EPA's Methodology for Understanding and Reducing a Project's Environmental Footprint
supplements the green remediation primer (EPA 542-R-08-002) by providing an approach to quantify energy, air, water, and materials & waste that comprise the environmental footprint of a remedy. It also provides initial suggestions on how to reduce the footprint during the remedy selection, design, implementation, and operation phases.
Supporting Spreadsheets for Environmental Footprint Analysis (SEFA)
are designed to assist EPA in conducting an environmental footprint analysis for site cleanup, as described in EPA's methodology. SEFA is primarily intended for compiling data on activities associated with alternative remedies, remedy designs, or implemented remedies but may also be applied to other phases of a project. Although originally developed for EPA's internal use, the spreadsheets are available to the public for the benefit of others wishing to quantify the environmental footprint of site remediation.
GREEN REMEDIATON PILOT STUDY
EPA studied the environmental footprints of three remedial options for remediating chlorinated solvents in the groundwater at Romic East Palo Alto
East Palo Alto, CA. For each option, the study estimated emissions of various environmental parameters, such as greenhouse gases, criteria pollutants, and air toxics, and the resources used, such as energy and water.
EPA studied the environmental footprints of three remedial options for managing leachate levels at a closed waste disposal unit at the former BP Products North America, Inc. oil refinery in Wood River, IL, otherwise known as BP Wood River
. For each option, the study estimated emissions of environmental parameters such as greenhouse gases, criteria pollutants, and air toxics and the usage of resources such as energy and water.
EPA studied the environmental footprints of four remedial options for remediating a chlorinated solvent ground source area and plume at Site DP039 at Travis Air Force Base (Travis AFB)
in Fairfield, CA. For each option, the study estimated emissions of various environmental parameters, such as greenhouse gases, criteria pollutants, and air toxics, and the resources used, such as energy and water.
EPA worked with Battelle and industrial partners to compare four quantitative tools currently in use to estimate the environmental footprint of remediation projects. By applying project information specific to the Grants Chlorinated Solvents Plume Superfund site in Grants, New Mexico, the comparison identified similarities and differences among (1) SiteWise, (2) the Sustainable Remediation Tool, (3) Spreadsheets for Environmental Footprint Analysis (SEFA), and (4) SimaPro®. Treatment technologies addressed in the tool evaluation included in situ thermal treatment, enhanced reductive dechlorination, and in situ chemical oxidation. The final report, Evaluation of the Environmental Footprint of the Record of Decision Remedy: Comparison of Four Different Tools (PDF) (160 pp, 3.2MB)
, offers recommendations to promote consistency among tool results and includes detailed appendices containing the site-specific input and output for each tool. *New*
Government, industrial, academic, and non-profit organizations offer many Web-based calculators, software models, and supplemental materials for potential use in evaluating the environmental "footprints" of site remediation. Most tools currently address more than one core element of green remediation strategies, as applied through EPA's Greener Cleanups Principles, and some involve concepts that can be adapted for remediation purposes.
Publicly Available Tools Designed for Green and Sustainable Site Cleanup
Other Free Tools or Commercial Packages
AQUATOX (Release 3) is an ecosystem model that predicts fate of nutrients and organic chemicals in water bodies as well as their direct and indirect effects on resident organisms. The tool simulates multiple environmental stressors (nutrients, organic loadings, toxic chemicals, and temperature) and their effects on algal, macrophyte, invertebrate, and fish communities. Applications include developing numeric nutrient targets based on desired biological endpoints, evaluating stressors causing biological impairment, determining effects of land use changes on aquatic life, and estimating recovery time for fish or invertebrate communities.
Athena software evaluates whole buildings and assemblies based on life cycle assessment for material manufacturing; related transportation; on-site construction; regional energy use, transportation, and other factors; building type and assumed lifespan; maintenance, repair and replacement effects; demolition and disposal; and operating energy emissions and pre-combustion effects.
