Ecological Revitalization Resources Available through EPA - Part 2
|Hosted by U.S. EPA Office of Superfund Remediation and Technology Innovation
- OSW - Sara Rasmussen
Ecological Restoration at hazardous waste sites, including RCRA sites, can provide many benefits to surrounding community. The speaker will cover some of the resources available on ecological restoration, including EPA's GreenScapes program. The speaker will also provide a few examples of ecological restoration at RCRA sites.
- OW - Bob Bastian
Use of Biosolids for Restoration of Contaminated Sites/Reclamation of Drastically Disturbed Lands. Biosolids (treated sewage sludge) have been effectively used as a soil amendment and organic fertilizer for many years. Over half of the >7 Million dry metric tons of biosolids produced by wastewater treatment plants in the U.S. are currently land applied in various forms (e.g., aerobically or anaerobically digested, alkaline treated, air or heat dried; liquid, dewatered cake, composted, pelletized), mostly to agricultural land, but also to forest land and reclamation sites, as well as in products used in urban areas. The organic matter and macro- and micro-nutrients in biosolids serve can help effectively remedy many of the problems associated with highly disturbed and/or contaminated sites and contribute to a soil's inability to support a vegetative cover. Efforts to use biosolids as a part of restoration efforts date back to at least the late 1960's when demonstration projects were established in the coal mining areas of Pennsylvania. Since then land reclamation projects involving biosolids to improve soil conditions and support revegetation of highly disturbed and in some cases contaminated sites (e.g., surface mines, mine waste piles, construction sites, barrow pits, sand dunes, areas devastated by forest fires) all across the country, with some projects demonstrating sustainable vegetation and continued soil improvement for more than 30 years. For more than ten years, there has been a growing interest and experience in the effective use of biosolids and other organic residuals and soil amendments to help with the revegetation and restoration of highly heavy metal-contaminated sites in the U.S. and overseas, including a number of Superfund and Brownfields sites.
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