Developing a vegetative cover using shrub willow (Salix spp.)
Volk, Timothy A., ǂd 1963-
Heavey, Justin P.
Townsend, Patricia A.
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Throughout the world, open land adjacent to industrial operations has been used to store byproducts of manufacturing and production processes. To minimize impacts on human health and the environment, these sites have traditionally been capped with clay or geomembrane materials to create a barrier to prevent the percolation of precipitation through the material and into the environment. Over the past two decades, the US EPA and others have experimented with vegetative covers, also known as evapotranspiration (ET) covers, as an alternative approach to address concerns at these sites while simultaneously providing a range of additional benefits. The purpose of this environmental application is to highlight the steps that are required to develop a plant-based solution to protect human health and the environment at a former industrial site. The project example used is the development of a willow vegetative cover on a former industrial site in New York State that was used to store the byproducts of soda ash production. Leaching of calcium and chloride salts into groundwater and nearby surface waters is the main environmental concern that must be managed.