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Overview of a Large-Scale Bioremediation Soil Treatment Project

STECHMANN, ROBERT, Mittelhauser Corporation, Laguna Hills, CA

How long does it take to remediate 290,000 yd3 of impacted soil containing an average total petroleum hydrocarbon concentration of 3000 ppm? Approximately 15 months from start to end of treatment using bioremediation.

Mittelhauser was retained by the seller of the property (a major oil company) as technical manager to supervise remediation of a 45-ac parcel in the Los Angeles basin. Mittelhauser completed site characterization, negotiated clean-up levels with the regulatory agencies, and prepared the remedial action plan (RAP) with which the treatment approach was approved and permitted. The RAP outlined the excavation, treatment, and recompaction procedures for the impacted soil resulting from leakage of bunker fuel oil from a large surface impoundment.

The impacted soil was treated on site in unline Land Treatment Units (LTUs) in 18-in.-thick lifts. Due to space restraints, multiple lifts of impacted soil were placed in each of the eight LTUs constructed on site. The native microbial population was cultivated using soil stabilization mixing equipment with the application of water and agricultural grade fertilizers.

Costs on this multimillion dollar project are broken down as follows: general contractor cost (47%), bioremediation subcontractor cost (35%), site characterization (10%), technical management (7%), analytical services (3%), RAP preparation and permitting (1%), and civil engineering subcontractor cost (1%).

Start-up of field work could have been severely impacted by the existence of Red Fox habitation. The foxes were successfully relocated prior to start of field work.


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