The National Academies' National Research Council (NRC) released a report on November 8 titled "Alternatives for Managing the Nation's Complex Contaminated Groundwater Sites." According the report, there are at least 126,000 sites around the country that contain residual contamination at levels too high for site closure. The report estimates that cleaning up these sites will cost well over $100 billion dollars to remediate.
The report cautions that the total number of sites and costs are probably under-reported, because of the way sites are tracked and its difficult to project long term management of sites. Many of the remaining sites are some of the most difficult sites to remediate, so there is no certainty about the effectiveness of any planned remediation for them, further clouding matters.
Remediation efforts will not remove all groundwater contamination for all sites, so the report contains a call for an evaluation process to determine when or whether to transition a site to active or passive long term management. The report also calls for a database that could be used to compare the performance of remedial technologies at complex sites.
This reports reconfirms that there is plenty of work to be done and plenty of obstacles along the way as the nation works to remediate groundwater contamination from sites.
To learn more about groundwater contamination or to discuss a particular brownfield site, please see our Site Remediation and Brownfields Redevelopment pages and for information on financing see the Brownfields Redevelopment financing page. To further discuss, please contact Jon Kitchen at (508) 747-7900 extension 154.
Information for this article taken from article entitled "Groundwater Contamination to Cost Billions, Persist for Decades, NRC Says" by Jay Landers, pages 24-26 in the January 2013 edition of Civil Engineering Magazine.
More often than not, environmental cleanups pose a significant financial challenge for clients. At Norfolk, we have found it helpful to meet with clients and stakeholders to help them identify and pursue the best financing options available. From state brownfields tax credits and federal tax deductions to UST reimbursement funds and insurance policies, Norfolk can help you find the funding best suited to you and your project. If a loan is what you need, Norfolk can help explain the situation to your financier to take some of the uncertainty out of lending.
Some examples of how we work with our clients include;
Norfolk recently helped the owner of a former gasoline station petition for reinstatement of eligibility for 1.5 million dollars in reimbursement funds.
We have helped municipalities identify, pursue, and receive millions of dollars in grants.
An elderly homeowner was faced with cleaning up a serious home heating oil spill. She had exhausted all funding options but was ineligible for "financial inability" status from the state and had been denied a bank loan. Norfolk worked with her bank to quantify the financial risks and structure the cleanup project such that she could tap the equity in her home to clean up the property.
Several of our clients who have financed their cleanups "out of pocket" have been pleasantly surprised to find that they could recover 25 to 50% of their cleanup costs through tax credits.
When a client had a leak from a gasoline tank, their insurance carrier initially denied coverage. Norfolk worked with the client, insurance agent, and attorney to provide supporting justification for the claim, such that the insurance carrier agreed to provide coverage, saving the client nearly $100,000.
If you have questions about how to pay for your environmental cleanup or if you have already paid for an environmental cleanup and would like to find out if you might be eligible for a tax credit, please contact Jon Kitchen at (508) 747-7900 x154.
You can also read more about our site remediation and brownfield redevelopment services by following the links.
Norfolk is an environmental consulting and engineering firm which provides technical advice on the cleanup of hazardous waste sites. While Norfolk helps clients identify funding we do not provide tax, legal, or financial advice.
Find out if you qualify for a Brownfields Tax Credit!
A former chromium plating facility in Attleboro has been designated as a superfund site to cleanup the contamination from the former operations. The 2.7 acre site used to be operated by Walton & Lonsbury, Inc, and for over a 30 year period through 1970, all wastes generated from the facility were discharged into a wetland resource area on the site by an underground pipe. Now the site contains contaminants such as chromium, hexavalent chromium, lead, and volatile organic compounds.
In order to clean up the site, workers will need to dismantle and remove plating tanks, excavated the foundation and contaminated soil, clear the wooded wetland area, and treat the contaminated wetland soils. As part of the remediation process, the contractor will use a dry-soil mixing process to bind existing soil with cement in-situ. Once the contaminants have been adressed, the land will be turned over for a housing development.
For questions about site remediation or site assessments, please contact Brian V. Moran, P.E. at (508) 747-7900 or check out our remediation page.
