Events and News

U.S. EPA Tools & Resources

June 17, 2010

US EPA Support for Beneficial Use of Foundry Sand 
Foundry sand is a priority material under U.S. EPA’s Resource Conservation Challenge program.  Listed below are a number of agency resources and references that are specific to foundry sands.

U.S. EPA Foundry Sand Homepage
Provides tools, case studies, and other information about the recycling and beneficial use of foundry sand.

U.S. EPA Foundry Sand Statement
In April 2007, U.S EPA issued its first national statement endorsing the reuse of foundry sands.  The statement resulted from the agency’s internal data analysis and environmental benefits review.  AFS-FIRST expects that statement to be favorable revised when EPA’s foundry sand risk assessment is finalized in late 2009.

Foundry Sand Multi-Stakeholder Action Plan (Foundry Sand MAP)
In 2008-2009, EPA consulted with a broad group of stakeholders to consider various actions for increasing the beneficial use of foundry sand. This process resulted in the development of a Multi-Stakeholder Action Plan (MAP) that identifies key challenges to increased beneficial use and a comprehensive set of actions aimed at increasing the beneficial use of foundry sands. Over fourteen national organizations have agreed to implement specified actions with the goal of increasing the beneficial use rate to 50% by 2015.

Foundry Sand Reuse State Resource Locator
Recognizing that lack of knowledge of state regulations can be a key barrier impeding foundry sand reuse and recycling, EPA’s Environmental Assistance Compliance Platform (EnvCAP) built a database for regulatory information on foundry sand reuse.    EPA, ASTSWMO and AFS-FIRST later cooperated to make the tool updatable by state regulatory agencies, which now have the ability to log in and change their own information when changes occur in state beneficial use rules and regulations.

U.S. EPA Sector Strategies Program: Metalcasting
The EPA Sector Strategies Program was an agency effort to achieve performance improvement and burden reduction in industry sectors by addressing issues and challenges in a collaborative setting.  Working collaboratively with stakeholders interested in the metalcasting sector, the Sector Strategies Program developed a number of other resources that support foundry sand reuse and recycling.  Although no longer updated regularly by US EPA, the Sector Strategies Metalcasting homepage provides useful links and information related to metalcasting, including a number of documents supporting foundry sand reuse.    

Market Development Opportunities for Foundry Sands and Slags”
Presentation to US EPA by Elizabeth Olenbush, former Executive Director of Foundry Industry Recycling Starts Today, at an industrial materials briefing held on January 23, 2007.

“Waste and Materials-Flow Benchmark Sector Reports: Beneficial Use of Secondary Materials – Foundry Sand”
EPA funded the development of three reports to look at the costs and benefits of recycling the following industrial materials: coal combustion products, foundry sand, and construction and demolition materials.  The purpose of these reports is to provide an initial assessment of the market dynamics that affect the generation, disposal, recovery, and beneficial use of these materials; and to provide a preliminary life cycle analysis of the beneficial impact of these materials.   The foundry sand benchmark report calculates the savings in energy and environmental impacts available through the recycling and reuse of foundry sands.

Risk Assessment of Spent Foundry Sands in Soil-Related Applications
U.S. EPA and the U.S. Department of Agriculture conducted a multi-pathway risk assessment for foundry sands, building on research conducted by USDA-ARS in its Foundry Sand Initiative.  Following an external peer review process, the document is undergoing agency revisions.  When the final document is released, it will be posted on the foundry recycling and AFS websites.  EPA officials have stated that they believe that properly managed iron, steel and aluminum foundry sands are safe for use in manufactured topsoil and road bases.  (Some sand types, including olivine sands and nonferrous sands, may require further assessment.)  Presentations on the risk assessment conclusions can be accessed through the Conferences and Events tab.

Foundry Sand CPG
US EPA publishes as series of Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines that require the use of locally available recycled materials in Federally funded projects.  Ferrous foundry sand is a requirement of the CPG for Flowable Fill, a low strength concrete product.

US EPA’s Industrial Materials Recycling Program
As part of the Resource Conservation Challenge (RCC), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has recognized that non-hazardous industrial materials such as foundry sands can be valuable resources and do not always need to be thought of or managed as “wastes.”  In 2002, U.S. EPA established a program on beneficial reuse of industrial materials as one of four RCC priority areas.

