Triple Bottom Line Sustainability to Design and Remediate Contaminated Site with Emerging Technology

2019-12-01T00:00:00Z (GMT) by Danielle Da Silva
This project consists of remediation of soil and groundwater in an oil refinery owned by Archer Daniels Midland, located in Lincoln, Nebraska. The site was previously used as grain elevator, and hazardous compounds, including carbon tetrachloride, were known to be used as fumigants before 1996; because of that the VOC’s contamination plume extended ¾ mile away from the source area, potentially affecting human and environmental health. This project aimed to remediate two areas: a source area, which contained the largest over limit contaminant levels in the surface soil, and a deep zone area, with contained the largest plume amount at over 85 ft deep within the groundwater table. The triple bottom line framework of sustainability was used to review and select remediation design options. For the environmental sustainability assessment, SEFA, SiteWise and SimaPro models were run. Economic sustainability was assessed by direct costs, risk assessment from @Risk, and net present value calculations. Next, the social sustainability was analyzed by conducting a public survey, using SSEM (Social Sustainability Evaluation Matrix), and a component of the SimaPro model. Lastly, the results for every method and approach used in this project were weighted into a single score using the MIVES mathematical model. After reviewing and analyzing all technology applicable to the site, the emulsified zero-valent iron (EZVI) alternative to treat both areas was selected, as the technology is known to be effective in different types of soil, as well as the most sustainable and comparable costs. EZVI was chosen as fracking for the shallow source area, and as PRB for the deep zone.