Information for this post taken from the July 30, 2012 edition of Engineering News-Record, Page U9.
In Massachusetts, environmental clean-up of brownfields sites can receive as much as a 50% refund in the form of a tax credit. Learn about the Brownfields Tax Credit and find out if you qualify!
The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality recently reached an agreement with the Dow Chemical Company to clean up to 1,500 residential properites contaminated with dioxins in Midland Michigan, home of its manufacturing plant and corporate headquarters. The agreement proposes an action level of 250 parts per trillion of dioxins in the residential soils. The action level is set in accordance with EPA's approved risk assessment procedures, and their recent announcement setting a safe level of exposure for TCDD, a potent congener.
Soil sampling will begin in June for the project, and the program will also offer relocation support to people who rent affected homes, should the homeowner not choose to participate in the program. As an extra effort, Dow says it is also offering to purchase approximately 50 homes and lots located within the industrial and commercially zoned area noted in the cleanup agreement.
For more information of Dioxins or soil and groundwater contamination, contact Brian V. Moran, P.E. at (508) 747-7900 extension 189 or (508) 309-4793.
Information in this post taken from an article entitled "Michigan, Dow Agree on Cleanup" by Glenn Hess, on Page 7 of the February 27, 2012 edition of Chemical & Engineering News.
Due to a century of industrial activity – steel manufacturers, and chemical companies - along its riverbanks, the Buffalo River has become very polluted. The levels of contamination were so high that in 1987, the Buffalo River was designated as ‘’ an area of concern’’ by the International Joint Commission. Due to the chemicals and contamination present in the sediment, dredging the Buffalo River has become a necessity.
Last August, the US Army Corps of Engineers started a $50 million project to dredge contaminated sediment from the River and to restore aquatic and riparian habitat.
As part of the project, many steps had to be taken to lead up to the dredging:
- The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation created a remedial action plan for the River
- In 2003, the EPA selected Buffalo Niagara River–keeper to coordinate the work involved in implementing the plan
- Since 2007, Buffalo Niagara River–keeper and its four partners (the Army Corps of Engineers, the EPA, The Department of Environmental Conservation, and Honeywell International, Inc., of Morristown, New Jersey) have worked to remediate the Buffalo River in a unique public – private partnership. The five partners together are known as the Buffalo River Restoration partnership.
Their work enabled them to put forward four main contaminants to be addressed by the dredging:
1. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
2. Polychlorinated biphenyls
The cleanup of the Buffalo River includes two phases in order to reach the following goals:
- Reduce human exposure to contaminated sediment, as well as the exposure of wildlife and aquatic organisms
- Restore habitat and supporting wildlife
The first phase is led by the Corps and consists of dredging portions of the navigation channel within the river and the City Ship Canal to a depth of 24 ft., 1 ft. deeper than the Corps normally dredges. This phase aims at helping the Buffalo River be removed as an ‘’area of concern’’.
The second phase is led by the EPA and includes different actions:
- Remove contaminated sediments from areas in the river outside of the navigation channel
- Cap contamination located at the terminus of the City Ship Canal
- Conduct 6 habitat restoration projects along the riverbanks and within the capped section of the canal
In late August, the dredging operations began hoping to remove 600,000 cu yd of material by clamshell dredging. The method used minimizes the dredged material reentering the water by sending it to a nearby confined disposal facility.
The Corps received increased federal funding to remove even more material than normal. The estimated cost of the dredging associated with the first phase will be approximately $5.9 million. Funding for the project comes from two sources:
- $4.6 million from the Federal government’s Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, which will fund the removal of 450,000 cu yd of material
- $1.3 million from the Corp’s annual appropriations for routine operation and maintenance dredging which will pay for the removal of the remaining 150,000 cu yd of material.
The project participants expect the river to return to a healthier state as its long term goal. The second phase with the additional dredging will enable them to cap in place the contaminated material located in a 7–acre area at the far end of the City Ship Canal. This phase will include six habitat restoration projects as well and this capped area is expected to become one of these six restoration projects.
If you have any question about dredging, please contact John McAllister at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (508) 747 - 7900 x 117.
Information in this article taken from October 2011, article by Jay Landers, published in Civil Engineering News.