United States
                   Environmental Protection
Office of Solid Waste and
Emergency Response
E PA 542-F-01-007
August 2002
                   A  Citizen's
                   to  Cleanup  Methods
The Citizen's Guide
  EPA uses many methods to clean up pollution at Superfund sites. If you live, work, or go to school near a
  Superfund site, you may want to learn more about cleanup methods. The Citizen's Guide series is a set of
  21 fact sheets that describe, in general terms, cleanup methods used at Superfund and other sites. Each fact
  sheet is two pages long and answers five questions about the cleanup method: 1) What is it? 2) How does
  it work? 3) Is it safe? 4) How long will it take? and 5) Why use it? The guides, which are listed on page 3
  of this brochure, are available in both English and Spanish.
                     What are cleanup methods?

                     Pollution comes from many different sources. Chemical spills, leaking landfills,
                     and improper disposal of wastes can all leave harmful chemicals in soil, groundwa-
                     ter, lakes, and streams. Left in place, these chemicals may pose a threat to the health
                     of people, animals, and plants. The chemicals also may spread from polluted areas
                     to clean areas. Cleanup methods are ways to treat or contain pollution so that it
                     does not threaten human health or the environment.

                     How do they work?

                     Typically, cleanup methods remove the harmful chemicals from polluted soil or
                     water. Soil excavation is a common method that removes harmful chemicals from
                     the environment. The harmful chemicals can then be disposed of properly in a
                     landfill. Other methods that treat pollution, such as bioremediation and permeable
                     reactive barriers, change the harmful chemicals into less harmful ones. Many
                     cleanup methods that change  or destroy harmful chemicals are considered innova-
                     tive. Innovative cleanup methods are newer methods that have not been used very
                     often or under a wide range of conditions.

                     Several cleanup methods can treat pollution in situ, or in place, without digging up
                     the soil or pumping groundwater from beneath the ground. In general, these meth-
                     ods can be faster and less costly when treating  pollution beneath the ground.

                     Cleanup methods that contain pollution prevent chemicals from moving from
                     polluted sites to clean areas. An example of a method that contains the pollution is

For more
write the Technology
Innovation Office at:

U.S. EPA(5102G)
1200 Pennsylvania
Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20460

or call them at
(703) 603-9910.

Further information also
can be obtained at
www.cluin.org or
                          Are cleanup methods safe?

                          Before a cleanup method is used, EPA studies the site and generally tests the method to
                          confirm it can work. During cleanup, EPA also tests the soil, groundwater, and air to
                          make sure the method is working. EPA makes sure that people can't come into contact
                          with the pollution during cleanup. Testing also ensures that pollution is not spreading,
                          such as being released to the air.
                          -  How long will it take  ?
                            Cleanup methods can take weeks or many years to clean up a
                            site. The length of time depends on several factors that vary
                            from site to site:
                                  size, depth, and conditions of the polluted area
                                   (Is soil or water polluted?)
                                  type and amounts of harmful chemicals present
                                  selected cleanup method
                            EPA considers the length of time a cleanup may take when selecting a
                            cleanup method. However, the cost and effectiveness of the method also are
Why use an innovative cleanup method?
For many years, polluted sites were cleaned up by digging up polluted soil and dispos-
ing of it in landfills. Polluted groundwater was pumped to the surface for cleanup in a
method called "pump and treat." Trucking materials to landfills can be very expensive,
and does not destroy the harmful chemicals. Pump and treat can take decades to com-
plete and is also expensive.

In 1986, changes to EPA's Superfund law shifted preference from removal methods to
treatment methods for polluted materials. This encouraged the development of innova-
tive cleanup methods. Innovative cleanup methods are often faster and cheaper than
conventional ones. Also, many can work under conditions where conventional methods
fail. By 1994, six out often cleanup methods used at Superfund sites were innovative.
                          NOTE: This fact sheet is intended solely as general guidance and information to the public. It is not intended, nor can it be relied upon,
                          to create any rights enforceable by any party in litigation with the United States, or to endorse the use of products or services provided
                          by specific vendors. The Agency also reserves the right to change this fact sheet at any time without public notice.

How to Order the Citizen's Guides
The following citizen's guides on cleanup methods are available free-of-charge. To order, mail this
completed form to:

U.S. EPA/National Service Center for Environmental Publications
P.O. Box 42419
Cincinnati, OH 45242

or FAX to (513) 489-8695. Also, telephone orders may be placed at (800) 490-9198 or (513) 489-8190.
       Activated Carbon Treatment (EPA 542-F-01-020); Spanish (EPA 542-F-01-020S)
       Air Stripping (EPA 542-F-01-016); Spanish (EPA 542-F-01-016S)
       Bioremediation (EPA 542-F-01-001); Spanish (EPA 542-F-01-00IS)
       Capping (EPA 542-F-01-022); Spanish (EPA 542-F-01-022S)
       Chemical Dehalogenation (EPA542-F-01-010); Spanish (EPA 542-F-01-010S)
       Chemical Oxidation (EPA 542-F-01-013); Spanish  (EPA 542-F-01-013S)
       Fracturing (EPA 542-F-01-015); Spanish (EPA 542-F-01-015S)
       Incineration (EPA 542-F-01-018); Spanish (EPA 542-F-01-018S)
       In Situ Flushing (EPA542-F-01-011); Spanish (EPA 542-F-01-011S)
       In Situ Thermal Treatment Methods (EPA 542-F-01-012); Spanish (EPA 542-F-01-012S)
       Monitored Natural Attenuation (EPA 542-F-01-004); Spanish (EPA 542-F-01-004S)
       Permeable Reactive Barriers (EPA 542-F-01-005); Spanish (EPA 542-F-01-005S)
       Phytoremediation (EPA 542-F-01-002); Spanish (EPA 542-F-01-002S)
       Pump and Treat for Groundwater (EPA 542-F-01-025); Spanish (EPA 542-F-01-025S)
       Soil Excavation (EPA 542-F-01-023); Spanish (EPA 542-F-01-023S)
       Soil Vapor Extraction and Air Sparging (EPA 542-F-01-006); Spanish (542-F-01-006S)
       Soil Washing (EPA 542-F-01-008); Spanish (EPA 542-F-01-008S)
       Solidification/Stabilization (EPA 542-F-01-024); Spanish (EPA 542-F-01-024S)
       Solvent Extraction (EPA 542-F-01-009); Spanish (EPA 542-F-01-009S)
       Thermal Desorption (EPA542-F-01-003); Spanish  (EPA 542-F-01-003S)
       Vitrification (EPA542-F-01-017); Spanish (EPA 542-F-01-017S)
Send To:
City:	State:	Zip Code:


   United States
   Environmental Protection Agency
   National Service Center for
   Environmental Publications
   P.O. Box 42419
   Cincinnati, OH 45242

   Official Business
   Penalty for Private Use $300
                  FIRST CLASS
                US POSTAGE PAID
               EPA PERMIT NO. G-35
          Soil Excavation
             Permeable Reactive Barriers
                          ^r clean soil
          ground surface
                     groundwater  c|ean

                            reactive materials
   Citizen's  Guide
       Series  on
Cleanup  Methods:
  Fact Sheet and Order Form
         August 2002