U.S. EPA Industrial Materials Recycling (IMR) Program
This is the homepage for EPA’s Industrial Materials Recycling Program, providing a general overview of industrial materials and their opportunities for reuse and recycling.

Beneficial Use of Industrial Materials Summit
The Summits are US EPA-sponsored meetings designed to serve as a forum for information exchange about the recycling and beneficial use of industrial materials between regulators and industry.  A number of presentations on foundry sand have been given during successive Summits, which was held from 2002 through 2008.  The website for the Summit provides links to past summit agendas and presentations under the tab for “Past Summits” and other diverse information and resources addressing recycling and beneficially using industrial materials.

U.S. EPA Comprehensive Procurement Guidelines (CPG)
Contains information and links to construction and transportation products containing recycled content.  Although the CPG’s are primarily for federal procuring agencies, the information is useful to state and local governments and the private sector.  Users also can also view EPA's recommended recycled-content ranges and access a Supplier Database that includes manufacturers, vendors, and suppliers for each item.

“Study on Increasing the Usage of Recovered Mineral Components in Federally Funded Projects Involving Procurement of Cement or Concrete, EPA 530-R-08-007, June 2008”
One of the provisions of the 2004 transportation authorization bill, SAFETEA-LU, was a mandated study of the barriers and opportunities for the use of recovered mineral components in cement and concrete.  The primary materials considered were steel industry slags, coal fly ash, and silica fume.  Foundry sand was another industrial byproduct whose potential for reuse was evaluated by EPA in this report.

“Beneficial Use of Industrial By-Products:  Identification and Review of Materials Specifications, Performance Standards, and Technical Guidance, December 2003”
This document was developed for the National Council for Air and Stream Improvement under a grant from U.S. EPA Region 5.  The document identified and summarized existing performance standards, material specifications, and technical guidance for the beneficial use of byproducts from four industries: cement, foundry, pulp and paper, and coal-fired utility.  This document is available in the Metalcasting Library and on the Beneficial Use Summit site:

“Beneficial Reuse of Industrial Byproducts in the Gulf Coast Region”
This U.S. EPA report examines the beneficial use opportunities for the major industrial byproduct streams generated by 9 sectors that have significant presence in the Gulf coast region.  The report summarizes state beneficial material reuse programs in that region, and offers a detailed summary of factors that support or inhibit the creation of market connections to the reuse of industrial byproducts (i.e., drivers & barriers). The report is intended to provide information to state and federal regulators, trade associations, and other stakeholders to support and promote beneficial material reuse.

US EPA’s Construction Initiative 
US EPA’s Construction Initiative (CI) is a public-private partnership designed to encourage the use of appropriate industrial materials in building and transportation construction projects.   US EPA works collaboratively with partners such as the Federal Highway Administration, the Industrial Resources Council , the American Public Works Association (APWA), the Associated General Contractors (AGC), and the National Association of County Engineers (NACE) to raise awareness of the performance and availability of industrial materials such as foundry sand.

“Using Industrial Materials in Roadways”
A downloadable brochure showing some of the prominent opportunities to use industrial materials in roadway construction projects.   Foundry sand can be used in most roadway applications.

“Using Industrial Materials in Buildings”
A downloadable brochure with a snapshot of places where recycled and industrial materials can be used in building construction.   Although not intended to be a comprehensive listing of green building opportunities, the brochures is helpful to get architects and building owners thinking about ways to use material choices to “green” their projects.

“Building for the Future”
Contains examples of notable projects involving reuse of industrial materials.  The Menomonee Valley Industrial Center and Community Park Project is an example in which foundry sand was used in a brownfield redevelopment project in the City of Milwaukee.

U.S. EPA’s Green Building Resources

Federal Construction Guide for Specifiers
EPA collaborated with the Federal Environmental Executive and the Whole Building Design Guide (WBDG) to develop the Federal Construction Guide for Specifiers, which provides comprehensive information for procuring green building products and construction services within the Federal government.

EPA Green Buildings Website
Brings together a collection of EPA programs that relate to green building.

Planning for a Sustainable Future: A Guide for Local Governments, EPA902-K-08-001, November 2008
Provides information and resources to help local governments integrate sustainable planning into their communities.  Areas of opportunities include: green building and procurement, land use, and solid waste generation and recycling.