Home___________________________Case History


Case History


This site was an insurance claim in which the plaintiff had proposed a site remediation with a cost of over $300,000.00. An analysis of the physical setting and the type of contaminant involved indicated that a risk based analysis was appropriate and that the site may have been able to be closed through a Risk Based Corrective Action report (RBCA). The physical setting of the site was such that the water table was at 70 feet below ground surface and in an area designated for non-beneficial use of the groundwater. The soils plume was large and consisted mostly of waste oil, with small amounts of benzene and tetrachloroethylene. Estimates were provided for an above-ground treatment system or a dig-out and haul. Both estimates were for approximately $300,000.00, which, with the standard overruns, would probably have gone to over one-half of a million dollars.

An analysis of the site indicated that for $30,000.00, a RBCA could be prepared and submitted to the regulatory authorities for analysis and, perhaps, approval. Tasks that had to be completed were a three-dimensional delineation of the plume at the subject property, an analysis of the transport of the constituents of the plume to the water table, an analysis of the pathways and receptors for the toxic compounds and a clear demonstration that no receptor would be adversely impacted by the plume.

The drilling and sampling of the subject property revealed a perching layer at 25 feet below grade that had very poor hydraulic characteristics and that would retard the flow of the contaminants downward to the groundwater. In fact, this slowing of the downward migration of the plume was such that the plume would attenuate at the interface to below action levels for the chemicals present. An analysis of the near-surface pathways demonstrated that the vapor pressure of the plume was so low that there was no danger of vapor migration along a preferential pathway to a receptor.

The last issue to address for this site was the impact of a dig and haul. Utilizing the laboratory results and the toxicology of the contaminants a deal was struck with a local landfill to take the soil as daily cover, thus lowering the cost of disposal of the soils if they were dug up to below $ 10,000.00.

The RBCA was submitted to the regulatory agency in charge of the site and a closure by RBCA was issued within two weeks. The underlying case was settled at a nominal amount shortly thereafter.


submitted by:

Bernard J. Luther CEG, President
Applied Consultants
3040 Clairemont Drive, Suite B
San Diego, CA 92117
619-275-6577 voice
619-275-6947 fax

                                               Back to Data PagesReturn To Home PageRequest More Information From EDP