Multi-criteria assessment tool for sustainability appraisal of remediation alternatives for a contaminated site

Gitte Lemming Søndergaard*, Philip John Binning, Morten Bondgård, Poul Løgstrup Bjerg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

285 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Purpose: In order to improve and support decision-making for the selection of remedial techniques for contaminated sites, a multi-criteria assessment (MCA) method has been developed. The MCA framework is structured in a decision process actively involving stakeholders, and compares the sustainability of remediation alternatives by integrating environmental, societal, and economic criteria in the assessment. Materials and methods: The MCA includes five main decision criteria: remedial effect, remediation cost, remediation time, environmental impacts, and societal impacts. The main criteria are divided into a number of sub-criteria. The environmental impacts consider secondary impacts to the environment caused by remedial activities and are assessed by life-cycle assessment (LCA). The societal impacts mainly consider local impacts and are assessed in a more qualitative manner on a scale from 1 to 5. The performance on each main criterion is normalized to a score between 0 and 1, with 1 being the worst score. An overall score is obtained by calculating a weighted sum with criteria weights determined by stakeholders. The MCA method was applied to assess remediation alternatives for the Groyne 42 site, one of the largest contaminated sites in Denmark. Results and discussion: The compared remediation alternatives for the site were: (1) excavation of the site followed by soil treatment; (2) in situ alkaline hydrolysis; (3) in situ thermal remediation; and (4) continued encapsulation of the site by sheet piling. Criteria weights were derived by a stakeholder panel. The stakeholders gave the highest weighting to the remedial effect of the methods and to the societal impacts. For the Groyne 42 case study, the excavation option obtained the lowest overall score in the MCA, and was therefore found to be the most sustainable option. This was especially due to the fact that this option obtained a high score in the main categories Effect and Social impacts, which were weighted highest by the stakeholders. Conclusions: The developed MCA method is structured with five main criteria. Effect and time are included in addition to the three pillars of sustainability (environment, society, and economy). The remedial effect of remediation is therefore assessed and weighted separately from the main criteria environment. This structure makes interpretation of criteria scores more transparent and emphasizes the importance of effect and time as decision parameters. This also facilitated an easier weighting procedure for the stakeholders in the case study, who expressed a wish to weigh the remedial effect independently from the secondary environmental impacts.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Soils and Sediments
Volume18
Issue number11
Pages (from-to)3334–3348
ISSN1439-0108
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Keywords

  • Contaminated site
  • Decision support
  • Multi-criteria assessment
  • Soil contamination
  • Stakeholder involvement
  • Sustainability assessment

Cite this

@article{160b09d5111f43babe86984e4fd6d34b,
title = "Multi-criteria assessment tool for sustainability appraisal of remediation alternatives for a contaminated site",
abstract = "Purpose: In order to improve and support decision-making for the selection of remedial techniques for contaminated sites, a multi-criteria assessment (MCA) method has been developed. The MCA framework is structured in a decision process actively involving stakeholders, and compares the sustainability of remediation alternatives by integrating environmental, societal, and economic criteria in the assessment. Materials and methods: The MCA includes five main decision criteria: remedial effect, remediation cost, remediation time, environmental impacts, and societal impacts. The main criteria are divided into a number of sub-criteria. The environmental impacts consider secondary impacts to the environment caused by remedial activities and are assessed by life-cycle assessment (LCA). The societal impacts mainly consider local impacts and are assessed in a more qualitative manner on a scale from 1 to 5. The performance on each main criterion is normalized to a score between 0 and 1, with 1 being the worst score. An overall score is obtained by calculating a weighted sum with criteria weights determined by stakeholders. The MCA method was applied to assess remediation alternatives for the Groyne 42 site, one of the largest contaminated sites in Denmark. Results and discussion: The compared remediation alternatives for the site were: (1) excavation of the site followed by soil treatment; (2) in situ alkaline hydrolysis; (3) in situ thermal remediation; and (4) continued encapsulation of the site by sheet piling. Criteria weights were derived by a stakeholder panel. The stakeholders gave the highest weighting to the remedial effect of the methods and to the societal impacts. For the Groyne 42 case study, the excavation option obtained the lowest overall score in the MCA, and was therefore found to be the most sustainable option. This was especially due to the fact that this option obtained a high score in the main categories Effect and Social impacts, which were weighted highest by the stakeholders. Conclusions: The developed MCA method is structured with five main criteria. Effect and time are included in addition to the three pillars of sustainability (environment, society, and economy). The remedial effect of remediation is therefore assessed and weighted separately from the main criteria environment. This structure makes interpretation of criteria scores more transparent and emphasizes the importance of effect and time as decision parameters. This also facilitated an easier weighting procedure for the stakeholders in the case study, who expressed a wish to weigh the remedial effect independently from the secondary environmental impacts.",
keywords = "Contaminated site, Decision support, Multi-criteria assessment, Soil contamination, Stakeholder involvement, Sustainability assessment",
author = "S{\o}ndergaard, {Gitte Lemming} and Binning, {Philip John} and Morten Bondg{\aa}rd and Bjerg, {Poul L{\o}gstrup}",
year = "2018",
doi = "10.1007/s11368-017-1805-2",
language = "English",
volume = "18",
pages = "3334–3348",
journal = "Journal of Soils and Sediments",
issn = "1439-0108",
publisher = "Springer",
number = "11",

}

Multi-criteria assessment tool for sustainability appraisal of remediation alternatives for a contaminated site. / Søndergaard, Gitte Lemming; Binning, Philip John; Bondgård, Morten; Bjerg, Poul Løgstrup.

