Risk-Based Remediation of Contaminated Soil

  • Tahir Husain
Part of the Soil Biology book series (SOILBIOL, volume 1)


Risk assessment is an emerging multi-disciplinary scientific discipline used to evaluate health and ecological risks posed by the chemicals of concern (COC), also known as “risk agents”. This evaluation helps in formulating remedial actions and risk-based management plans to achieve target risk reduction. However, to comply with the regulations and to develop a cost-effective remedial action plan, there is a need to introduce a systematic and scientifically sound methodology. The methodology should not only help in assessing the extent of contamination and associated risks at a site, but it should also be able to identify appropriate remediation technologies. This paper introduces the concept of risk-based site remediation. The decision on the extent of cleanup at a site is based on environmental and human health risks to potential receptors through possible exposure pathways. In those locations where exposure of contamination to human health and ecosystems is low, a complete cleanup may not be required. The proposed methodology also allows “natural attenuation” as one of the remediation alternatives. If the contamination at a site can be contained and if the natural attenuation rates are promising, “no action” may be considered as one of the remedial options for site remediation. Many hydrocarbon-contaminated sites can be identified under the “natural attenuation” option using this approach.


Total Petroleum Hydrocarbon Natural Attenuation Exposure Pathway Remediation Technology Benzene Toluene Ethylbenzene Xylene 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tahir Husain
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Environmental Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Applied ScienceMemorial University of NewfoundlandSt. John’sCanada

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