Estimating social impacts of a remediation project life cycle with environmental footprint evaluation tools

Melissa A. Harclerode, Pankaj Lal, Michael E. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


This article presents a methodology to calculate the social cost of sustainability metrics with environmental footprint evaluation tools. Measuring the impacts of a remediation project on society is challenging because the methods by which these impacts can be measured have not been established. To perform a complete sustainability assessment of a project's life cycle, costs borne by society in terms of environmental, economic, and community impacts must be evaluated. Two knowledge gaps have been identified among the sustainability assessments currently being performed during a remediation project's life cycle: (1) lack of methodologies available to evaluate impacts on the socioeconomic aspects of remediation and (2) lack of sustainability assessments conducted during the site characterization stage. Sustainability assessments were conducted on two case studies using the methodology proposed in this article: one during the site characterization stage and the other during remedial action. The results of this study demonstrated that costs borne by society from a remediation project are significant and metric specific. This study also highlighted the benefits of conducting a sustainability assessment at the site characterization stage using environmental footprint analysis tools, cost benefit analysis, and an evaluation of costs borne by society.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-20
Number of pages16
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2013


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