In developed countries, legacy sites, the consequence of past releases to the environment of hazardous materials, represent a continuing potential threat to human health and the environment as well as imposing significant financial burdens on private and public resources. While substantial progress in site restoration has been achieved in many countries over the past four decades, many sites remain with contamination above levels allowing for unlimited use and unrestricted exposure. Various technical and institutional barriers have resulted in much longer timeframes to meet remedial goals than was predicted in the early stages of addressing this environmental challenge. I will provide an overview of the legacy site challenge, primarily focused on the US experience, and discuss lessons learned in the pursuit of legacy site restoration that may be of value to other nations in earlier stages of industrial development.
Speaker biography: Michael C. Kavanaugh, P.E., BCEE
Principal, Geosyntec Consultants, Inc., a 1200 person professional services firm specializing in environmental science, and environmental and geotechnical engineering. He is a chemical and environmental engineer with over 40 years of consulting experience. His areas of expertise include hazardous waste management, site remediation with particular focus on groundwater remediation, industrial waste treatment, risk and decision analysis, fate and transport of contaminants in the environment, water quality management, water and wastewater treatment, potable and non-potable water reuse, and strategic environmental management. He is a Member of National Academy of Engineering Fellow, US Water Environment Federation.