In degraded ecosystems, manipulating sediments can aid in recreating natural sediment processes, establishing suitable substrate conditions for aquatic life, and supporting the recovery of vegetation and wildlife. In the United States, sediment management revolves around the presence of contaminated sediment. Contaminated sediment sites pose intricate technical challenges that demand significant resources to address and mitigate the associated problems effectively.
Over the past three decades, significant progress has reduced the discharge of toxic and persistent chemicals into waterways throughout the United States. However, a persistent problem remains, characterized by elevated concentrations of contaminants in the sediment found at the bottom of rivers and harbors. The situation has raised considerable concerns about its potential risks to aquatic organisms, wildlife, and humans.
This paper by Dave Palmerton delves into the technical challenges environmental engineers and consultants face in addressing and mitigating this issue, especially during waterfront remediation projects. Furthermore, he explores strategies to optimize resources to tackle the problem at hand effectively and efficiently.
Active monitoring and data collection is critical throughout the remediation process. These activities enable evaluating the chosen strategy’s effectiveness, identifying necessary adjustments, and ensuring compliance with environmental regulations. Adaptive management approaches allow modifying or refining the sediment remediation strategy based on monitoring results and stakeholder feedback.
The utmost importance lies in choosing the appropriate remediation techniques; base the decision on site conditions, the specific contaminants present, and the desired remediation goals. After reading the paper, you may get a better idea of the options available for achieving effective and sustainable sediment remediation outcomes.
About the Author: David Palmerton, PG, is has extensive experience in environmental site assessment remediation, due diligence, and construction quality control. Experience includes providing consulting services to a variety of large commercial, industrial, and academic entities. He has also provided litigation support. He has managed and performed numerous Phase I, Phase II, due diligence, and remediation projects, including a solar farm geotechnical and environmental project. He has managed the closure of large oil fields, plugged over 1,000 oil and gas wells, deconstructed oil and gas pipelines and facilities, and performed remediation of petroleum contaminated soil and groundwater.