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RCRA Facility Investigation and Remediation


The Project: RCRA Facility Investigation and Remediation

📍Pine Grove, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania

The Challenge

EARTHRES was contracted by our client to perform an RCRA facility investigation and remediation related to potential sources of chlorinated solvents in response to US EPA Consent Order.  The project would require EARTHRES to perform an RCRA facility investigation, corrective measures study and associated US EPA-approved investigations in support of soil and groundwater remediation of chlorinated volatile organic compounds (VOCs) including Perchloroethylene (PCE) and Trichloroethylene (TCE).  Soil Vapor Extraction (SVE) and groundwater pilot studies would have to be completed, and a full-scale SVE system installed. 

Also, during the course of completing the project, EARTHRES would perform SVE system operation, monitoring, performance evaluation, reporting and closure; a process waste lagoon investigation, remediation, reporting and closure; as well as optimization and modification of a groundwater pump and treat system.

The Solution

EARTHRES prepared and submitted a detailed RCRA Soil Sampling Workplan to the US EPA and upon approval commenced with quarterly groundwater monitoring and reporting. EARTHRES field personnel directed the soil investigation activities utilizing track-mounted Geoprobe™ technology and field screening activities to conduct soil sampling and delineation of suspected chlorinated solvents. Soil sampling laboratory results indicated the presence of PCE and related daughter products beneath the area of a historical dry cleaning machine within the production building. EARTHRES prepared and submitted a detailed soil investigation report presenting the soil investigation results to the US EPA for review. As directed by the US EPA, EARTHRES prepared a Corrective Measures Study Workplan (CMS) for the facility in regard to the identified PCE and related compounds.

As part of this work plan, EARTHRES performed a Corrective Measure Alternatives Analysis to determine feasible remedial options. EARTHRES identified in-situ SVE as the most cost-effective, technologically reliable remediation technique for the identified impacts. Subsequently, EARTHRES performed additional soil delineation and installed vacuum extraction points for the SVE pilot testing program. Based on the physical and laboratory data collected during the pilot test, EARTHRES concluded the SVE system would be effective in removing VOCs from the soils beneath the former dry cleaner area. The US EPA approved the use of the SVE system and the CMS Workplan.

SVE System Design, Installation and Monitoring

After the EARTHRES designed and oversaw installation of the SVE system, EARTHRES commenced with monitoring the SVE which included a collection of vacuum readings on the extraction well and observation wells, air velocity measurements on the effluent of the system, and air samples from the system effluent vapor. EARTHRES regularly reported system performance to the US EPA during the SVE system operational period. The reports included an assessment of system operation efficiency and calculations of the mass of solvents removed by the system. The SVE system was shown to be successful in remediating the VOC- impacted soils. A closure work plan was developed and approved by US EPA and investigation of the remediated area was completed. US EPA approval of the closure was obtained and removal of the SVE system was completed.

Groundwater Pump and Treat System Optimization

Due to ongoing RCRA groundwater issues, EARTHRES completed a groundwater pump and treat system optimization and capture zone analysis for both the deep fractured bedrock and shallow groundwater systems. Work included conversion from the interim pump and treat system carbon units to an innovative air stripping system approved by the US EPA. Current groundwater sampling and an Annual Certification of Compliance are completed in accordance with the 2016 US EPA Final Remedy.

The Results

Based upon the successful completion of the project by EARTHRES, the client has fulfilled the requirements of US EPA Consent Order and are maintaining compliance with the requirements specified by the Final Remedy and Environmental Covenant, allowing our client to focus on business operations.

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