U.S. EPA Contaminated Site Cleanup Information (CLU-IN)


U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
U.S. EPA Technology Innovation and Field Services Division

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Publications and Resources

EPA Publications

  • Terrestrial Carbon Sequestration: Analysis of Terrestrial Carbon Sequestration at Three Contaminated Sites Remediated and Revitalized with Soil Amendments. EPA 542-R-10-003. Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response. U.S. EPA. February 2011.
    This paper provides EPA's analysis of the data to determine carbon sequestration rates at three diverse sites that differ in geography/location, weather, soil properties, type of contamination, and age. The first site, located at high elevation in Leadville, Colorado, suffered from contamination due to mining. The site was amended with biosolid cakes, biosolids pellets, biosolid compost, and limestone starting in 1998. The second site, located in Stafford County, Virginia, had highly reduced, high-sulfur soils resulting from construction activities for an airport at the site. When exposed to air, these soils rapidly acidified, causing acid runoff that contaminated local streams. The site was amended with biosolids in 2002. The third site, Sharon Steel, is located at the border of Pennsylvania and Ohio and was contaminated through the application of by-products associated with manufacturing steel. At Sharon Steel, soil amendments were applied as part of a field demonstration project in 2008.

    Terrestrial Carbon Sequestration: Analysis of Terrestrial Carbon Sequestration at Three Contaminated Sites Remediated and Revitalized with Soil Amendments
    PDF (5.1 MB)

  • Terrestrial Carbon Sequestration: Field Guide for Sampling and Analysis at Sites Remediated with Soil Amendments. EPA 542-R-10-002. Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response. U.S. EPA. June 2010.
    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)'s Technology Innovation and Field Services Division developed this field guide to provide a consistent sampling approach across sites being analyzed for terrestrial carbon sequestration. EPA wants to partner with other federal, state, tribal, and local agencies, academia, and other interested parties to build our knowledge of terrestrial carbon sequestration rates. This field guide focuses on a methodology to provide data that can be used in mathematical equations and models to determine terrestrial carbon sequestration rates in soil. Equations in this guide focus on use of carbon data, but the approach provides for a range of parameters that can be used for related carbon sequestration analyses.

    Field Guide PDF
    Field Guide
    PDF (7.1 MB)
    Field Guide Appendices PDF
    Field Guide Appendices
    PDF (9.3 MB)

  • Ecological Revitalization: Turning Contaminated Properties Into Community Assets. EPA 542-R-08-003. Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response. U.S. EPA. February 2009.
    This document provides technical information to assist property managers and other stakeholders better understand, coordinate, and conduct ecological revitalization at contaminated properties during cleanup.  Specifically, this document presents general planning and process considerations for ecological revitalization and provides technical considerations for implementing ecological revitalization of wetlands, streams, and terrestrial ecosystems during cleanup. This document also highlights EPA's initiatives and resources that are available, and presents numerous site-specific examples and case studies where ecological revitalization has occurred.

    Ecological Revitalization PDF
    PDF (4.5 MB)
    Ecological Revitalization Fact Sheet PDF
    Fact Sheet PDF (220 K)

  • The Use of Soil Amendments for Remediation, Revitalization, and Reuse. U.S. EPA. December 2007. (Download 1.74MB PDF)
    Hundreds of thousands of acres of disturbed and contaminated land scar this country's landscape. This paper provides information on the use of soil amendments, a cost effective in situ process for remediation, revitalization, and reuse of many types of disturbed and contaminated landscapes.

  • EPA CLU-IN Ecological Revitalization Fact Sheets:

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Videos

Blackwell Forest Preserve: A Reuse Success Story Video
Blackwell Forest Preserve: A Reuse Success Story Video
Download MPEG-4 Video (40.9MB)

Ecological Reuse: The Importance of Ecological Reuse
Photo of Ecological Reuse: The Importance of Ecological Reuse Video
Download MPEG-4 Video (21.1MB)

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EPA Websites

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Additional Government Websites

  • National Park Service Units:
    • Plant Conservation Alliance
      A coalition of government agencies and other scientific and conservation groups that is working to solve problems surrounding native plant extinction and habitat restoration.
    • Federal Native Plant Conservation Committee
      A listing and contact information for government agencies, conservation organizations, and academic institutions that make up the Federal Native Plant Conservation Committee.
    • Seeds of Success
      An interagency program coordinated though the Plant Conservation Alliance that supports and coordinates seed collection of native plant populations in the United States to increase the number of species and the amount of native seed that is available for use in stabilizing, rehabilitating and restoring U.S. lands.

