emergency and disaster response - Environmental assessment & remediation

  • Client: Major petroleum transport company
  • Location: Greenville, NC

Highlands Environmental Solutions, Inc. (HES) was retained to assist on an emergency response incident involving an overturned petroleum transport tanker near Greenville, North Carolina. The subject tanker was involved in two-vehicle collision, overturned, and caught fire on a major U.S. Highway. The resulting fire consumed the pavement of the highway, and two nearby structures. An undetermined volume of gasoline was released, and unconsumed fuel was absorbed by the sandy surficial soils in the areas.

HES rapidly assessed the extent of petroleum impacted soil using hand auger borings, then worked with the response contractor to excavate the area of petroleum impacted soil, with more than 3500 cubic yards of soil being excavated and transported for disposal at a nearby land application facility. Limited volumes of free-product were recovered during soil excavation activities.

Data collected by HES during subsequent environmental assessment activities confirmed the presence of residual petroleum impacted soil immediately adjacent to and beneath the highway, and only limited, low concentrations of petroleum contaminants in the groundwater beneath the site.

HES conducted an environmental risk assessment, and worked with the North Carolina Department of Transportation to demonstrate that residual petroleum impacted soil beneath the pavement of the highway did not present an environmental threat, and would not degrade the pavement of the highway.

Based on the risk assessment performed by HES, the incident received regulatory closure without long-term monitoring within 80 days of the date that the incident occurred. By attaining regulatory closure, the client realized a cost savings of an estimated $100,000 had an environmental monitoring program been implemented.