BEES 4.0, "Building for Environmental and Economic Sustainability" evaluates green building products categorized under 24 elements, taking into account U.S. methodology for U.S. life cycle assessment. Evaluated impacts include global warming, acidification, eutrophication, fossil fuel depletion, indoor air quality, habitat alteration, ozone depletion, water intake, criteria air pollutants, smog, ecological toxicity, cancerous effects, and noncancerous effects. To date, NIST has evaluated and scored over 230 products on BEES environmental performance. The U.S. EPA Office of Resources Conservation and Recovery (ORCR) currently uses BEES model components to assess benefits associated with beneficial use of fly ash, ground granulated blast furnace slag, and silica fume in concrete building products.
The Beneficial Reuse Model is a suite of modules for comparing different materials that can be used for road construction in different scenarios. Modules address life cycle assessment; human cancer and non-cancer risk and ecological toxicity potential (for fresh water aquatic, terrestrial, and fresh water sediment systems); and a multi-criteria decision analysis with an algorithm for ranking scenarios where no material consistently performs better. Model development continues, in part under an EPA Region 5 grant.
The Boustead Model is a tool for life-cycle inventory calculations of industrial processes. Version 5 links site-specific input to core data on fuel production, materials processing, stand-alone aspects, air emissions, water emissions, solid waste, solid waste regulated by the European Union, raw materials, fuels, feedstocks, and activity functions.
The CICA Compliance Summary Tool identifies and sorts through federal and state environmental compliance responsibilities related to different types of construction projects (including demolition) in each state. The tool addresses protection and conservation of wildlife habitat, stream or other water bodies, wetlands, woods and forests, and intermittent streams, with focus on stormwater runoff and soil erosion controls.
The CHP Application Tool helps evaluate feasibility of CHP for industrial heating systems such as fuel-fired furnaces, boilers, ovens, heaters, and heat exchangers. It allows analysis of 3 typical system types: fluid heating, exhaust-gas heat recovery, and duct burner systems. Use the tool to estimate system costs and payback period, and to perform what-if analysis for various utility costs. The tool includes performance data and preliminary cost information for commercially available gas turbines and default values adaptable to specific application requirements.
The Diesel Emissions Quantifier is an interactive tool that can help estimate emission reductions, cost effectiveness, and health benefits of using clean diesel in fleets. This tool is designed for use by state and local governments, metropolitan planning organizations, school districts, port authorities, fleet owners and operators, contractors, and others in preparing applications for EPA or other funding assistance programs.
This tool helps companies understand GHG emission implications of disposal methods for durable goods. DGC information supports voluntary GHG measurement and reporting as well as waste management decision making. DGC estimates GHG emissions benefits in terms of MTCE and energy savings in MMBtu for recycling, landfilling, and combustion of 14 typical durable goods.
EEBC assists institutional purchasers (including Federal Electronic Challenge program participants) in quantifying the benefits of environmentally sound management of electronic equipment and purchases of EPEAT-registered equipment.
eGRID is a comprehensive inventory of environmental attributes of electric power systems in the U.S. electric power sector. eGRID is based on available plant-specific data for all U.S. electricity generating plants that provide power to the electric grid and report data to the U.S. government. eGRID contains air emissions data for nitrogen oxides (NOx), sulfur dioxide (SO2), carbon dioxide (CO2), mercury (Hg), methane (CH4), and nitrous oxide (N2O).
EMFACT is designed to be used within companies for systematically tracking materials and energy use; releases, discharges, and wastes; and associated costs. The tool helps manufacturers to apply environmental management accounting when setting pollution prevention priorities, identifying value-added opportunities for sustainable production, and implementing materials and energy efficiency improvements.
Originally funded by EPA Region 2, the Environmental Benefits Calculator helps track the environmental impacts and benefits of waste management programs based on tonnage of materials that are source reduced, reused, recycled, landfilled, or incinerated and the size of the area covered by the program. Calculator input can be segregated by state, region, county, town, institution, school, or business, and output can be compared to an energy and emissions savings charts.
