Every Superfund site is unique. For that reason, remedial investigation analysis includes a detailed feasibility study (FS), which identifies and evaluates potential treatment technologies and methods to determine which solution best fits the site’s physical and chemical conditions.
Detailed Analysis of Alternatives is key to determining the most appropriate remedy. Up to this point in the remedial investigation process, possible clean-up alternatives have been identified and an initial assessment has been conducted to weed out those less likely to perform well. Conducting a more stringent and specific analysis of the remaining alternatives leads to final selection of the best choice.
Remedial investigation analysis consists of evaluating each alternative against these nine criteria:
- Overall protection of human health and the environment.
- Compliance with applicable and relevant appropriate requirements (ARARs).
- Long-term effectiveness and permanence.
- Reduction in toxicity, mobility and volume through treatment.
- Short-term effectiveness and potential impacts during the remediation process.
- Implementation and technical reliability.
- Regulatory agency acceptance.
- Community acceptance.
Ramifications of feasibility study results, particularly the Detailed Analysis of Alternatives step, are comprehensive and permanent. Therefore, site owners or other key responsible parties should actively participate in remedial investigation analysis, to ensure their voice is heard and their concerns are addressed. This is particularly important when it comes to potential clean-up operations and costs.
Consulting engineers can serve as the ideal liaison between owners and public officials, as they fully understand the science as well as physical and financial constraints involved.