Feed the Microbes that Eat the Pollutants.
Interesting post from Sea Grant Washington, though with broken links, on using microbes to clean up pollution in marine ecosystems:
Experts in bioremediation, the technology that uses living organisms to break down hazardous materials in sediment, are exploring ways to accelerate these natural bacterial processes. Online source.
(Apparently article from past issue of Sea Star. Other issues here. )
In Eagle Harbor, both specialist and generalist strains of PAH-gobbling bacteria may be limited by the availability of certain materials in the sediment. By adding micronutrients–trace quantities
of elements such as nitrate, sulfate and phosphorous–to the sediment, the rate that the bacteria can degrade PAHs may be accelerated, quickening the pace of any cleanup efforts.
Another clean-up technology from Pease Construction:
|Thermal Remediation Pilot Construction Project, Wyckoff/Eagle
Harbor Superfund Site, Bainbridge Island, WA
This was a pilot construction project at the Wyckoff/Eagle Harbor Superfund site on Bainbridge Island. The overall objective of this project is to inject steam into the creosote-contaminated ground, extracting the contaminated vapors and liquids and transferring them to an existing treatment plant. The existing treatment plant was also modified.
PERC scholars have long argued that Superfund sites could be cleaned up faster and less expensively by moving government back to a traditional role of adjudicating disputes rather than actively trying to managing Superfund site cleanups.
Superfund sites could simply be offered for sale to the highest bidder. The highest bid could be income for the government if the land or marine ecosystem is thought to be more valuable than the cost of clean-up, or could be an expense where clean-up is projected to be higher than the property value. Either way, the competitive process would encourage entrepreneurship and likely be far less expensive that ongoing federal government clean-up efforts.
Performance bonds would be posted and insurance confirmed. Then private firms or environmental organizations (who might decide to purchase some sites), would deploy or develop clean-up technologies suited to each Superfund site.