwide, most contaminated sites could remain so. For instance, a large number of closed landfill sites are present in the territory and they could require a lot of money for remediation. It is obvious that the redevelopment of the site can play a major role in the sustainability of the remediation project. In this study a guideline was developed to evaluate the sustainability of site remediation and reuse projects. This guideline is based on a holistic approach which takes into account all the factors related to the site remedial actions, including political-decisional factors, social-economical factors, environmental factors, and technical factors. The developed guideline was applied to evaluate the sustainability of the remediation of a closed municipal solid wastes landfill site. In particular, it was proposed the reuse of the landfill restored site as a solar park. Obtained results have demonstrated that the restoration and land reuse projects is sustainable only when government subsidies are provided.
    Chemical Engineering Transactions 01/2013; 35:217-222. DOI:10.3303/CET1335036 · 1.03 Impact Factor
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    • "Some derivative of the NEBA approach previously presented may offer promise. The NEBA methodology helps identify and compare net environmental gains of alternative management options (Efroymson et al. 2003). "
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    ABSTRACT: PURPOSE: A wide variety of ecological forecasting tools are used to support the project planning process within the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). These tools range from relatively simple empirical relations describing the expected habitat preferences of species (or guilds of species) to complex, dynamic models of water movement, sediment, and other material fluxes to behavior-based models of individual organisms (agent-based models) and spatially-explicit tool(s) that address habitat and landscape mosaics (e.g., Guisan and Zimmermann 2000). Models or tools from across this spectrum have played important roles at various points in the planning process within the USACE, but district level planners have faced major challenges in finding and applying suitable ecological forecasting tools, especially for smaller (e.g., Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) Section 1135) projects which may be funded by less than $100,000 ($5 million maximum) and which are allowed only one or two years for completion (ER-1105-2-100). Thus, the choice of a specific tool in many planning applications has been based on factors (i.e., project size, funding, duration) not directly related to a formal, technical evaluation of tool capability or suitability. This technical note reviews some of the most commonly used USACE forecasting tools and
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