December 27, 2013

Potentially Contaminatetd Soil Closes Parks

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


December 27, 2013

EPA removes tainted soil from housing complex

Source: Star-Ledger (Newark, NJ), December 24, 2013
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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency removed 650 tons of lead-contaminated soil from a former playground and nearby areas on a housing complex in the Ironbound section of Newark, the agency said yesterday.

The $1.4 million cleanup project focused on the Millard E. Terrell Homes on Riverview Court. The EPA found high levels of the toxic metal in samples collected there in December 2012 and worked over the past year to remove dirty soil.

“Exposure to lead can have lifelong effects on children’s health and their development, which is why the EPA took steps to reduce potential exposure to lead in the soil at the housing complex,” Judith Enck, the agency’s regional administrator, said in a statement.

The EPA began looking at the site to see whether a nearby industrial facility had left any contamination there. Scientists found high levels of the metal in the top 2 feet of soil where the playground was located. The agency conducted cleanup work through the spring and summer, when it also found contamination in other areas of the complex and removed it.

The neighboring property owner, 99 Chapel Street Partners, will install a barrier wall along the property line to stop further contamination of the housing complex property, the EPA said.


November 12, 2013

City, state ask Madison-Kipp to replace tainted soil in rain garden

Source: The Wisconsin State Journal, November 5, 2013
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The city and state want Madison-Kipp to remove tainted soil from a large drainage ditch between the company and Capital City Bike Trail.

The city-owned “rain garden,” created in 2006 and planted with prairie plants to filter runoff, showed high levels of PCBs in tests last year, and the city and state Department of Natural Resources now want the East Side company to remove the top few feet of soil and replace it with clean soil. Kipp has agreed.

All entities say, “Let’s get rid of this,” said John Hausbeck of Public Health Madison-Dane County.

The city and Kipp minimized immediate health threats but said it’s prudent to remove the soils.

“Those using the bike path generally would not be exposed to what’s going on in the ditch,” Hausbeck said.

Mark Meunier, the company’s vice president of human resources, added, “No one goes in the rain garden. It doesn’t pose an immediate health hazard to anyone. We were asked, ‘Will you dig it out?’ That will be done shortly.”

Ald. Marsha Rummel, 6th District, who represents the area, called the remediation plan “good news.”

City, DNR and Kipp officials, who met Monday, are now deciding the best plan to remove the soil, Hausbeck and Meunier said.…

September 6, 2013

Highway Expansion Project

State Transportation Authority sued the geotechnical engineer, project engineer and construction manager on a $250,000,000 highway expansion project, following a catastrophic failure of a section of one of the bridges.  Authority alleges that the pre-construction sub-surface geotechnical investigation was insufficient, and that the construction manager was negligent in its construction oversight duties.  Asserted damages of $150,000,000 substantially exceed the available design professional insurance.


September 4, 2013

School Building Construction

Multiple prime design delivery system for construction of new elementary and middle school buildings. The building foundations experienced cracking due to expansive soils beneath the slab-on-grade foundation design. School district conducted review and determined that the pre-design subsurface investigation by the geotechnical engineer was insufficient and should have discovered the expansive soils and recommended against slab-on-grade foundation. Remedial plan consisted of driving structural steel columns from foundation into bedrock 20 feet below grade. Claim by School District for inadequate geotechnical investigation and increased construction costs exceeded available design professional insurance.


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.


May 29, 2013

Soil Spill

Source: Great American Environmental Division, May 2013

During construction of a new office building, an excavation contractor collected several tons of contaminated soil for off-site disposal. Unbeknownst to the driver of one of the dump trucks, the rear dump gate of his truck was ajar allowing soil to spill throughout the trip before being pulled over by the police. Things go from had to worse when it was determined that the soils had been contaminated with PCBs. The soil spillage causes a road closure of several hours and the excavation contractor was held responsible for the emergency hazmat clean-up of the soil.


April 17, 2013

Failure to Report a Spill Ends Costly for Oil Hauler

Source: Zurich, April 11, 2013

A crude oil carrier has been slapped with two penalties by the US DOT after its tank truck overturned in an accident in January, spilling about 420 gallons of oil onto the roadside soil. One penalty was for failure to notify the National Response Center within the required 24 hours after a reportable environmental spill and the second was for failure to submit the written (U.S. DOT 5800.1) report within 30 days of the incident.

In the incident, nearby residences were evacuated and an elementary school was closed for the day as a precautionary measure due to the nature of the product and potential risks. A contractor was dispatched to perform the cleanup, and absorbent material was applied to absorb free product from the soil, which was excavated, and the site returned to pre-existing condition. About 52 tons of contaminated soils were generated during the cleanup efforts, which were transported for disposal in accordance with local, state and federal regulations. No injuries were reported. And no reports were filed.…

May 8, 2012

Toxic site is target

Source: The Boston Globe, May 6, 2012
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Tannery near condo complex

For the next eight weeks, workers from the US Environmental Protection Agency will truck away mounds of arsenic-filled soil from a 28-unit residential complex where a tannery stood for 81 years.

The arsenic was discovered in the last year when the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection conducted testing on the grounds of the former Creese & Cook Tannery at 55 Clinton Ave. The 12-acre property is just across the Crane River from the condo complex, and is considered a potential site to receive federal cleanup funds. After high levels of arsenic, chromium, and dioxin were found on the vacant property, the state learned that the nearby Crane River East Condominiums – thought to be the sales office of the tannery and redeveloped for residential in 1987 – actually served as the original manufacturing site of the tannery from 1903-1913.

According to the EPA, arsenic levels registered 30 times the legal limit in some parts of the condo complex and triggered the cleanup. Ted Bazenas, who is helping to coordinate the cleanup of the residential area – a swath of about 600 square yards behind a lot of six town houses – said arsenic stays in soil and cannot become airborne. “The hazard is from consumption, from actually the ingestion of the soil,” he said, adding that children would be more susceptible than adults to arsenic if they put their hands in their mouths after playing in soil.…

April 4, 2012

Drilling Contractor – Raw Sewage

Source: Rockhill Environmental/NECC Newsletter

A subsurface drilling contractor caused a release of raw sewage into both soil and groundwater after failing to identify a sewer line before drilling into the sewer pipe. The clean-up entailed the excavation of several tons of impacted soil and filtration of the groundwater, as well as causing a number of nearby businesses to be shut down for a few days when their basements filled with sewage. Many substantial claims for business interruption and clean-up costs were filed.…