Skip Navigation Links
Journal of Environmental Accounting and Management
Dmitry Kovalevsky (editor), Jiazhong Zhang(editor)
Dmitry Kovalevsky (editor)

Climate Service Center Germany (GERICS), Helmholtz-Zentrum Hereon, Fischertwiete 1, 20095 Hamburg, Germany

Fax: +49 (0) 40 226338163 Email:

Jiazhong Zhang (editor)

School of Energy and Power Engineering, Xi'an Jiaotong University, Xi'an, Shaanxi Province 710049, China

Fax: +86 29 82668723 Email:

Environmental Profile of Two Soil Remediation Options – A Case Study in Northern Alberta

Journal of Environmental Accounting and Management 5(2) (2017) 117--131 | DOI:10.5890/JEAM.2017.06.004

Nana Y. Amponsah$^{1}$, Junye Wang$^{1}$, Lian Zhao$^{2}$

$^{1}$ Athabasca University, 1200, 10011 109 Street, Edmonton, AB T5J 3S8, Canada

$^{2}$ CEPro Energy Group, Unit 516, 922 5 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2P 5R4, Canada

Download Full Text PDF



Contaminated soil and groundwater are environmental hazards that pose a serious threat to human health. Across Alberta, Albertans are increasingly demanding cleanup of contaminated sites located in or close to their communities. Hydrocarbon spills that often occur during oil and gas operations result in loss of soil quality and contamination of groundwater. This may reduce transport of water and air, inhibit microbial activity, and nutrient cycling. The objective of this paper is to introduce life cycle assessment (LCA) within the existing framework of phased environmental site assessments (ESAs) in the selection of soil remedial alternatives for oil and gas well site clean ups. The ESA-LCA analysis involves processing inputs from the ESA findings to the LCA software (SIMAPRO), identifying the remedial alternatives to compare, running the LCA model using these inputs; and conducting an uncertainty analysis via Monte Carlo Simulation (MCS). A case study comparing two common soil remediation alternatives was presented to demonstrate the improved framework at a well site in Northern Alberta. The LCA results show favorable environmental impact indicators for bioventing over excavation and biopile treatment. This shows the LCA methodology as an excellent tool to compare different remediation options and can be used as a decision- making tool for authorities. An increased focus is recommended in policy discussions on understanding the long term environmental impacts of oil and gas well site remediation options.


The authors would like to thank the Alberta Economic Development and Trade for the Campus Alberta Innovates Program Research Chair (No. RCP-12-001-BCAIP) and Mathematics of Information Technology and Complex Systems (MITACS) for funding the majority of this work.


