The study recommends five incentives to shift the technology market from a regulatory approach to one that captures the economic self-interest of companies and encourages the use of innovative technologies. First, economic incentives must be created. The committee recommends that companies fully disclose their hazardous waste sites as financial liabilities, which would spur cleanup for companies to clear their balance sheets. Secondly, regulations need to be enforced more consistently to ensure companies that comply with standards are not placed at a competitive disadvantage. Third, the regulatory process should not be technology prescriptive; it should allow companies to choose any technology as long as it meets standards. Fourth, information about contaminated sites should be made readily available on the internet, both for developers to see the market needs and to inform consumers about company practices. Finally, credible peer-reviewed data on performance and cost must be generated.
The study was conducted by the Committee on Innovative Remediation Technologies, which is under the direction of both the Board on Radioactive Waste Management and the Water Science and Technology Board. The 16 committee members represented a wide spectrum of expertise in areas such as hydrogeology, soil science, environmental engineering, environmental policy, patent law, finance, and puclic opinion. For more information on the these boards and their publications, visits the NRC Commission on Geosciences, Environment, and Resources web site.
Copies of the Report are available from the National Academy Press (NAP) at a cost of $45.00 plus $4.00 shipping and handling. The NAP telephone number is (202) 334-3313 or 1-800-624-6242.
Contributed by Kasey Shewey, AGI Government Affairs.
Last updated June 27, 1997