“Scott Kellogg, educational director for the Albany, New York-based Radix Ecological Sustainability Center, says that other cities handle PCBs and other pollutants with the same “dig-and-dump” approach that sometimes involves expensive dredging of waterways. He says that just moves the problem elsewhere.
“It will fulfill environmental regulations,” Kellogg says. “But it’s highly disruptive to native ecology and doesn’t treat soils as the limited resources that they are.”
Kellogg says that there is a growing interest in bioremediation, using plants and other natural features to address pollution. For instance, cities, including Spokane, are building bioswales, drainage courses that use vegetation to filter out pollutants.
He says research shows that mushrooms have potential as a bioremediate, breaking down harmful substances such as pesticides, oil products and PCBs. But using mushrooms to eliminate PCBs will take longer than just digging up and moving polluted soil, says Kellogg, and developers and local governments might be reluctant to adopt such a novel approach.”