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Investigation of contaminated site

One of Australia’s leading producers of building products for the residential and commercial construction industry, chose Pacific Environment for a contaminated land remediation project following occupation by heavy industry for half a century.

They chose Pacific Environment based on our reputation as a leader in contaminated lands remediation, problem solving and our long list of successful and client driven satisfaction projects due to our client focused approach.

The Challenge

The client’s requirements for the site were an investigation and planning approach which would deliver an outcome which was beneficial for the client and a cost saving on a large site with heavy industry having been the focus the last half a century on the site.

The goals of the client are to hand back a site to crown lands following occupation by heavy industry of half a century. The technology changed over time in the brick making process from coal and oil fired furnaces, to gas fired furnaces. This has created some Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon (PAH) contamination on the site in the form of ash which had been buried in voids across the site. The quarry voids had been filled in over time with a variety of fill materials.

1. Excavation investigation into Pit 2 former quarry void 18m deep
2. Excavation investigation into Pit 2 area
3. Geo fabric marker layer and back filling of investigation
4. Geo fabric marker layer and back filling of investigation
5. Backfilling of investigation area completed with remediation works to commence in the near future
6. Operational stockpile map during investigation works for the Metford site

The Solution

Extensive intial investigation, objectively looking at the problem and where the major risks of the site were likely to be found. A planning approach was undertaken to deliver a reduced risk over the site which created two zonings on the site. Investigations of the large former quarry void (approx 75,000 cubic metres) were undertaken which allowed for material to be segregated into compliant material or non-compliant with the site criteria.

The cost savings to the client from our planning and investigation approach are in the millions before remediation has started on the main site.

The use of trusted civil contractors, NATA accredited laboratories and good communication with the project manager, client and NSW EPA accredited site auditor has allowed a successful result. The main solution for this particular problem came from the industry experience of the Pacific Environment team. The client also benefitted from the lateral thinking put forward to the client as a solution to a potentially expensive problem and for the solution to be accepted by all stakeholders.

The Results

By instigating this planning approach there has been major forecast cost savings on the remediation for the future hand back of the site to the owner at the end of a perpetual lease.

The spilt zoning on the site for Industrial and Commercial as opposed to the remaning portion of the site being Open Space means the criteria for hand back is less stringent. The argument put forward to the local environmental authority accredited site auditor was accepted and will allow the site to be delivered as two separate site audit statements on completion.

Remediation works for the quarry site has commenced with the future remediation on the main site likely to start in later half of 2015.