Permeable reactive barriers are an emerging alternative to traditional pump and treat systems for groundwater remediation. This technique has progressed rapidly over the past decade from laboratory bench-scale studies to full-scale implementation. Laboratory studies indicate the potential for treatment of a large number of inorganic contaminants, including As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Hg, Fe, Mn, Mo, Ni, Pb, Se, Tc, U, V, NO3, PO4 and SO4. Small-scale field studies have demonstrated treatment of Cd, Cr, Cu, Fe, Ni, Pb, NO3, PO4 and SO4. Permeable reactive barriers composed of zero-valent iron have been used in full-scale installations for the treatment of Cr, U, and Tc. Solid-phase organic carbon in the form of municipal compost has been used to remove dissolved constituents associated with acid-mine drainage, including SO4, Fe, Ni, Co and Zn. Dissolved nutrients, including NO3 and PO4, have been removed from domestic septic-system effluent and agricultural drainage.