FSAT helps quantify the potential benefits of optimizing fan system configurations serving industrial processes. Using basic information about a facility's existing fans and associated motors, the tool helps calculate the amount of energy used by a fan system, determine system efficiency, and quantify the savings potential of an upgraded system.
The U.S. EPA ORCR/MISWD is developing this calculator to compare costs of implementing a food waste recovery program, based on current waste management costs.
Green Footstep is an online carbon assessment tool that helps users understand how much a building contributes to global warming. Based on site characteristics (such as ecological settings and location) and building characteristics, the tool helps to report a project's emissions throughout site development, construction, and building operations; set carbon emissions goals and design targets; and support financial modeling based on lifecycle cost analysis.
Green Globes is a management module for building construction that addresses seven construction areas: project management, energy, indoor environment, site, water, resources, and emissions. The module includes an assessment protocol and a rating system and guide for integrating environmentally friendly design into both new and existing commercial buildings.
The Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies calculator translates statements about energy/fuel consumption and associated GHG emissions into commonplace terms.
The GHG Protocol is an international accounting tool for government and business leaders to understand, quantify, and manage GHG emissions. ISO adopted the Protocol's "Corporate Standard" in 2006 as the basis for ISO 14064-I, "Specification with Guidance at the Organization Level for Quantification and Reporting of GHG Emissions and Removals." The Protocol includes cross-sector worksheets for aspects such as GHG emissions from stationary combustion, CO2 emissions from transport or mobile sources, and emission allocation of a CHP plant. Sector-specific tools include GHG-emission worksheets for materials such as aluminum, cement, and ammonia, and customized worksheets for developing countries. Detailed guidance is provided for each worksheet.
GREET is a full life-cycle model to evaluate various vehicle and fuel combinations on a fuel-cycle/vehicle-cycle basis, including material recovery and vehicle disposal. For a given vehicle and fuel system, GREET calculates consumption of total energy (renewable and non-renewable), fossil fuels, petroleum, coal, and natural gas; emissions of CO2-equivalent GHG; and emissions of VOCs, CO, NOx, PM10, PM2.5, and SOx. The model includes more than 100 fuel production pathways and more than 70 vehicle/fuel systems.
This suite of tools includes six spreadsheet-based calculators for use in GreenScapes project decision making and cost comparisons regarding virgin materials versus environmentally preferable products or methods. Individual calculators address recycling and reusing landscape waste; resource conserving landscaping cost; erosion control; decking cost; sub-surface drip irrigation cost; and pallets cost.
The GSA Carbon Footprint and Green Procurement Tool assists agencies in managing their greenhouse gases as required by Executive Order 13514 and recent energy laws. The tool can help calculate an agency's greenhouse gas (GHG) baseline (broken down by different scopes), assist with setting GHG reduction targets, compile a building-by-building GHG emissions inventory, and prepare for reporting emissions to the U.S. DOE's GHG Reporting Portal.
HOMER is a micropower optimization model originally developed by the U.S.DOE/NREL to simplify evaluation of design options for both off-grid and grid-connected power systems. Design considerations include system configuration, component types, component quantity and sizing, and comparison of different systems.
The Hybrid Power System Simulation Model (Version 1.3) simulates performance of renewable energy systems involving combinations of different electrical loads, types of wind turbines, photovoltaics, diesel generators, battery storage, and power conversion devices. The tool also compares long-term performance of comparable systems.
IWEM software helps determine the most appropriate waste management unit design to minimize or avoid adverse ground water impacts. Evaluation parameters include liner types, hydrogeologic conditions of a site, and toxicity and expected leachate concentrations from anticipated waste constituents. IWEM lookup tables cover approximately 60 organic or inorganic constituents with established MCLs (maximum contaminant levels).
LEAP is a modeling tool for energy policy analysis and climate change mitigation assessment with a focus on energy consumption, production, and resource extraction in all economic sectors. It can be used to account for energy and non-energy sector GHG emission sources and sinks and to analyze emissions of local and regional air pollutants.
MOVES2010 is a computer model designed to estimate air toxic and greenhouse gas emission factors and inventories. The tool predicts gram-per-mile emissions of volatile organic compounds, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, direct particulate matter, and other precursors from highway vehicles (including cars, trucks, and motorcycles) under various conditions.