  1. [1]  AENV (2008), Alberta Environmental Site Assessment Guidelines (DRAFT), no. June
  2. [2]  Alberta Environment & Sustainable Resource Development (ESRD) (2014), Alberta Tier 1 Soil and Groundwater Remediation Guidelines
  3. [3]  Anderson, W.C. and American Academy of Environmental Engineers. (1993), Innovative site remediation technology, American Academy of Environmental Engineers
  4. [4]  Bare, J. (2011), TRACI 2.0: the tool for the reduction and assessment of chemical and other environmental impacts 2.0, Clean Technologies and Environmental Policy 13(5), 687-696
  5. [5]  Bare, J., Norris, G.A. and Pennington, D.W. (2003), TRACI - The Tool for the Reduction and Assessment of Chemical and Other Envrionmental Impacts, Journal of Industrial Ecology 6(3), 49-78
  6. [6]  Bezama, A., Szarka, N., Wolfbauer, J. and Lorber, K.E. (2007), Application of a balanced scorecard system for supporting decisionmaking in contaminated sites remediation, Water, Air, & Soil Pollution 181(1-4), 3-16
  7. [7]  Cadotte, M., Deschênes, L. and Samson, R. (2007), Selection of a remediation scenario for a diesel-contaminated site using LCA, The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment 12(4), 239-251
  8. [8]  Cappuyns, V. (2013), LCA based evaluation of site remediation: Opportunities and limitations, Chimica Oggi-Chemistry Today 31(2), 18-21
  9. [9]  Diamond, M.L., Page, C.A., Campbell, M. and McKenna, S. (1997), Life cycle framework for assessment of site remediation options: Investigation of six remedial options, Proceedings of the Air & Waste Management Association’s Annual Meeting & Exhibition, Air & Waste Management Association
  10. [10]  Ecoinvent Database 3.1 (2014), Ecoinvent Database 3.1, Ecoinvent Centre
  11. [11]  Federal Remediation Technologies Roundtable (FRTR) (2002), Remediation Technology Matrix and Reference Guide, Version 4.0., 2002. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 12-Oct-2016]
  12. [12]  Gan, S., Lau, E.V. and Ng, H.K. 2009, Remediation of soils contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), Journal of Hazardous Materials 172(2-3), 532-549
  13. [13]  Heijungs, R. (2012), What is LCA ? no. Cml
  14. [14]  International Standard Organization, (2006), ISO 14044, Environmental management — Life cycle assessment — Requirements and guidelines, Environmental Management 2006, 54
  15. [15]  Jolliet, O., Margni, M., Charles, R., Humbert, S., Payet, J., Rebitzer, G., and Robenbaum, R.K. (2003), IMPACT 2002+: A New Life Cycle Impact Assessment Methodology, The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment 8(6), 324-330
  16. [16]  Kumar, S., Singh, J., Nanoti, S.M. and Garg, M.O. (2012), A comprehensive life cycle assessment (LCA) of Jatropha biodiesel production in India, Bioresource Technology 110, 723-729
  17. [17]  Lemming, G., Chambon, J., Binning, P.J., Bulle, C., Margni, M. and Bjerg, P.L. (2010), Environmental impacts of remediation of a trichlor oethene-contaminated site: Life cycle assessment of remediation alternatives, Environmental Science & Technology 44(23), 9163-9169
  18. [18]  Lemming, G., Hauschild, M.Z. and Bjerg, P.L. (2010), Life cycle assessment of soil and groundwater remediation technologies: Literature review, The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment 15(1), 115-127
  19. [19]  Lemming, G. (2010), Environmental Assessment of Contaminated Site Remediation In A Life Cycle Perspective, no. September
  20. [20]  Lloyd, S.M. and Ries, R. (2007), Characterizing, propagating, and analyzing uncertainty in life-cycle assessment, Journal of Industrial Ecology 11(1), 161-181
  21. [21]  Page, C.A., Diamond, M.L., Campbell, M., McKenna, S. and Lal, R. (1999), Life-cycle framework for assessment of site remediation options: Case study, Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 18(4), 801-810
  22. [22]  Pintilie, L., Torres, C.M., Teodosiu, C. and Castells, F. (2016), Urban wastewater reclamation for industrial reuse: An LCA case study, Journal of Cleaner Production 139, 1-14
  23. [23]  Pouliot, Y., Thomassin-Lacroix, E. and Moreau, N. (2005), Soil remediation of a former power plant site in Tulita, Northwest Territories, in Assessment and remediation of contaminated sites in Arctic and cold climates, p. 9
  24. [24]  Sanscartier, D., Margni, M., Reimer, K. and Zeeb, B. (2010), Comparison of the Secondary Environmental Impacts of Three Remediation Alternatives for a Diesel-contaminated Site in Northern Canada, Soil and Sediment Contamination: An International Journal 19(3), 338-355
  25. [25]  Simapro manual PRe Consultants (2008), Introduction to LCA with SimaPro 7, PRé Consult. Netherlands. Version, pp. 1-88
  26. [26]  Swart, N.C. and Weaver, A.J. (2012), The Alberta oil sands and climate, Nature Climate Change 2(3), 134-136
  27. [27]  Toffoletto, L., Deschenes, L. and Samson, R. (2005), LCA of ex-situ bioremediation of diesel-contaminated soil, The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment 10(6), 406-416
  28. [28]  U.S. EPA, (2006), In Situ Treatment Technologies for Contaminated Soil, Washignon DC, USA
  29. [29]  Volkwein, S., Hurtig, H.-W. and Klöpffer, W. (1999), Life cycle assessment of contaminated sites remediation, The International Journal of Life Cycle Assessment 4(5), 263-274
  30. [30]  Whitaker, M. and Heath, G. (2008), Life Cycle Assessment of the Use of Jatropha Biodiesel in Indian Locomotives. Technical Report NREL/TP-6A2-44428, Production, no. December, p. 100.