Solving Complex Environmental Problems #34 – ACCELERATED NATURAL ATTENUATION HELPS NJ SITE ACHIEVE UNRESTRICTED CLOSURE

A former leaking underground storage tank dragged a New Jersey retail store owner into a long and costly regulatory obligation. Many years after tank and soil removal, groundwater conditions for benzene ranged between 10 and 280 ppb and predictions for natural attenuation were approximately 10 – 12 years. With NJDEP groundwater standards for benzene set at a very low 1 ppb, many site owners across the state sit with their toes at the regulatory finish line waiting for natural attenuation to attain the benzene closure standard. And the idea of active remediation for such low-level impacts just doesn’t add up financially.

The Solution
BSTI entered the project and proposed a short duration in-situ enhanced oxidation program to accelerate the natural degradation process. Over the course of three-monthly events, BSTI injected oxidation reagents into the subsurface soil. Indicators such as pH, temperature, ORP, and dissolved oxygen suggested that we were on the right track and post remediation groundwater monitoring showed positive progress. Two years after the injections, benzene concentrations in groundwater were below NJDEP standards. A subsequent year of confirmation sampling concluded that the site had met all regulatory obligations, providing for an unconditional RAO.

The Result of BSTI’s plan is that the site owner now has a fully unencumbered property and saved over six years and $50,000 in estimated time and costs. Under the right circumstances and if implemented well, short term remedial measures can be a good operational and financial alternative to the long and drawn-out process of natural attenuation.

Contact John Kollmeier at jkollmeier@bstiweb.com for more information or to chat about if this approach makes sense for your site. Visit www.bstiweb.com for more information on our capabilities.

 

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