An energy-efficient motor selection and management tool, this software tool includes a catalog of over 20,000 AC motors. The software features motor inventory management tools, maintenance log tracking, efficiency analysis, savings evaluation, energy accounting, and environmental reporting capabilities.
NONROAD 2008a calculates past, present, and future emission inventories (tons of pollutants) for all categories of nonroad equipment, excluding commercial marine, locomotives, and aircraft. Modeling fuel types currently include gasoline, diesel, compressed natural gas, and liquefied petroleum gas, with the option of selecting specific geographic areas and time periods for fuel use.
The National Stormwater Calculator is a desktop application that estimates the annual amount of rainwater and frequency of runoff from a specific site anywhere in the United States (including Puerto Rico). Estimates are based on local soil conditions, land cover, and historic rainfall records.
NxEAT helps plants in the petroleum refining and chemical industries to assess and analyze NOx emissions and energy efficiency improvements for systems such as fired heaters, boilers, gas turbines, and reciprocating engines. The tool is used to inventory emissions from equipment generating NOx and then to perform "what-if" comparisons of how various technology applications and efficiency measures affect overall costs and NOx reduction.
The U.S. EPA ORCR/HWMMD is developing a calculator under the National Partnership for Environmental Priorities (NPEP) Program. The calculator will use environmental and human-health risk indicators to estimate benefits of reducing or recycling priority chemicals.
The PVWatts calculator determines energy production and cost savings for hypothetical grid-connected photovoltaic energy (PV) systems. The calculator creates hourly simulations based on a unique location and default values or sites-pecific parameters for system size, electric cost, array type, tilt angle, and azimuth angle.
The PaLATE Model is an environmental life cycle mode for the transportation sector, including automobiles, buses, light rail, heavy rail, and air sources. The tool can be used to assess benefits for reuse of industrial materials such as fly ash, foundry sand, C&D debris in concrete pavement, asphalt pavement, and road base.
The tool is used to determine air emissions associated with site-specific electricity consumption based on zip code and electrical load input. Green Power Partners also can use the tool to identify an eGRID utility sub-region, based on utility provider information.
PHAST (Version 3.0) introduces methods to improve thermal efficiency of industrial heating equipment, survey process-heating equipment that consumes fuel, steam, or electricity, and identify the most energy-intensive equipment. The tool can be used in "what-if" scenarios to compare performance of equipment under various operating conditions.
PSAT (2008) helps industrial users assess efficiency of pumping operations. It uses achievable pump performance data from Hydraulic Institute standards and motor performance data from the MotorMaster+ database to calculate potential energy and associated cost savings. The tool also enables users to save and retrieve log files, default values, and system curves for sharing analyses with other users.
Quick PEP (Version 2.0) is an online software tool that helps industrial plant personnel quickly understand how energy is being used at their plant and how they might save energy and money. Quick PEP provides a report that shows the user where the largest opportunities are for energy and cost savings. Quick PEP then provides a broad list of potential next steps to begin realizing energy and cost savings.
The RETScreen Clean Energy Project Analysis software evaluates energy production and savings, costs, emission reductions, financial viability, and risk for various types of renewable-energy and energy-efficient technologies (RETs). The tool includes product, project, hydrology, and climate databases, a user manual, and a case study-based college/university-level training course. Companion information includes a training course on legal aspects of energy projects.
ReCon (version 4) evaluates GHG benefits associated with increasing the recycled content of material types that are purchased or manufactured, such as aluminum cans, HDPE products, and phone books.
EPA is developing a calculator as part of the "Local Government Recycling Toolkit" to help recycling coordinators of local governments assess and summarize their recycling program costs.
SimaPro assesses benefits associated with the beneficial use of coal combustion products and FGD gypsum in wallboard. SimaPro (Version 7) can be used to collect, analyze, and monitor environmental performance of products and services and to model and analyze complex life cycles in accordance with ISO 14040.
