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Oregon Department of Environmental Quality

Land Quality

Environmental Cleanup

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Green Remediation

Investigating and cleaning up sites where hazardous substances such as petroleum, PCBs, heavy metals and pesticides exist can generate waste, emit greenhouse gases and require a considerable amount of energy and other resources. Green remediation calls for the application of more environmentally-friendly, sustainable practices in order to lessen overall environmental impact of investigation and cleanup projects.

Examples of green remediation practices:

  • Using alternative fuels such as biodiesel to operate heavy machinery
  • Using renewable energy sources such as solar power to run treatment systems
  • Use of natural system technologies such as bioremediation (using microorganisms to remove or neutralize contamination) and phytoremediation (using plants to absorb, remove or break down contaminants)
  • Employing in-situ, on-site treatment of contamination rather than the more invasive practices of excavation and off-site disposal
  • Reducing waste by reusing or recycling materials

DEQ Green Remediation Policy

DEQ’s green remediation policy, finalized in November 2011, applies to state actions, parties responsible for investigating or cleaning up contaminated sites and to those hired to perform such work. Under this policy, DEQ encourages responsible parties to implement green remediation technologies voluntarily.

DEQ’s green remediation work group plans the following next steps:

  • Begin work developing guidelines for implementing the policy
  • Meet with stakeholders to get their input on how DEQ can best support green remediation
  • Develop case studies and update DEQ's website
  • Incorporate sustainability language into DEQ Cleanup Program contracts

When to Consider Green Remediation

Now is the time to start incorporating green remediation into your projects. Green practices can be evaluated and implemented for specific tasks and at any stage of the remedial investigation/feasibility study process. Several groups, including the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, are developing policy and technical resources to help implement green remediation. Here is a list of organizations and web links that provide more information:

In a recent assessment of environmental cleanup priorities, DEQ included identification and promotion of green technologies to improve overall environmental impacts of cleanup projects. Visit the strategic plan web page:

DEQ is looking for Oregon case studies of more sustainable cleanup practices. If you would like to share a green remediation success story, please contact us. or call 503-229-5326.

Click here for examples of projects using a greener approach.
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For more information about DEQ's Land Quality programs, visit the DEQ contact page.

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality
Headquarters: 700 NE Multnomah Street, Suite 600, Portland, OR 97232
Phone: 503-229-5696 or toll free in Oregon 1-800-452-4011
Oregon Telecommunications Relay Service: 1-800-735-2900  FAX: 503-229-6124

The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality is a regulatory agency authorized to protect Oregon's environment by
the State of Oregon and the Environmental Protection Agency.

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