If you’re interested in sustainability and green living, you’ve probably heard the term environmental remediation. It likely conjures up images of ancient, rusty oil tanks being excavated from the ground and overflowing landfills being vented or capped. But soil remediation and excavation does so much more than that. If done effectively, this process actually helps to drastically improve the condition of the soil and the quality of air and water near the excavation site.
While it’s fair to say that soil remediation isn’t the sexiest process in the green industry, it’s a real necessity. The process focuses on extracting and treating soils to remove pollution and other issues. Soil remediation is a responsible decision that can help to improve the health of employees and neighbors. It creates a safer workplace environment by reducing the risk of exposure to harmful pollutants. The process also helps preserve the health of community overall. Here are some ways soil remediation plays an important role in the green industry and what you need to know.
Helping businesses become greener
For established businesses in certain industries that aren’t known for being environmentally friendly, becoming greener can be challenging. This is particularly true in the manufacturing industry and other industrial sectors that frequently rely on heavy equipment to help get work done efficiently. These companies and organizations sometimes face serious environmental pollutant issues such as years of soil contamination from heavy equipment usage, improper disposal of hazardous waste, acid rain contamination from smoke stacks and smog, and wear and tear that causes older underground and above ground tanks to develop leaks.
Environmental contractors focused on soil remediation partner with companies committed to becoming greener in order to develop strategies that align with their specific clean up needs and create a healthier and safer workplace for their employees. Soil remediation can also help improve community relations by demonstrating an action-oriented approach to addressing any environmental concerns.
Properly disposing of hazardous contaminants
Many businesses that have been around for decades are faced with the issue of hazardous contaminants in the soil of their manufacturing plants. Over time, the EPA and OSHA have developed more stringent regulations for hazardous waste disposal. But decades ago policies related to the proper disposal of environmental pollutants either did not exist or were simply not enforced. This led to many companies burying hazardous waste, dumping it into nearby lakes and rivers furthering contamination of the water supply and soil, or simply dumping it on designated areas of their property.
Cleaning up chemicals that have leached into the soil over decades is no small task. Some cities and states are now enforcing testing, and companies are being hit with clean up penalties for issues that are decades old. It’s absolutely crucial for companies to partner with experienced and professional environmental contractors in order to ensure that these materials are disposed of safely and effectively. If your business is committed to becoming more environmentally friendly, seek out a company that specializes in soil remediation.
Cleaning up the soil and the air
Soil remediation results in a healthier planet. Environmental contractors that specialize in soil remediation are dedicated to improving the condition of our planet by removing harmful chemicals from the ground. While many environmental strategies focus on reducing our impact now or helping us be more conscientious in the future, soil remediation’s role is different. It helps address and improve previous environmental damage, and is helping to change the environmental legacy of previous generations.
The soil remediation process also helps to improve the quality of the air and water around the excavation site. Consider when a gust of wind kicks up dust or dirt from the ground. The wind picks up dirt and dust from the ground and suspends it into the air we breathe. If the soil nearby is contaminated with heavy metals and harmful chemical pollutants, you are unintentionally breathing it in or ingesting small amounts daily.
A recent study published by Indiana University indicates that contaminated soil is one of the leading causes of lead poisoning in young children. By removing heavy metals and toxic chemicals from the soil, businesses that do remediation and excavation are actually ensuring that the air we are breathing is cleaner, healthier, and safer. Companies that engage in soil remediation are doing a public good by helping to ensure various tracts of land are safe for children and families.
As society continues to embrace sustainable and environmentally friendly living, more and more industries are shifting to greener mindsets. Many businesses are prioritizing cleaning up their act in order to preserve the planet and create a healthier workplace for their employees and community. Environmental remediation plays a major role in the green industry movement.
Elizabeth Alton is a freelance business and technology writer. She covers trends related to small business, entrepreneurs, and the evolving digital landscape. Her work has been published by The Huffington Post, USA Today, The Daily Muse, Better Homes and Gardens, and PolicyMic. Connect with Elizabeth on Google+. Photo by Mike Wright