Resilient remediation: Addressing extreme weather and climate change, creating community value

Barbara Maco, Richard Bardos, Frederic Coulon, Emerald Erickso-Mulanax, Lara Hansen, Melissa Harclerode, Deyi Hou, Eric Mielbrecht, Haruko Wainwright, Tetsuo Yasutaka , William Wick

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Recent devastating hurricanes demonstrated that extreme weather and climate change can jeopardize contaminated land remediation and harm public health and the environment. Since early 2016, the Sustainable Remediation Forum (SURF) has led research and organized knowledge exchanges to examine (1) the impacts of climate change and extreme weather events on hazardous waste sites, and (2) how we can mitigate these impacts and create value for communities. The SURF team found that climate change and extreme weather events can undermine the effectiveness of the approved site remediation, and can also affect contaminant toxicity, exposure, organism sensitivity, fate and transport, long‐term operations, management, and stewardship of remediation sites. Further, failure to consider social vulnerability to climate change could compromise remediation and adaptation strategies. SURF's recommendations for resilient remediation build on resources and drivers from state, national, and international sources, and marry the practices of sustainable remediation and climate change adaptation. They outline both general principles and site‐specific protocols and provide global examples of mitigation and adaptation strategies. Opportunities for synergy include vulnerability assessments that benefit and build on established hazardous waste management law, policy, and practices. SURF's recommendations can guide owners and project managers in developing a site resiliency strategy. Resilient remediation can help expedite cleanup and redevelopment, decrease public health risks, and create jobs, parks, wetlands, and resilient energy sources. Resilient remediation and redevelopment can also positively contribute to achieving international goals for sustainable land management, climate action, clean energy, and sustainable cities.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)7-18
    JournalRemediation Journal
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 4 Dec 2018

    Bibliographical note

    This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Maco B, Bardos P, Coulon F, et al. Resilient remediation: Addressing extreme weather and climate change, creating community value. Remediation. 2018;29:7–18, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Use of Self-Archived Versions.


    • climate change
    • extreme weather events
    • remediation resiliency
    • sustainable remediation
    • sustainable remediation forum


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