In recent years, many people have begun to recognize that not all
cleanup actions have a net environmental benefit. AVI has been doing
these analyses for many years, and these themes are imbedded in the ASTM
LNAPL Guide (E-2531-06).
Fundamentally, most environmental cleanup actions require use of
various resources. When the sum of all these costs outweigh the
benefit of those cleanup actions, then there is no net benefit and the
action is creating environmental damages.
Benefits to cleanup actions may include restoration of a water
resource, protection of people & sensitive environmental receptors,
aesthetic improvements to a site, and others.
Costs to cleanup actions may include use of various materials,
generation of a new carbon footprint, energy use, business impairments,
water use, and others.
Net environmental benefit analysis helps to quantify or qualitatively
assess whether certain cleanup or management actions have a net benefit.
Actions that have no net benefit must be considered to be damaging to the
environment. More damaging than the contamination the action is
meant to address. It is generally impracticable to execute site
management actions that have no net benefit.