Types of Sites – Industrial Facility

For this post, I thought I would continue on a subject that I began a couple of years ago on this blog:

Regulatory FAQ
?????????Regulatory FAQ II
Definition of Terms

Those posts described the basic steps associated with investigation of your standard corner retail gas station. For this post, let’s assume that you own an industrial facility of some sort. Either you owned the property and leased it to a widget manufacturer or you are the widget manufacturer and you own the property were you do your work. For whatever reason, the decision has been made to close the widget factory and sell the property. To do so, you will have to decommission all the various parts of the facility. A vital step in this process is what is called the, “Hazardous Materials Inventory”. This process will identify everything from mercury switches in thermostats and PCBs in light ballasts to large storage tanks and make recommendations for the appropriate method(s) for their decommissioning.

Let’s just say that a portion of this facility was used as a steam cleaning area with floor drains that conveyed the wash-down water into the sanitary sewer. Before the wash-down water went into the sanitary sewer, it flowed through a three-stage clarifier to allow the solids to settle out. All of this is a very common feature in industrial facilities. The Hazardous Materials Inventory identified the use of chlorinated solvents, specifically TCE, during the 1970s in various parts of the property including the steam cleaning area. Based on these findings, the recommendations are to advance soil borings in the area of the steam cleaning area, the floor drains, and the three-stage clarifier. The data collected from this investigation will allow us to evaluate how much soil (if any) around of the steam cleaning area is impacted with TCE and / or anything that was being washed off the widgets that were being steam cleaned.

Can’t wait to hear the next part? What do we do? How much do we have to dig out? How much will it cost? How long will it take to do all the work? Well, it takes a couple weeks to get data back from the lab and write the report. Check back next month!

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