Soil contamination

December 27, 2013

Potentially Contaminatetd Soil Closes Parks

Read here about two parks in Miami that are closing due to potentially contaminated soil.


May 31, 2013

Slow Leak Causes Big Problems

Source: Great American Environmental Division, May 2013

A manufacturer operated a machine-press to form metal parts for the automotive industry. A portion of the machine-press was located beneath the concrete slab-floor. For more than 20 years, lubricating oil from the machine-press was released into the soils under the building. When the soil was tested during a potential buyer’s due diligence, it was found to contain petroleum hydrocarbons. The contamination was determined to he from the leaking machine-press. The manufacturer was held responsible for the clean-up of the soil contamination and the sale of the property stalled.


February 14, 2013

Port of Longview agrees to partial settlement in contamination suit

Source: The Daily News Online (WA), February 9, 2013
By: Erik Olson

The Port of Longview on Friday accepted a partial settlement of nearly $1 million in its suit against some insurers to force them to cover the cost of cleaning up decades-old soil contamination, but the legal fight will continue.

Following a closed-door session at the port, commissioners accepted a $950,000 settlement offered by three companies: Arrowood Indemnity Co, Indemnity Marine Assurance Co. and Marine Indemnity Insurance Co. of America.

Seventeen other underwriting companies, which operate under Lloyd’s of London insurance exchange, are continuing their battle against the port in a jury trial in Cowlitz County Superior Court. The trial is expected to continue through Friday.

Port officials declined to comment on the case during the trial.

At stake is the future of two sites in the port’s west industrial park, which port officials want to clean up and make attractive for future developers. One is at the former International Paper Co. creosote plant, which was used for treatment of wood products on about four to six acres of land. The second is along the rail line at the port’s west end, where an underground pipe leached bunker fuel from the Berth 1 docks to an old storage tank owned by what was then Longview Fibre Co.

Some of the contamination occurred in the middle of last century.

Port officials say they had liability coverage at the time but only discovered the contamination in the late 1980s. They learned they might be eligible for insurance coverage in 2009, when they filed a claim.

Attorneys for the insurance companies argued their clients shouldn’t be responsible to pay for all the damages caused decades ago.

The port wants to clear away the contaminated soil and replace it with new fill, which could cost millions of dollars. A second option would be to pour concrete on the sites to cap the pollution, which would be less expensive but more difficult to develop.


February 17, 2012

Contaminated soil at Easton Shovel Works

Source:, February 16, 2012
By: Susan Parkou Weinstein

Tank, dirt removal planned

Consultants on the Ames Shovel Works project recently assured selectmen any contaminated soil would be removed from the site by the developer at no cost to the town.

Joseph Shea and Lisa Campe of Woodward & Curran said several contaminated pockets were found after extensive sampling and testing but the discovery was typical for the redevelopment of former industrial and historical sites.

They said they were working with the developer, Beacon Communities, to make sure the town’s interests were protected.

Campe said a fuel storage tank, used to heat the former shovel factory,and some contaminated soil had been previously removed by the current owners, Robert and George Turner.

More recent testing found another fuel tank and pockets of metals from shovel manufacturing, as well as evidence of petroleum under a building known as the steam hammer shop. The petroleum is locked in by a slab that is acting as a protective barrier. The building can be used for any purpose as long as the slab is not breached.

Beacon will also be removing the tank and about 500 cubic yards of soil from the town’s conservation and sewer easements while constructing the condominiums, absorbing all costs and giving the town third party oversight.

The site is part of the town’s protected aquifer zone and traces of residual petroleum indicate “nothing alarming,” Campe said.…

January 17, 2012

Oily dirt won’t touch pasture

Source:, January 14, 2012
By: Doug Harlow

Company looking for alternative disposal plan for contaminated soil

The C.N. Brown Oil Co. has withdrawn its plans to spread petroleum-contaminated soil on dairy farmland on West Ridge Road.

In an email to several people who have expressed interest in the project, Andrew Flint, an environmental specialist at the Maine Department of Environmental Protection, said the oil company will be exploring other options for disposal or treatment.

Flint said he was informed of the change in plans by geologist Michael White, a consultant for C.N. Brown, and passed it on to residents.

“Mike tells me they are looking elsewhere for different options. They have several,” Flint said Friday.

White is away this week and could not be reached for comment. A call placed to C.N Brown offices in South Paris was not returned Friday.

The original plan was to spread 3,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil on pasture land owned by James Strout Jr. The soil was to have come from a former C.N. Brown gas station site next to the Athens Elementary School.

Last summer the DEP approved the location as an agricultural “landfarm” operation and one not requiring a state permit or a license.

White told the Cornville Planning Board in August that approval was based on site analysis, including distances of the site from well water or surface water. Some residents and planners objected, saying the proposal is not farming, but an industrial and commercial use of land that would be subject to a town ordinance.

Cornville Planning Board member Sam Jencks said Friday that nothing has been submitted to the board concerning the project since the matter first was raised in August.

Cornville resident Larry Pike said the town has to enact local rules and regulations to prevent such a plan in the future.

“I am glad to see that C.N. Brown withdrew this site,” Pike said. “The next step for the residents of the town of Cornville is to protect the town from further consideration as a waste site.”

