4 The record articles

Is Your Cleanup Site “Stuck”?

Posted: August 2nd, 2017

Author: All4 Staff 

Guest article by Ross Tabachow, P.E./Excalibur Group, LLC

“Going nowhere, fast.”  An odd expression, but a circumstance to which we can all relate to from time to time.  But it’s a particularly unproductive circumstance when corporate resources are expended at remediation sites and there is no apparent prospect for a timely and cost-effective site closure.  In fact, status quo conditions are often simply accepted or not questioned, and the result is a “stuck” site cleanup with corporate resources remaining unavailable to meet more productive business needs.

For example, you have a leaking petroleum UST site that has undergone 9 years of in-situ remediation already, and projections suggest it will likely take another 10 years to meet onsite groundwater cleanup goals and 50 years to meet off-property wells cleanup criteria.  Moreover, the added cost for sticking with the status quo was estimated to be $2.5M.  Instead, by taking a fresh look at the site data, a new action plan was developed that saved an estimated $2.3M and cut the cleanup timeframe down to 2 years.  The substituted plan involved terminating the ineffective remediation system, excavating key secondary source soils onsite, and implementing an innovative carbon-based injection (CBI) technology.  The end result?  On-property groundwater achieved the cleanup goals within three months, and key off-property wells achieved and remained below the cleanup goals after a year and a half.

What if you’re a potentially responsible party of an inactive abandoned industrial facility and have already endured 15 years of site remediation that is no closer to achieving site closure?  You substitute limited Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCB) source removal (with regulatory pre-approval of the excavation limits), apply in-situ chemical oxidation to address localized groundwater contamination, and negotiate focused environmental covenant restrictions that achieve a “No Further Action” determination in less than 5 years.  Again, a concerted effort motivated to realize certainty for the client’s budgeting, business planning, and future resource allocations transformed the status quo.

In these and other instances, the impetus for seeking a change often does not come from the regulatory oversight agency or, sadly, the existing site consultant.  Certainly, the clients were not content with the “going nowhere fast” outcome but were at a loss as to how the status quo could be changed cost effectively.  What it required was combining remedial strategy diagnostic expertise, knowledgeable design improvements, and a genuine desire to realize benefits for the client’s business.  Clients do not have to accept an apparently “stuck” cleanup site.  With fresh thinking and a little effort, it is possible to net site closure momentum, successful regulatory outcomes, and substantive cost savings.

EXCALIBUR GROUP, LLC manages and mitigates environmental risks and liabilities with our clients’ business objectives in mind.  In our experience, the best ideas lead to client advocacy wins.  See what EXCALIBUR’S customers say at:

http://www.excaliburgrpllc.com/customers-commendations/commendations/. For more information on EXCALIBUR, visit www.excaliburgrpllc.com.

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