The United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) recently updated a set of analytical workbooks known as “SEFA” (Spreadsheets for Environmental Footprint Analysis) to help decision-makers analyze the environmental footprint of a site cleanup project, determine which cleanup activities drive the footprint, and adjust project parameters to reduce the footprint. Information to be input by the user may be gathered from project planning documents, field records and other existing resources. Automated calculations within SEFA generate outputs that quantify 21 metrics corresponding to core elements of a greener cleanup.
Environmental Footprint Summary
|Core Element||Green Remediation Metric||Unit of Measure|
|Materials & Waste||M&W-1||Refined materials used on site||tons|
|M&W-2||Percent of refined materials from recycled or waste material||percent|
|M&W-3||Unrefined materials used on site||tons|
|M&W-4||Percent of unrefined materials from recycled or waste material||percent|
|M&W-5||Onsite hazardous waste generated||tons|
|M&W-6||Onsite non-hazardous waste generated||tons|
|M&W-7||Percent of total potential onsite waste that is recycled or reused||percent|
|Water||Onsite water use (by source)|
|W-1||– Source, use, fate combination #1||millions of gallons|
|W-2||– Source, use, fate combination #2||millions of gallons|
|W-3||– Source, use, fate combination #3||millions of gallons|
|W-4||– Source, use, fate combination #4||millions of gallons|
|Energy||E-1||Total energy use||MMBtu|
|E-2||Total energy voluntarily derived from renewable resources|
|E-2A||– Onsite generation or use and biodiesel use||MMBtu|
|E-2B||– Voluntary purchase of renewable electricity||MWh|
|E-2C||– Voluntary purchase of RECs||MWh|
|Air||A-1||Onsite NOx, SOx, and PM10 emissions||lbs|
|A-2||Onsite HAP emissions||lbs|
|A-3||Total NOx, SOx, and PM10 emissions||lbs|
|A-4||Total HAP emissions||lbs|
|A-5||Total GHG emissions||tons CO2e|
|Land & Ecosystems||
SEFA was first released in 2012 and updated in 2014. In 2019, SEFA was updated to incorporate new default footprint conversion factors for additional materials, diesel or gasoline engines of various sizes, and laboratory analyses. The 2019 update (Version 3.0) also provides additional areas for entering user-defined footprint conversion factors.
Instructions for SEFA Users
- SEFA comprises three internally linked workbooks (files) in a standard spreadsheet (Excel) format; the files should be saved in a single directory to assure accurate/complete data exchange.
- Optimal functioning of the workbooks relies on use of Microsoft Office 2013 or higher.
- An “Introduction” worksheet (tab) in the “Main” workbook provides an overview of SEFA, including its data structure.
- Technical support in using SEFA is not available outside the Agency; other parties interested in using or adapting the workbooks may wish to obtain technical assistance from qualified environmental or engineering professionals.
EPA’s “Methodology for Understanding and Reducing a Project’s Environmental Footprint” report provides a seven-step process for quantifying the 21 metrics associated with a site cleanup. The report also addresses the value of footprint analysis; discusses the level of effort and cost involved in footprint analysis; details interpretative considerations; provides illustrative approaches to reducing a cleanup project’s environmental footprint; and contains related planning checklists and reference tables.