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Sustainable Technologies and Social Costs for Eliminating Contamination of an Aquifer


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  • Mario Schirmer

    (Eawag, Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology, Überlandstraße 133, P.O. Box 611, CH-8600 Dübendorf, Switzerland)

  • Horst Niemes

    (Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research-UFZ, Permoserstraße 15, D-04318 Leipzig, Germany)

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    This case study deals with long-term contamination of the Leuna aquifer, which is intended to be restored using sustainable technologies financed by the state. The contamination can only be solved using active rather than passive intervention, because the aquifer has an extraordinarily low natural attenuation capacity for the specific pollutants. Due to the longevity of the contamination source, the groundwater treatment technology that was chosen for the site must operate for a minimum of 20 years but probably much longer. Since the polluter-pay principle cannot be applied, the estimated dynamic primary remediation costs must be accepted as a political or social cost, which must be paid by current and future generations.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by MDPI, Open Access Journal in its journal Sustainability.

    Volume (Year): 2 (2010)
    Issue (Month): 7 (July)
    Pages: 2219-2231

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    Handle: RePEc:gam:jsusta:v:2:y:2010:i:7:p:2219-2231:d:8999

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    Keywords: groundwater contamination; MTBE-remediation technologies; social costs for groundwater rehabilitation measures;

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    Cited by:
    1. Veith Becker & Anssi Myrttinen & Johannes A.C. Barth & Peter Bayer, 2011. "A Summary on the Special Issue “Sustainability of Groundwater”," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 3(10), pages 1792-1795, October.


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