He recommended that residents ask selectmen to draft an ordinance banning future waste sites there.

Strout, whose father, James Strout Sr. unsuccessfully proposed a low-level nuclear waste dump at the farm in 1991, said he intended to go ahead with his plans as agricultural, regardless of what the Planning Board said. He said the town ordinance couldn’t stop him.

On Friday, Strout said he hadn’t heard of the change of plans by C.N. Brown, but wasn’t disappointed.

“There was no initial investment for me up front, so it didn’t make much difference whether it got completed or not,” Strout said. “They did some road improvement here, so I’m kind of ahead.”

Flint said in August that the soil is mildly or lightly contaminated from leaking gasoline tanks dating back to the mid-1980s. The contaminated soil remains in the ground at the former gas station, he said.

The plan was to spread a 6-inch layer on approximately five acres of land.

Wet weather in the fall prevented the project from starting.…

October 5, 2011

Contaminated soil halts Havelock construction project

Source:, September 27, 2011
By: Drew C. Wilson

A small patch of petroleum-contaminated soil beneath Havelock City Hall will have to be cleaned up for construction of a new building.

A set of six soil borings drilled July 21 where an old underground fuel storage tank was once located detected the spots that had petroleum levels exceeding the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources standards.

Another six borings done Aug. 19 on the west and south side of the building were found to be clean.

The known contaminated area is between 200 and 250 cubic yards of soil.

Dave Harvell, assistant city manager, said the area had a small underground fuel storage tank of 75 to 150 gallons in the 1960s. It was removed in 1970.

“Unfortunately when they removed it, they did not remove the contaminated soil,” Harvell said.

He said some of the contamination could extend underneath the building. It is not known because a boring machine could not get under the building to take further samples.

“As for the contaminated site, the mayor and the Board of Commissioners are fully committed to getting it cleaned up during the process of building the new city hall,” Harvell said.…

September 1, 2011

Cleanup of contaminated soil from old landfill begins at Little Squalicum Park

Source:, August 26, 2011
By: Kie Relyea

Cleanup of a former municipal landfill at Little Squalicum Park began this week, as crews started the project to dig up what will be a total of 2,400 cubic yards of contaminated soil and old solid waste.

The work will continue into late September. It is expected to cost about $656,000.

Glacier Environmental Services is doing the work for the city of Bellingham. The state Department of Ecology is overseeing the cleanup under the state cleanup law, the Model Toxics Control Act.

Known as the Eldridge Municipal Landfill site, the site is about 19,000 square feet and west of a parking lot for Bellingham Technical College.

For a few years in the mid- to late 1930s, the city burned and buried local municipal waste in an area that’s now part of the park.

Whatcom County owns the land, which the city of Bellingham manages as a park.

Remnants of the old landfill include ash, ceramics, charcoal, drywall, glass bottles, metal scraps and contaminated soil.…

August 8, 2011

BET approves more than $1M to address contaminated soil at high school

Source: Connecticut Post, August 5, 2011
Posted on:

The Board of Estimate and Taxation voted Thursday night to release $1.3 million from the Greenwich High School auditorium project to address contaminated soil found last month during a parking lot expansion.

An additional $152,000 for environmental testing will have to come from the school district, with BET members deciding that soil testing of the high school’s athletic fields, which were closed last week after soil with high levels of polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, was found nearby, was not part of the auditorium and music classroom construction project, known as MISA.

Joseph Ross, chairman of the MISA Building Committee, presented the list of costs to the BET.

Of the total amount, $740,000 comes from carting away approximately 830 tons of soil contaminated with PCBs, along with a 2,600-ton pile of topsoil that also was found to be contaminated, though the smaller pile has a greater concentration of the toxic substances, about 50 parts per million.…

July 26, 2011

Auditorium project unearths contaminated soil at Greenwich High

Source:, July 26, 2011
By: Lisa Chamoff

Construction of a new auditorium at Greenwich High School has hit another roadblock, with contaminated soil found during excavation work in the parking lot behind the school just a couple of weeks after the district broke ground on the $29 million project.

Board of Education Vice Chairman Leslie Moriarty, a member of the building committee for the music instruction space and auditorium project, known as MISA, said during work to expand the western parking lot and dig a trench for an irrigation line, construction workers found soil that was a darker color than the surrounding dirt.

Initial testing revealed traces of lead, arsenic and barium, as well as polychlorinated biphenyls, or PCBs, and petroleum hydrocarbon. Some of the levels were slightly above the most stringent requirements for groundwater quality, Moriarty said.

Moriarty said all work in that area of the site was stopped, the excavated soil was covered and state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and local officials were notified. Additional testing was conducted, with results expected in the next few days.…

July 1, 2011

Fixed Base Operator – Jet Fuel

Acknowledgement to Great American Environmental Division

A ruptured fuel hose spilled a few thousand gallons of jet fuel onto the ground at a regional airport. The fuel eventually reached an adjacent river. The contractor responsible for fueling operations paid significant clean-up costs for soil and groundwater as a result of failing to adequately maintain the fueling equipment. Remediation included excavating contaminated soil as well as clean-up of groundwater and surface water. The contractor was also assessed a fine for natural resource damages due to the impact upon the river habitat.…