Description: The Fernald Environmental Management Project (FEMP) owned by the Department of Energy was used for the processing of uranium. In 1989 Fernald suspended production of uranium metals and was placed on the National Priorities List (NPL). The site`s mission has changed from one of production to environmental restoration. Many groups necessary for producing a product were deemed irrelevant for remediation work, including Waste Minimization. Waste Minimization does not readily appear to be applicable to remediation work. Environmental remediation is designed to correct adverse impacts to the environment from past operations and generates significant amounts of waste requiring management. The premise of pollution prevention is to avoid waste generation, thus remediation is in direct conflict with this premise. Although greater amounts of waste will be generated during environmental remediation, treatment capacities are not always available and disposal is becoming more difficult and costly. This creates the need for pollution prevention and waste minimization. Applying waste minimization principles at a remediation site is an enormous challenge. If the remediation site is also radiologically contaminated it is even a bigger challenge. Innovative techniques and ideas must be utilized to achieve reductions in the amount of waste that must be managed or dispositioned. At Fernald the waste minimization paradigm was shifted from focusing efforts on source reduction to focusing efforts on recycle/reuse by inverting the EPA waste management hierarchy. A fundamental difference at remediation sites is that source reduction has limited applicability to legacy wastes but can be applied successfully on secondary waste generation. The bulk of measurable waste reduction will be achieved by the recycle/reuse of primary wastes and by segregation and decontamination of secondary wastestreams. Each effort must be measured in terms of being economically and ecologically beneficial.
Date: January 23, 1995
Creator: Allmon, L.A.
Item Type: Refine your search to only Article
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department