SuRF-UK is the United Kingdom’s Sustainable Remediation Forum – an initiative set up to progress the UK understanding of sustainable remediation.
The process of identifying sustainable remediation is defined by SuRF-UK as “the practice of demonstrating, in terms of environmental, economic and social indicators, that the benefit of undertaking remediation is greater than its impact and that the optimum remediation solution is selected through the use of a balanced decision-making process.”
Soil and groundwater remediation, although designed to remedy contamination and reduce risks to human health and/or the environment, also has the potential to cause environmental, economic and social impacts. If poorly selected, designed and implemented remediation activities may cause greater impact than the contamination that they seek to address. The best solution is remediation that eliminated and /or controls unacceptable risks in a safe and timely maneer, and which maximises the overall environmental, social and economic benefits of the remediation work.
SuRF-UK Applying Sustainable Development PrinciplesApplying Sustainable Development Principles to Contaminated Land Management using the SuRF-UK Framework, published in Remediation Journal, Spring 2011 Volume 21, issue 2 pages 1-138. Copyright ©2011 Wiley Periodicals Inc., A Wiley Company. DOI: 10.1002/rem.20283, can be downloaded at:
Phase 2ObjectivesPhase 2 of the project was to assess the practical implementation of the SuRF-UK framework to provide the user community with a generic checklist of indicators to enable clear, effective and proportionate sustainable remediation assessments. The project road-tested the generic approach with real case studies, to disseminate key learning points and to refine the SuRF-UK framework if necessary.Tasks
This phase of work started April 2010 and finished in November 2011.
SuRF-UK Indicator Set for Sustainable Remediation FINALThe SuRF-UK Indicator Set for Sustainable Remediation Assessment supports the SuRF-UK framework document. This short document supersedes the initially published indicator set published in March 2011 following their further development and refinement through Phase 2 in worked case studies and discussion groups. The document describes 15 categories of indicators spread over environmental, social and economic factors that can be used for sustainability assessment in support of remediation decision-making. It describes the factors included in each of the categories, how the categories were developed and how they can be used to support the SuRF-UK Framework and the key principles underpinning sustainable remediation that the framework identifies. The indicator descriptions can be downloaded at:ANNEX 1: SuRF-UK Indicator Set for Sustainable Remediation FINAL
***UPDATED SINCE NOVEMBER 2011***
SuRF-UK Case Study TemplateSuRF-UK Steering Group would like to hear from any organisations or companies that are using or planning to use the document “A framework for assessing the sustainability of soil and groundwater remediation” when undertaking a sustainability assessment and would be willing to share their experiences as case studies. The Steering Group has produced a “Case Study Template “ (below) to assist those intending to submit a case study giving outline guidance on the type and level of information that they would wish to see included in a case study.The Steering Group would also like to hear from organisations/companies who would like support whilst undertaking a sustainability assessment using the framework document. A Steering Group member would be willing to act as an observer during the sustainability assessment and would provide assistance and clarification on the SuRF-UK process where required.For further information or submission of case studies, please contact
Phase 3The proposed focus of phase 3 covers the following important aspects:
1. Develop and publish a series of illustrative case studies on sustainable remediation projects
Prepare at least 5 illustrative case studies demonstrating use of sustainability appraisal and the SuRF-UK framework in remediation projects. Show how the framework can be applied, how it improves remediation decisions and contributes to better remediation decisions. Publish as SuRF-UK case study bulletins on the CL:AIRE website, with short presentational webinars.
2. Develop guidance on generic ‘best management practices’ that can be applied to remediation projects to encourage use of more sustainable approaches
SuRF-UK has published a list of 15 sustainability indicator categories. The next task is to identify simple-to-do practices under each indicator category that will directly and quickly contribute to better, more sustainable practice. The Best Management Practices (BMPs) will apply to all aspects of a remediation project, but in particular to phases of work that would not normally have a formal sustainability appraisal, such as the design and selection of site characterisation and remediation verification.
This task will involve organisation and delivery of 1 open forum SuRF-UK workshop, covering BMPs and introduction to Tier 1 pack.
3. Develop guidance for assessors on good practice for Tier 1 (qualitative) sustainability appraisals
Develop a guide and ‘sustainability assessor pack’ for Tier 1, qualitative appraisals. Currently there is EA guidance on the complex Tier 3 (Cost-Benefit Analysis) and Tier 2 (Multi-Criteria Analysis) approaches, but nothing on the simpler Tier 1 appraisals, which SuRF-UK anticipate the majority of assessments may adopt. This task will prepare an ‘assessor pack’ to help assessors undertake or lead a Tier 1 sustainability appraisal.
Prepare and deliver a 1-hour webinar on tiered sustainability appraisal, with a focus on the lower tiers (BMPs and Tier 1 appraisal).
It is proposed that phase 3 will run for 12 months from 1st June 2012.
CL:AIRE is a registered charity (No. 1075611) and an environmental body registered with ENTRUST (Entrust No. 119820). We are also an incorporated company, limited by guarantee and registered in England and Wales (reg no. 3740059).