SMARTS predicts clear-sky spectral irradiances and computes how changes in the atmosphere affect distribution of solar power or photon energy. The model can be used in diverse applications such as researching solar energy potential and optimizing daylighting techniques. Users can specify conditions from any of 10 standard atmospheres or their own data and can specify output for one or many points in time or solar geometries.
SBTool (SBT07-A, B, and C) assesses environmental and sustainability performance of buildings and projects according to 125 criteria. The tool helps third-party organizations such as local governments establish project scopes, locally valid weights, benchmarks, and standards (collective rating systems); allows design input about site and project characteristics; and facilitates self-assessments. Natural Resources Canada launched the original tool (GBTool) to serve as software implementation of the international Green Building Challenge.
Target Finder helps property owners/operators set aggressive energy targets for buildings and rates a building design's estimated energy use. The tool identifies targets based on ENERGY STAR performance ratings and energy use based on fuel mix percentages determined by DOE-EIA.
The U.S. EPA ORCR uses WARM to assess benefits of the WasteWise program and specific benefits from reusing material such as fly ash, municipal solid waste recycling matter, and yard trimming compost (as a proxy for GreenScapes benefits). WARM also helps the public estimate GHG reductions of different waste management practices such as source reduction, recycling, combustion, composting, and landfilling for (currently 40) material types.
The WEAP system provides a framework for water assessment and planning. WEAP software is used to represent water conditions in a given area and explore demand and supply options for balancing environmental issues with land development. Tailored U.S. applications include sustainable reservoir management planning by the Natural Resources Defense Council, and stream flow protection regulations developed by the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection.
As a tool for implementing the CA DTSC Interim Advisory for Green Remediation,
GREM uses concepts of sustainability and life cycle assessment to evaluate treatment alternatives based on substance release/production, thermal releases, physical disturbances/disruptions, and resource depletion/gain (recycling).
The Greener Cleanups Matrix helps maximize environmental benefits of site remediation by evaluating the level of difficulty and feasibility (cost, schedule, and technical complexity) for actions associated with site assessment, planning and design, and cleanup. Matrix information is based on evaluation of certain cleanups from the LUST, SRP, CERCLA ,and RCRA programs using site-specific questionnaires, field visits, and consultations with green remediation practitioners.
SiteWise is a stand-alone tool that assesses the environmental footprint of a remedial alternative/technology in terms of a consistent set of metrics, including: (1) greenhouse gas emissions; (2) energy use; (3) air emissions of criteria pollutants including oxides of nitrogen, sulfur oxides, and particulate matter, (4) water consumption; and (5) worker safety.
SRT helps incorporate sustainability concepts into decision making on the implementation of future remedies and optimization of existing remedies. The tool currently estimates sustainability metrics for eight technologies: excavation, soil vapor extraction, pump and treat, enhanced in situ bioremediation, thermal treatment, in situ chemical oxidation, permeable reactive barrier, and long-term monitoring of monitored natural attenuation.
The Leaking UST Footprint Calculator estimates and compares CO2 emissions for the five most common remediation technologies used at contaminated underground storage tank (UST) sites in California: soil vapor extraction, pump and treat, soil excavation, multi-phase extraction, and monitored natural attenuation. The calculator is pre-populated with average values from leaking UST sites in California (which can be customized to fit different conditions) and designed to help assess remediation options and identify remedy optimization opportunities in 15-30 minutes.
SEFA is a set of workbooks designed to assist EPA in conducting an environmental footprint analysis for site cleanup, as described in EPA's "Methodology for Understanding and Reducing a Project's Environmental Footprint" (EPA 542-R-12-002). It is primarily intended for compiling data on activities associated with alternative remedies, remedy designs, or implemented remedies but may also be applied to other phases of a project. Although originally developed for EPA's internal use, SEFA is made available to the public for the benefit of others wishing to quantify the environmental footprint of site remediation.
EPA is disseminating this information as a means to share information that may advance the field of green remediation. Mention of technology vendors or specific products does not constitute EPA endorsement.