Remediation Technology Advances Speaker Session Summary

The October 2012 Remediation Technology Advances Speaker Session was well attended by EMA of BC members and guests. Four BC speakers, who previously delivered presentations at the sold out Remediation Technologies (RemTech) Symposium, were provided a local venue. These speakers imparted valuable knowledge and case studies.

Dr. Harm Gross of Next Environmental Inc. presented “Rapid Remediation of Subsurface Organic Contaminants – a Contact Sport”
Dr. Gross’ presentation explained how to transform a contaminated commercial site into a marketable property utilizing Hydrogen Release Compound (HRCâ) and injection points to achieve contact with the contaminated material. The first example site involved using the natural groundwater gradient and working with site limitations of surrounding properties to achieve the desired outcome. The second example site presented used a forced injection and recovery system to achieve contact. The site conditions included a near flat groundwater gradient and very limited timeframe and poor ambient conditions.

Stephen Sumsion of McCue Environmental Contracting presented “Design & Construction of a Sub Slab Depressurization System to Meet New BCMOE Soil Vapour Mitigation Requirements”
Mr. Sumsion’s presentation outlined the process that McCue Environmental Contracting Inc. followed during the installation of a soil vapour mitigation system for a mixed-use development at a site impacted with dry cleaning solvent contaminants. The project involved the installation of over 400 meters of vapour collection piping, 800 square meters of impermeable vapour barrier, and the supply and installation of a vapour extraction blower.

Jason Christensen of Keystone Environmental presented “Innovative & Sustainable Approach to Barrier Wall Installation at an Active Rail Yard”
Mr. Christensen’s presentation focused on the use of an innovative and sustainable planning and decision making process at a northern BC railyard site. Mr. Christensen outlined the use of the CN Sustainability Evaluation Tool to compare ongoing monitoring, remedial excavation, and a barrier wall. The barrier wall obtained the highest sustainability assessment score of the three remedial options evaluated and was then advanced for detailed design and implementation.

The presentation highlighted the passive underground barrier wall installation at the rail yard for the twofold management of dissolved phase hydrocarbons. First, the barrier wall seeks to prevent dissolved contaminants from migrating offsite. Second, the barrier wall alters groundwater flow, creating a longer migratory pathway to assist natural attenuation. The barrier wall uses a relatively low initial energy and capital investment to create the conditions for natural processes to be more successful.

Doug Bright of Hemmera presented “From Theory to Practice – The Do’s and Don’ts of Spill Response and Follow-up Risk Assessment/Risk Management Actions at Saline Water Release Sites in Boreal Peatland Environments”
Dr. Bright’s presentation focused on how the results of a 2007 to 2010 study help in assessing and remediating surface releases of produced water (saline groundwater that co-occurs with petroleum oil and natural gas deposits), and how well intended remedial works can affect large areas of peat-forming wetlands in northern temperate environments.

The study assessed vegetative and soil faunal responses to the salinization of western Canadian boreal peatlands, and provided concrete knowledge about thresholds effects levels for ecologically relevant peatland mosses and vascular plants. This information, with input from field studies, regulators, and oil & gas environmental managers, helped to advance the development of preferred approaches for managing salt release sites in wetland/peatland settings, from the initial spill response, through site monitoring to assess residual ecological risks, to closure.