Over the last month, the EPA has taken time to reflect on past progress for environmental regulations and look to the future.

April 14 marked the 50th anniversary of the signing of the U.S.-Canada Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement. In honor of this environmental milestone, EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan and Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change Steven Guilbeault issued a statement celebrating the strides that have been made and reaffirming the shared commitment to continue to restore and protect the Great Lakes.

The EPA also recently released its FY2022-2026 Strategic Plan, laying out its roadmap and objectives over the next four years. For the first time since the inception of its strategic plans in 2011, the EPA included a strategic goal specifically targeting climate change as well as a goal to advance environmental justice and civil rights.

This month, we highlight the following in our Compliance News:

Ask an Expert: Green and Sustainable Remediation

BC’s Karina Tipton discusses a holistic approach to protecting the environment and human health through Green and Sustainable Remediation. Read “Ask an Expert”

Federal ‘Good Neighbor’ plan

The EPA’s proposed “Good Neighbor” plan is expected to cut pollution from power plants and other industrial sources for millions of Americans living downwind of those sources.

SEC proposes enhanced and standardized climate risk reporting

The Securities and Exchange Commission proposed rule changes that will require U.S.-listed companies to provide investors with detailed climate change risk information, including some climate-related financial statement metrics and the disclosure of registrants’ greenhouse gas emissions.

Incentives for self-policing

The EPA’s Audit Policy gives penalty breaks to businesses, government agencies, and other organizations for certain violations discovered as a result of a voluntary environmental audit.

Ask an Expert: What is Green and Sustainable Remediation?

In this month’s feature, BC’s Karina Tipton shares why Green and Sustainable Remediation for project sites is a holistic approach to protecting the environment and human health.

Question: We are about to start a remediation project and are curious about incorporating sustainable practices into the process. What can you share with us about green and sustainable remediation?

Answer: Karina Tipton Green and Sustainable Remediation (GSR) balances protecting human health and the environment with overall net environmental, community, and economic impacts. Many state regulations as well as EPA-led remediation projects require GSR. However, beyond meeting a regulatory requirement, there are more benefits to this approach.
When incorporating green and sustainable remediation into a project, you’re facilitating an evaluation of all impacts on the project to support selection of the remedial alternative that’s not only protective, but also has additional benefits as well. GSR can lead to enhanced communication, informed decision-making, and site remedy strategies that are efficient, cost effective, protective of human health and the environment, and provide added value to the community.

After identifying which metrics are appropriate decision-drivers for the responsible party and the local stakeholders, we use several publicly available tools such as Spreadsheets for Environmental Footprint Analysis and SiteWise™ to quantify GSR metrics.

Metrics can range from reduction in carbon by requiring fewer hours of equipment runtime, to water conservation by reusing treated water during a remedy, to preventing habitat loss through thoughtful site redevelopment. Impact reductions such as these can not only save on project costs but can be helpful in conversations with regulators and neighbors.

GSR can be considered and incorporated into every stage in the life cycle of a remediation project:


  • Identification of risks of impacted media and distribution
  • Stakeholder engagement
  • Inclusion of sustainable practices in work plan and field implementation

Remedy selection

  • Balance appropriate remedy with considerations such as water use, energy use, waste generation, climate resiliency, and community impacts

Remedial design and construction

  • Specification of GSR techniques and implementation considerations, including metrics
  • Performance monitoring of construction practices

Operations and maintenance

  • Continual sustainability improvement and remedial process optimization of the system as site conditions change and technologies advance

Site closure

  • Exploration of reuse
  • Collection of best practices and lessons learned to be shared and leveraged

While GSR can fit into any part of the project lifecycle, the earlier in the process it is incorporated, the better. But it is never too late to consider!

About the experts

Meghan Krishnayya, Indianapolis, is the Compliance & Permitting Service Line Director for Brown and Caldwell, with expertise in environmental regulatory program strategy development and implementation.

Karina Tipton is an Engineer and Project Manager in Brown and Caldwell’s New Jersey office with over 22 years of experience. She is a LEED Accredited Professional with a background in sustainability metrics, sustainable remediation, and lifecycle and greenhouse gas analyses.

Subscribe to BC Water News to receive more articles like this GET STARTED