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Attleboro site slated for remediation through a Superfund Cleanup

  
  
  
  
  

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!

Pharmaceuticals in Wastewater in the News

  
  
  
  
  

Yesterday the USA today published an article about a county in Northern California, Almaeda County, who planned a vote on the Safe Drug Disposal Ordinance, requiring drug makers to pay for programs to dispose of expired and unused drugs.

Pharmaceuticals in wastewater streams have been a hot-button topic recently, with some groups concerned about flushed pills and medicine entering the groundwater supply. From the article "Clean Water Action officials said it's unclear how much of an impact the drugs in water have, but the government should not take any chances. "You don't put something in the water if you don't know what it's going to do," Jennifer Clary, a water policy analyst with the group, said Monday."

A study published in February 2007 by Springer-Verlag, did however, show that Membrane Bioreactors did remove greater than 80% of the compounds it investigated. More detail and the results of that study can be found here.

There is an existing program in Alameda County where residents can drop off their old medications at designated located, however it has been expensive for the county.   The bill's proponents said other manufacturers take responsibility for disposing their products, such as certain batteries and paint, and drug companies should join their lead.

Marjorie Powell, a representative of Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, said that the safest, and cheapest, way to get rid of old medication is to just put in the trash in a sealed container mixed with substances like coffee grounds or kitty litter. Although that method is approved by the FDA, advocates say putting drugs in landfills risks chemicals seeping into the waterbed, which the drug industry said existing safeguards prevent.

There has been little consensus about how to properly dispose of medications and what evironmental impacts are associated with each method, however one thing is for certain, this isn't the last we will be hearing about this issue.

IMGP1442 resized 600Rotating Biological Contactor for Wastewater Treatment

For questions regarding Wastewater treatment, please contact Kevin P. Klein, P.E. at (508) 747-7900 extension 130 or please download our FREE Wastewater Treatment and Disposal Options white paper by clicking here.

To read the entire USA Today article, click here.

EPA expected to release new Stormwater Regulations Next Year

  
  
  
  
  

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is expected to release new regulations with significant changes with respect to stormwater management and reporting sometime in 2013.

One of the changes is the expansion of regulated areas, to include "urban clusters" that may currently fall outside the existing regulations. Existing regulations are based on density, and the new areas would be regulated based on density and size, and would be separate from existing MS4 regulations.

Another change would be a higher performance standard for new developments. The new developments would be expected to retain on site 90% of all storm events throughout the year, which could be up to 1.5 in per event.

Included with the performance standards would be new standards for re-development projects as well as retrofit requirements for existing discharges. The retrofit program would focus on both long and short term goals with measurable factors to show effectiveness.

The new regulations would also try to include combined sewer overflow systems, which aren't currently regulated, only separate sewer systems are regulated. This could prove tricky to regulate, so we'll have to see what EPA proposes with these regulations.

We will keep an eye out for the proposed regulations once they are released, however, one thing is for sure, the new regulations will create conversation in the industry.

Information for this blog post taken from an article "At a Crossroads" by Seth Brown, in WE&T Magazine, Pages 26-27, June 2012

For questions regarding EPA stormwater regulations or stormwater management, please contact Mark S. Bartlett, P.E. at (508) 747-7900 extension 131.

Subsurface Gravel Wetlands: Effective Stormwater BMPs

  
  
  
  
  

Subsurface Gravel wetlands are a low impact development best management practice that has proven very effective at nutrient removal.  Subsurface gravel wetlands approxmite the look and function of a natural wetland, and have proven very effective at treating stormwater runoff and removing nutrients.

The University of New Hampshire Stormwater Center  has  been collecting data for over six years and has shown average nitrate removal in gravel wetland systems is greater than 75% annually and 85% in the summer. The wetlands remove more than 95% of total suspended solids and have a phosphorus removal efficiency of 58%.  More information about the University of New Hampshire Stormwater Centers program can be found here.

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 Subsurface Gravel Wetland Designed By Norfolk in Cohasset, MA

 

Learn about Norfolk Ram's stormwater management services here.

If you have any questions about green infrastructure, please contact John McAllister at jmcallister@norfolkram.com or at (508) 747 - 7900 x 117.

Download our FREE Low Impact Design Executive Overview.

Report preaches the potentials for Rainwater Re-use

  
  
  
  
  

 THe National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) just issued a report titled "Capturing Rainwater from Rooftops" highlighting the potential for rainwater re-use or rainwater harvesting as its sometimes referred to for complementing municipal water supply needs.

The NRDC analyzed the total volume of rooftop rainwater potentially available for capture and use (based on rooftop area and average annual rainfall) in eight U.S. cities, as well as the volume of water potentially available for use under various capture, storage and usage scenarios.  The result of the analyses showed that the volume of rooftop runoff, if it were to be completely captured, would be enough to meet the annual water supply needs of between 21 percent and 75 percent of each city’s population.

NRDC’s study shows that a substantial opportunity exists to use rooftop rainwater capture as an efficient, effective water resource management approach.
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There are several factors that could affect the use  and benefit of re-using rooftop runoff (local regulations, existing infrastructure, etc.) however this study shows the potential is there, and rainwater harvesting represents a valuable tool municipalities, developers, property managers and homeowners can use to meet their water supply needs.

To read the entire report from the NRDC please click this link.

For questions or more information about Rainwater re-use, please contact John B. McAllister, P.E. at (508) 747-7900 extension 117.

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