Project Merit: Remediation

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Desarrollo Integral del Sur, Inc. (DISUR; Ponce, Puerto Rico) for developing a reuse and implementation plan for a petrochemical zone in Puerto Rico. For 30 years, a 3,500-acre rusting former petrochemical complex has marred the landscape of the coastal towns of Guayanilla and Pe?uelas. With an eye to transforming the area, the non-profit organization DISUR completed a master plan in February 2013 for the cleanup of 1,800 acres and the reuse of 13 properties there. Following the cleanup, establishment of a new generation of industries to produce renewable energy and microalgae-based pharmaceuticals, as well as the recycling of post-consumer and electronic waste, is expected to create over 1,000 new jobs and attract $500 million in private-sector investment. The proposed reuses address two regional issues: the problems of solid waste management and the high cost of electricity produced primarily through non-renewable energy sources. In the process of developing the master plan, DISUR mobilized 350 community members and 348 volunteer hours from area universities and professionals. In addition, local, state, and federal government agencies have recognized the plan's importance for economic development. To support the cleanup, DISUR won a $1 million grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to continue with environmental assessments and develop cleanup plans.

Abscope Environmental Inc. (Canastota, NY) for its work as a major subcontractor to ECC (Burlingame, CA) for the Hurricane Sandy relief effort in the New York City area. Due to the severe extent of damage to residential properties, normal asbestos survey and abatement means and methods could not be utilized. Working hand in hand with ECC, Abscope developed a work approach that satisfied the requirements of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, met all of ECC's strict safety policies, and provided a safe, efficient abatement procedure to expeditiously remove the hazard from the public at large. Combining resources from Abscope's Soil Remediation Division and its Asbestos Division, Abscope performed cleanup work on Staten Island, in Queens, and at Breezy Point. Working seven days a week and 10 to 12 hours a day from mid-January through the end of April 2013, Abscope logged over 25,000 hours with no loss time due to injuries. In excess of 90,000 tons of suspect asbestos-containing material was removed from over 500 residential properties encompassed by the project.

Mill City Environmental Corp. (Lowell, MA) for its work in cleaning up and restoring the USS Cassin Young, a former World War II destroyer that now serves as a museum at the Charlestown Navy Yard, Boston, MA. Mill City was awarded a contract the National Park Service (NPS) to abate asbestos and clean 18 fuel tanks on the historic Navy vessel. The firm removed fuel that had been sitting in the tanks for over 40 years, and all of the tanks were cleaned, with gas-free certificates issued for each. The ship's tight quarters required creative abatement plans and engineering of containments to remove and repair the asbestos, while preserving and respecting the vessel's rich history. Several areas could not be abated until the team dismantled parts of the vessel to access the asbestos. Precautions were taken to ensure that those same parts could properly be re-assembled. Mill City completed this four month project on time and within budget. The remediation team was also commended for its professionalism, with NPS staff repeatedly commenting that they "had never seen environmental work done so well."

AECOM Technology Corp. (Los Angeles, CA) for its work on Canada's largest contaminated site to ensure that the remediation effort was completed ahead of schedule and within budget. The cleanup of the former Sydney tar ponds and coke oven sites reconnected communities and physically transformed the 100-hectare site into a park and recreation area opened to the public in September 2013. Solidification and stabilization (S/S) technology was successfully applied to remediate the tar ponds, a 32-hectare former tidal estuary where historic steel-making and coal-coking operations had left a toxic legacy of 750,000 tons of sediments contaminated with PAHs, VOCs, PCBs, mercury, and other heavy metals. The AECOM-led project team conducted bench-scale studies and full-scale pilot testing to demonstrate that the S/S design solution met the project's specific environmental, health, safety, sustainability, structural, and constructability criteria. Other remedial technologies were applied on site to complement the S/S component, including groundwater collection and treatment, cut-off walls, capping, and creek restoration. Beginning in 2008 contaminated sediments were solidified and stabilised using cement prior to placing an engineered site cap. The project received several distinguished industry awards, including the 2013 ACEC-Canada Tree of Life and Award of Excellence and the Consulting Engineers Ontario Award of Merit.

Dade Moeller (Richland, WA) for its provision of rapid-response sample quality management to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) for the remediation of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Through a contract with IEc, Dade Moeller operates a turnkey sample intake and logistical center in Louisiana, supporting response efforts across the full 1,600 miles of Gulf coastline. The primary objective is to ensure the highest level of quality and integrity for the samples and data collected by the program in support of the natural resources damage assessment (NRDA) and the resulting remediation. More than 99% of the 150,000 collected samples arrived at the correct laboratory with an intact chain of custody, within holding time, and under correct preservation requirements providing additional evidence as to the value of our services. For the project, Dade Moeller is providing sample and data intake support to environmental sampling and observation teams throughout the Gulf region; procurement, storage, and rapid delivery of supplies to sampling teams; on-site accessioning of samples to ensure complete and documented samples; packing and shipping of samples to ensure accurate delivery; and training for sampling teams.

Sullivan International Group (San Diego, CA) for completion of the Lava Cap Waterline Infrastructure Installation at the Lava Cap Mine Superfund Site in California’s Nevada County under the company’s Security, Disaster, Infrastructure, and Construction (SDIC) contract with the Army Corps of Engineers’ Omaha District. The $3.4 million project, funded by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 9, involved installation of a new water line to provide a reliable municipal drinking water supply from the Nevada Irrigation District to residences that had their water wells impacted by contaminants associated with materials removed during mining activities at the former Lava Cap Mine. The water line consists of approximately 8,000 linear feet of 8-inch ductile iron water main and 3,000 linear feet of service lines. Sullivan’s pre-mobilization planning work quickly expanded to include participation in the finalization of property easements and access agreements, and well as conducting one-on-one visits with property owners, participating in an EPA-sponsored open house, and supporting EPA in gaining approval of the project with the State Historic Preservation Office. Sullivan maintained flexibility to support the Corps during an unexpected one-month demobilization that occurred following the initial mobilization to the project site. Personnel remobilized to the site just after the Labor Day holiday, and despite the unexpected delay, Sullivan completed the project on schedule.