The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Research and Development (ORD) is examining processes for remedial action at Superfund sites, and corrective action at operating disposal sites. Recent legislation emphasizes destruction and detoxification of contaminants, rather than containment or storage of contaminated soils. Chemical treatment appears promising because it can destroy or greatly change many contaminants. Oxidation, reduction, neutralization, hydrolysis, dehalogenation, and UV/photolysis are chemical processes currently used for aboveground treatment. Temperature and physical and chemical characteristics of soil are some operating parameters that control the effectiveness of these processes. Excalibur catalytic ozone technology, Exxon and Rio Linda cyanide destruction, and Trinity ultrasonic detoxification are innovative technologies that have been, or are currently being considered for pilot-scale demonstrations.