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A Sustainable Environmental Protection System for the Management of Residual Contaminants

Long-Term Management of Contaminated Sites

ISBN: 978-0-76231-319-8, eISBN: 978-1-84950-419-5

Publication date: 7 December 2006


Hazardous and radioactive wastes are routinely disposed of in shallow land disposal facilities at sites that have undergone environmental remediation. These residual contaminants, which remain on-site in these isolation facilities, continue to pose risks to humans and the environment and represent extremely long-term liabilities that require continuous management.

This paper draws upon the experiences generated from two federal programs established in response to the Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act (UMTRCA) of 1978 and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) of 1980. Operational issues arising at existing sites suggest that there is a need to better integrate the management functions at contaminant isolation facilities. To protect human health and safeguard the natural environment, more sustainable environmental protection systems are required for the long-term management of residual contaminants. A series of logic diagrams are introduced to improve the integration and management of remedial processes, engineered barriers and institutional controls. These institutional responsibilities need to be monitored and maintained by the appropriate site stewards to ensure continued system performance.


Kostelnik, K.M., Clarke, J.H., Harbour, J.L., Sanchez, F. and Parker, F.L. (2006), "A Sustainable Environmental Protection System for the Management of Residual Contaminants", Leschine, T.M. (Ed.) Long-Term Management of Contaminated Sites (Research in Social Problems and Public Policy, Vol. 13), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 117-137.



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