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Remediation completes at world’s largest in situ thermal remediation site

By Michael Kozar, PG, LSRP, O’Brien & Gere

Historically, the best way to address the environmental challenge of soil contamination has been to excavate the contaminated soil and dispose of it in a landfill. The latest in situ treatment methods are becoming better understood as an effective environmental remediation strategy, particularly for the cleanup of volatile contaminants. The term “in situ” remediation refers to innovative techniques and technologies that cleanup contaminated soil and groundwater in place, without removing the contaminated materials from the ground.

A great example of this change in thinking is the successful development and implementation of a combination of in situ remedial technologies at the largest in situ thermal remediation site in the world—the Teterboro Landing site in New Jersey. For 70 years, this site was used for manufacturing components for the aerospace industry. In 2007, it was purchased for redevelopment, and this required the accelerated characterization and remediation of large, multi-acre chlorinated solvent source zones prior to new construction. In 2010, it was determined that an investigation and remediation timeframe of three and a half years was required to meet the redevelopment schedule and New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) cleanup requirements.

This complex, fast-paced program was led by O’Brien & Gere and our team of environmental remediation experts. A significant component of the remediation involved in-situ thermal treatment, where remedial goals were met within the prescribed timeframe through an in situ thermal desorption (ISTD) treatment program recommended through the environmental remediation leadership of our technical expert, Gary Angyal, PE. The ISTD program included a soil remediation process that involves heating the soil to remove subsurface contaminants. Approximately 35,000 pounds of chlorinated volatile organic compounds (CVOCs) were removed over 3.2 acres with depths extending to 40 feet—making this the largest in situ thermal remediation site in the world. Our team also identified a secondary area to receive in-situ chemical oxidation treatment due to the discrete nature of the CVOC impacts.

To complete the complex environmental investigation and subsurface remediation, we were contracted as the project’s lead environmental consultant, and to provide Licensed Site Remediation Professional (LSRP) oversight services to remediate the site and prepare it for commercial redevelopment. Specifically, our team completed the following:

  • Performed a dynamic (Triad) two-month field investigation involving advanced membrane interface probe (MIP) and direct sampling over a 10-acre study area to delineate soil and groundwater impacts of trichloroethylene (TCE), perchloroethylene (PCE), daughter products, and Freon®, including free and residual product, in a varied clay formation—the scope of which is one of the largest in the U.S.
  • Developed a remedial strategy based on a 95% mass removal concept using in situ thermal remediation / cutoff wall of a 3.2-acre area, in situ chemical oxidation of the lower concentration 1.2-acre area, and a long-term groundwater monitoring and contingency plan to address residual groundwater impacts
  • Developed site-specific remedial standards for soils, with a statistical-based sampling approach to demonstrate compliance
This is just one of the active in situ remediation applications that our O’Brien & Gere team discussed at Battelle’s Ninth International Conference on Remediation of Chlorinated and Recalcitrant Compounds, which was held on May 19-22, 2014 in Monterey, California. Our team was active throughout the conference, leading seven platform and poster presentations.

Unable to attend Battelle? I would be glad to share my thinking on how we solved these real-time, complex problems. Contact me to set up a call or to obtain a copy of our content from the conference.

About Michael Kozar
Michael Kozar, PG, LSRP is a Vice President and Remediation thought leader at O’Brien & Gere. He has 23 years of professional experience providing client-focused solutions, technical consulting, and project management services throughout the U.S., including environmental site characterizations, soil and groundwater investigations and remediation, and groundwater supply evaluations. Mr. Kozar has conducted environmental programs for major industrial sites under CERCLA programs, including USEPA Regions II/III/IV and state regulatory programs predominantly in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.