In: Journal of Soils and Sediments, Vol. 18, No. 11, 2018, p. 3334–3348.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Multi-criteria assessment tool for sustainability appraisal of remediation alternatives for a contaminated site

AU - Søndergaard, Gitte Lemming

AU - Binning, Philip John

AU - Bondgård, Morten

AU - Bjerg, Poul Løgstrup

PY - 2018

Y1 - 2018

N2 - Purpose: In order to improve and support decision-making for the selection of remedial techniques for contaminated sites, a multi-criteria assessment (MCA) method has been developed. The MCA framework is structured in a decision process actively involving stakeholders, and compares the sustainability of remediation alternatives by integrating environmental, societal, and economic criteria in the assessment. Materials and methods: The MCA includes five main decision criteria: remedial effect, remediation cost, remediation time, environmental impacts, and societal impacts. The main criteria are divided into a number of sub-criteria. The environmental impacts consider secondary impacts to the environment caused by remedial activities and are assessed by life-cycle assessment (LCA). The societal impacts mainly consider local impacts and are assessed in a more qualitative manner on a scale from 1 to 5. The performance on each main criterion is normalized to a score between 0 and 1, with 1 being the worst score. An overall score is obtained by calculating a weighted sum with criteria weights determined by stakeholders. The MCA method was applied to assess remediation alternatives for the Groyne 42 site, one of the largest contaminated sites in Denmark. Results and discussion: The compared remediation alternatives for the site were: (1) excavation of the site followed by soil treatment; (2) in situ alkaline hydrolysis; (3) in situ thermal remediation; and (4) continued encapsulation of the site by sheet piling. Criteria weights were derived by a stakeholder panel. The stakeholders gave the highest weighting to the remedial effect of the methods and to the societal impacts. For the Groyne 42 case study, the excavation option obtained the lowest overall score in the MCA, and was therefore found to be the most sustainable option. This was especially due to the fact that this option obtained a high score in the main categories Effect and Social impacts, which were weighted highest by the stakeholders. Conclusions: The developed MCA method is structured with five main criteria. Effect and time are included in addition to the three pillars of sustainability (environment, society, and economy). The remedial effect of remediation is therefore assessed and weighted separately from the main criteria environment. This structure makes interpretation of criteria scores more transparent and emphasizes the importance of effect and time as decision parameters. This also facilitated an easier weighting procedure for the stakeholders in the case study, who expressed a wish to weigh the remedial effect independently from the secondary environmental impacts.

AB - Purpose: In order to improve and support decision-making for the selection of remedial techniques for contaminated sites, a multi-criteria assessment (MCA) method has been developed. The MCA framework is structured in a decision process actively involving stakeholders, and compares the sustainability of remediation alternatives by integrating environmental, societal, and economic criteria in the assessment. Materials and methods: The MCA includes five main decision criteria: remedial effect, remediation cost, remediation time, environmental impacts, and societal impacts. The main criteria are divided into a number of sub-criteria. The environmental impacts consider secondary impacts to the environment caused by remedial activities and are assessed by life-cycle assessment (LCA). The societal impacts mainly consider local impacts and are assessed in a more qualitative manner on a scale from 1 to 5. The performance on each main criterion is normalized to a score between 0 and 1, with 1 being the worst score. An overall score is obtained by calculating a weighted sum with criteria weights determined by stakeholders. The MCA method was applied to assess remediation alternatives for the Groyne 42 site, one of the largest contaminated sites in Denmark. Results and discussion: The compared remediation alternatives for the site were: (1) excavation of the site followed by soil treatment; (2) in situ alkaline hydrolysis; (3) in situ thermal remediation; and (4) continued encapsulation of the site by sheet piling. Criteria weights were derived by a stakeholder panel. The stakeholders gave the highest weighting to the remedial effect of the methods and to the societal impacts. For the Groyne 42 case study, the excavation option obtained the lowest overall score in the MCA, and was therefore found to be the most sustainable option. This was especially due to the fact that this option obtained a high score in the main categories Effect and Social impacts, which were weighted highest by the stakeholders. Conclusions: The developed MCA method is structured with five main criteria. Effect and time are included in addition to the three pillars of sustainability (environment, society, and economy). The remedial effect of remediation is therefore assessed and weighted separately from the main criteria environment. This structure makes interpretation of criteria scores more transparent and emphasizes the importance of effect and time as decision parameters. This also facilitated an easier weighting procedure for the stakeholders in the case study, who expressed a wish to weigh the remedial effect independently from the secondary environmental impacts.

KW - Contaminated site

KW - Decision support

KW - Multi-criteria assessment

KW - Soil contamination

KW - Stakeholder involvement

KW - Sustainability assessment

U2 - 10.1007/s11368-017-1805-2

DO - 10.1007/s11368-017-1805-2

M3 - Journal article

VL - 18

SP - 3334

EP - 3348

JO - Journal of Soils and Sediments

JF - Journal of Soils and Sediments

SN - 1439-0108

IS - 11

ER -