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Additional Non-Government Websites

  • Center for Plant Conservation (CPC) Online Directory
    The online CPC Plant Conservation Directory contains useful contacts in each state for information on rare and endangered plants, permit procedures, and government programs; botanists and other contacts in state Heritage Programs and Native Plant Societies; and a searchable database of organizations and experts active in the conservation of rare plants and their areas of expertise.
  • Native Wildflower Seed Production Research Symposium
    A symposium held in July 2007 which served as a forum for the exchange of information among researchers and growers dealing with seed production of regionally adapted species of native wildflowers. Topics addressed were genetics, production practices, pollination, harvesting, conditioning, storage, and wild-collected seed. The page contains links to executive summaries and PowerPoint slides of key presentations.
  • North American Native Plant Society
    Non-profit association dedicated to the conservation of native plants in North America. The site features information on where to find native plants and seeds, publications, and links to related organizations.
  • Plant Conservation Alliance. Native Plant Landscaping Information.
    Information and links related to landscaping and gardening with native plants.
  • Bringing Nature Home: How You Can Sustain Wildlife With Native Plants
    Information and resources about using native plants in your home garden.
  • National Invasive Species Council
    Website for the National Invasive Species Council, an inter-departmental council that helps coordinate all federal government activities related to invasive species (currently under construction).
  • National Invasive Species Information Center
    A gateway for information and resources on invasive species.
  • The Nature Conservancy's (TNC) Global Invasive Species Team
    TNC program dedicated to mitigating the damage caused by non-native species. Web page includes many resources, including invasive species guides, photographs, and news items.
  • National Park Service Plant Conservation Alliance – Weeds Gone Wild
    Provides information for the general public, land managers, researchers, and others on the serious threat and impacts of invasive alien plants to the native flora, fauna, and natural ecosystems of the United States.
  • Weed Science Society of America (WSSA): Journal on Invasive Plant Science and Management
    A new peer-reviewed journal published quarterly by the WSSA. The journal focuses on the biology and ecology of invasive plants, invasive plant management and restoration, ecological and environmental impacts, risk and/or cost benefit analyses, case studies, and updates on new invasive plants and policy, compliance, and regulatory legislation. It is available both on-line and in print. A subscription is required to view full-text articles online.

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Glossary of Ecological Land Reuse Terms

