Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Systems Engineering and Management

First Advisor

Mark N. Goltz, PhD


Subsurface contamination by industrial chemicals is one of the most prevalent and costly environmental problems facing the United States government. This contamination problem must be managed to protect human health and the environment. Two basic strategies are used to deal with subsurface contamination: source removal and contaminant containment. While much cost and performance data are available for individual technologies associated with each of these strategies, there have been very few studies that have examined the benefits of implementing source removal technologies in order to reduce contaminant containment (and hopefully total) costs. This study examines the tradeoff between extent of source removal and the lifecycle cost of a subsurface remediation project. It has been suggested that the lifecycle cost of a remediation project may be minimized at a certain percent source removal. This study attempts to validate this concept using real world data collected from 72 completed and on-going environmental remediation projects. Project data include total cost, extent of source removal, and site and contamination characteristics Cluster analysis is used to group the diverse set of individual remediation projects under the assumption that projects within a cluster are similar enough to plot on a single lifecycle cost versus percent source removal plot. From the cluster analysis, two groups of 28 and 11 projects are used to develop lifecycle cost versus percent source removal curves. The resulting curves exhibit no apparent correlation between percent source removal and lifecycle cost. This study concludes with suggestions for future research that may shed light on the value of source removal towards reducing lifecycle cost of a subsurface contamination remediation project.

AFIT Designator


DTIC Accession Number