Remediation Technologies Advance and Support Environmental Goals

Remediation Technologies Advance and Support Environmental Goals

Author: Paul Bratti
Bio: Paul Bratti has been with Clean Harbors Environmental Services for 25 years. As the Vice President of the North American Remediation Group he has managed many aspects of the Company’s core business lines including Field Services, Emergency Response, Project and Remediation Technologies. Based at the Company’s corporate headquarters in Norwell, MA, Paul manages more than 120 employees throughout the U.S. and Canada.
Summary: The plant previously had a number of discharge issues with predominant discharge contaminates of Cadmium (Cd), Chromium (Cr), and Zinc (Zn). Levels of 0.24, 5.80, and 1.20 mg/l respectively, were recorded at the last pre-system sampling event. After the system was installed the tested levels were less than 0.05, 0.29, and 0.07 mg/l respectively. This allowed the plant to meet its discharge limits, thereby avoiding costly fines and penalties.

Remediation of industrial wastes in soil, water and air is a standard operation in Chemical, Petroleum Oilfield and Refinery operations, wastewater processing and other industrial applications, as well as for spill response and other emergencies.

There are several reasons to take remediation seriously including addressing the many state/provincial and federal regulations that govern the recovery and reprocessing or destruction of organic compounds and toxic wastes. There is also the incentive to reduce the amount of material to be managed as hazardous waste in order to work towards conditionally exempt or small quantity generator status, as defined by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which reduces reporting and administrative requirements. Beyond the regulations, operators frequently strive to exceed the regulatory requirements due to a corporate commitment to environmental stewardship and a desire to support and protect the local community.

Offsite vs. Onsite Remediation

There are two fundamental approaches – offsite transportation for remote processing or onsite processing. There are many factors that dictate the best approach with volume, duration and location being key factors because they affect both cost and efficiency.

Offsite remediation does not require capital investments in onsite processing, which saves both money and time for lower volumes. However, access to a transportation network and proximity to a processing plant affects the efficacy of offsite remediation. But, even with transportation access, there is a point at which the cost of transporting the full volume of the contaminated material, along with the logistics and regulatory requirements of excavating and transporting wastes by rail or road, become onerous.

Ongoing manufacturing operations such as Oil & Gas Industries and Chemical Industries have shown justification for onsite processing to handle daily output. Large projects, such as spill recovery or groundwater remediation, may also justify onsite remediation because the cost and time commitment of designing, building and installing an onsite processing facility can be amortized over time. As we will see later in this paper, new custom-designed yet portable remediation plants that can be moved among multiple operator sites or leased for a specific project make it practical to address smaller remediation projects with onsite technologies.

Onsite treatment enables the use of a number of in situ technologies, such as Air Sparge (AS), Soil Vapor Extraction (SVE) and Groundwater Treatment. It eliminates the removal of the material thereby greatly reducing transportation and disposal costs while facilitating site restoration.

This paper will discuss the processes and approaches to onsite remediation.

Categories: Custom Built Remediation Systems