Biodiversity
The variety and variability among living organisms and the ecological complexes in which they occur. Diversity can be defined as the number of different items and their relative frequencies. For biological diversity, these items are organized at many levels, ranging from complete ecosystems to the biochemical structures that are the molecular basis of heredity. Thus, the term encompasses ecosystems, species, and genes.
Compost
A humus or soil-like material created from aerobic, microbial decomposition of organic materials such as food scraps, yard trimmings, and manure. When mature, it is frequently used as a soil amendment because it is rich in nutrients, stable, and safe to use near water sources.
Composting
The biological decomposition process that creates compost. It is frequently used to significantly reduce pathogens in organic waste streams, since the process generates temperatures hot enough to achieve this reduction.
Contaminated Site
Location where microorganisms, chemicals, toxic substances, wastes, or wastewater have been introduced into the water, air, and/or soil in a concentration that makes the site unfit for its intended use.
Creation
The installation of a different kind of ecosystem from that which occurred historically.
[Society for Ecological Restoration International Science & Policy Working Group, 2004.The SER International Primer on Ecological Restoration. www.ser.org & Tucson: Society for Ecological Restoration International.]
Damage
Acute and obvious changes in an ecosystem
[Society for Ecological Restoration International Science & Policy Working Group, 2004.The SER International Primer on Ecological Restoration. www.ser.org & Tucson: Society for Ecological Restoration International.]
Degradation
Subtle or gradual changes that reduce ecological integrity and health.
[Society for Ecological Restoration International Science & Policy Working Group, 2004.The SER International Primer on Ecological Restoration. www.ser.org & Tucson: Society for Ecological Restoration International.]
Ecological Restoration
An intentional activity that initiates or accelerates the recovery of an ecosystem with respect to its health, integrity and sustainability.
[Society for Ecological Restoration International Science & Policy Working Group, 2004.The SER International Primer on Ecological Restoration. www.ser.org & Tucson: Society for Ecological Restoration International.]
Ecological Revitalization
For a contaminated site, such as a Superfund site, it is the process of returning the site to a functioning and sustainable use. Ecological revitalization re-establishes a site to a natural state, thus increasing or improving habitat for plants and animals without impairing the remediation activities that ensure the protection of human health and the environment.
U.S. EPA, 2007. Frequently Asked Questions about Ecological Revitalization of Superfund sites. http://www.clu-in.org/download/remed/542f06002.pdf
Ecosystem
The interacting system of a biological community and its non-living environmental surroundings.
Ecosystem Health
The state or condition of an ecosystem in which its dynamic attributes are expressed within "normal" ranges of activity relative to its ecological stage of development.
[Society for Ecological Restoration International Science & Policy Working Group, 2004.The SER International Primer on Ecological Restoration. www.ser.org & Tucson: Society for Ecological Restoration International.]
Exotic Species
A species that is not indigenous to a region.
Invasive Species
An [exotic] species whose introduction does or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health.
[Clinton, W.J. 1999 Feb 3. Invasive Species. Executive Order 13112. http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/executive-orders/ ]
Mitigation
Measures taken to reduce adverse impacts on the environment.
Native Plant
A plant that occurs naturally in a particular region, ecosystem, and/or habitat without direct or indirect human actions.
[1994 Memorandum of Understanding that established the Federal Native Plant Conservation Committee (from The Roadside Use of Native Plants).]
Reclamation
An ecological restoration activity where the main objectives include the stabilization of the terrain, assurance of public safety, aesthetic improvement, and usually a return of the land to what, within the regional context, is considered to be a useful purpose.
[Society for Ecological Restoration International Science & Policy Working Group, 2004.The SER International Primer on Ecological Restoration. www.ser.org & Tucson: Society for Ecological Restoration International.]
Recovery
When an ecosystem contains sufficient biotic and abiotic resources to continue its development without further assistance or subsidy.
[Society for Ecological Restoration International Science & Policy Working Group, 2004.The SER International Primer on Ecological Restoration. www.ser.org & Tucson: Society for Ecological Restoration International.]
Reference Ecosystem
A model for planning an ecological restoration project, which later serves in the evaluation of that project.
[Society for Ecological Restoration International Science & Policy Working Group, 2004.The SER International Primer on Ecological Restoration. www.ser.org & Tucson: Society for Ecological Restoration International.]
Replacement
Replacement of an ecosystem that was entirely destroyed with one of the same kind. Common on surface-mined lands and brownfields.
[Society for Ecological Restoration International Science & Policy Working Group, 2004.The SER International Primer on Ecological Restoration. www.ser.org & Tucson: Society for Ecological Restoration International.]
Restoration Ecology
The science upon which the practice of ecological restoration is based.
[Society for Ecological Restoration International Science & Policy Working Group, 2004.The SER International Primer on Ecological Restoration. www.ser.org & Tucson: Society for Ecological Restoration International.]
Revegetation
The process of establishing plants in areas devoid of vegetation.
Soil Amendments
Residual materials, composted agricultural byproducts, and traditional agricultural fertilizers That, when added to soils, can promote positive changes in chemical, physical and biological properties of the disturbed media.
[U.S. EPA, 2007. Soil Remediation, Revitalization, and Reuse: Technical Performance Measures (TPMs). http://clu-in.org/products/tpm/ ]
Soil Health
The capacity of a soil to be used productively without adversely affecting its future productivity, the ecosystem, and the environment.
[Cornell University Soil Health Team. 2005. Cornell Soil Health Web Site. http://soilhealth.cals.cornell.edu/ ]
Soil Organic Carbon
The total organic carbon of a soil exclusive of carbon from undecayed plants and animal residues.
Food and Agriculture Organization. 2007. Global Terrestrial Observing System, Terrestrial Ecosystem Monitoring Sites. http://www.fao.org/gtos/tems/variable_show.jsp?VARIABLE_ID=34 ]
Soil Organic Matter
The living microbes in the soil, partially decayed plant material and microbes, and the stable material formed from decomposed plants and microbes.
[University of Maine Cooperative Extension. Know Your Soil – Bulletin #2288. http://extension.umaine.edu/publications/2288e/ ]
Stressors
Physical, chemical, or biological entities that can induce adverse effects on ecosystems or human health.
Substitution
The use of a replacement ecosystem where an altered environment can no longer support any naturally occurring type of ecosystem in the bioregion.
[Clewell, A. et al. 2005. Society for Ecological Restoration International: Guidelines for Developing and Managing Ecological Restoration Projects, 2nd Edition. www.ser.org ]
Tilth
The state of aggregation of a soil especially in relation to its suitability for crop growth.
[Cumberland County, Maryland, Conservation District. 2007. Biosolid terms. http://www.cumberlandcd.com/ ]
Transformation
The conversion of an ecosystem to a different kind of ecosystem or land use type.
[Society for Ecological Restoration International Science & Policy Working Group, 2004.The SER International Primer on Ecological Restoration. www.ser.org & Tucson: Society for Ecological Restoration International.]

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