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An Innovative Alternative for Managing Contaminated Soils

HERLIHY, DAN, EMCON Associates, Fresno, CA

A property owner was required to remove contaminated fill soils prior to the sale of a 10-ac parcel in an industrialized area of southern California. Based on the concentrations of petroleum hydrocarbons, these soils were originally considered by the regulatory community to represent hazardous waste. Alternatives for their removal or remediation included disposal as hazardous waste at a cost of approximately $200/yd3 and bioremediation at a cost of approximately $60 to $80/yd3.

Although the soils were impacted by petroleum hydrocarbons and other chemicals, laboratory testing and statistical analysis were used to show that the material was nonhazardous waste. The property owner now intends to use the contaminated soils as an ingredient in an asphalt manufacturing process at a cost savings of approximately $1.3 million when compared to their disposal as hazardous waste. This approach to evaluate the hazardous nature of soils is seldom used to manage contaminated soils at industrial properties, but when applied properly, it may result in substantial cost savings for future property transactions.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #91009©1991 AAPG-SEPM-SEG-SPWLA Pacific Section Annual Meeting, Bakersfield, California, March 6-8, 1991 (2009)