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J Environ Manage. 2002 Apr;64(4):387-400.

Remediation of contaminated lands: a decision methodology for site owners.

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Departments of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and Mechanical, Automotive, and Materials Engineering, University of Windsor, Windsor, Ontario, Canada N4B 3P4.


Deciding how to remediate and redevelop contaminated lands should involve more than just selecting remediation techniques to clean a site to meet regulations for a predetermined site use. Owners and their consultants also need to understand aspects such as alternative site uses and liability, and how issues such as uncertainty can affect them. A methodology has been developed that provides a framework for current site owners when making decisions. It clarifies the above issues and details the type of information that is needed. It offers a step-by-step approach to improve decision making when contemplating remediation of contaminated sites by identifying the site use and remedial action combination that maximizes the current owner's net benefits. It examines various factors in decision making--with special emphasis on the timely issues of liability and uncertainty--and how expert opinion can be used to address diverse or incomplete data. Future research should include developing a complementary methodology that incorporates community and ecological objectives, resulting in a unified decision framework.

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