Summary

This chapter has presented some of the issues that face the site remediation engineer in professional practice and has suggested some of the techniques applicable in the endeavor to clean up the nation's hazardous waste sites with a knowledge-based, cost-effective, and systematic but integrated approach. The key concept presented in this chapter is one of balance. There are no perfect remedies; they all have disadvantages and limitations. Each site presents a unique set of trade-offs. The challenge is to balance the pros and cons in a manner that satisfies the essential objectives, is implementable, and is affordable to the funding entity. Without this balance, a strategy of either stall or litigate will likely result instead of a remediation strategy.

The business of remedy evaluation and selection is extremely complex and requires a working knowledge of environmental regulation, environmental law, process engineering, cost estimating, and construction engineering. No single chapter, or even a full volume, can attempt to convey more than the very basics of this profession. To compound the situation, it is very dynamic and changes continuously, so what was optimal in the past may not be acceptable in the future. This makes the practice very challenging, but also very exciting.

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