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Investigation and Remediation of Paint Waste and Off-Site Oil Impacts - Edison, NJ
Heller Construction retained JMS to investigate odors at the site of a 260,000 square foot warehouse in Edison, New Jersey, which was under construction. The investigation revealed that a layer of semi-dried paint, approximately five feet thick, had been buried on the site. JMS delineated and removed the paint and obtained final clearance of the site under the US-EPA Superfund program.
Several years later, free oil product was identified in the storm water drainage system installed by Heller as part of the building and associated truck parking facility. JMS was again retained by Heller to delineate the contamination and determine its source. Due to the previous environmental issues on the site, it was initially assumed that along with the paint burial, oil must have been discharged on the property.
A series of groundwater wells were installed and the free oil plume was mapped. Based on the mapping JMS realized that the pattern of oil could only be explained by an off-site source. Our findings were presented to NJDEP, which originally rejected the findings and requested additional supporting information. JMS completed a historical review of regional information and identified an historic bulk oil terminal previously occupied a site up gradient of the Heller site.
Further historical investigation confirmed that the terminal stored over a million gallons of oil, which was off loaded from barges in the Raritan River to the south. The facility was split in half by the construction of the New Jersey Turnpike in the 1950s. The eastern half of the former terminal was demolished including all large tanks and the area was used for turnpike construction.
JMS postulated that while the above ground features were removed, the former utility network of subsurface piping which connected the large tanks and mixing stations had been abandoned in place. Further research regarding other contamination cases in the immediate area confirmed that unknown piping which continued to leak oil had been identified on a number of sites along the New Jersey Turnpike through that area.
JMS compiled the results of its investigation including various rounds of product thickness measurements within site wells and the storm sewer. A series of product thickness overlay maps were presented to NJDEP along with an analysis of the anticipated pattern of product thickness based on various source assumptions. The model and mapping clearly showed that the source was related to the abandoned piping system.
The NJDEP agreed with our conclusion and issued a No Further Action letter for the site despite the fact that over two feet of oil product remained on the water table and leaked into the facilities storm sewer. While Heller is not required to conduct any remediation, JMS has installed and maintains a collection system to prevent oil within the storm sewer from entering natural water ways in the area.
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