Blog

How Will Climate Change Impact Your Remediation Approach in 2018?

Posted by John Sohl on Jan 2, 2018 9:55:00 AM

Climate Change and Sea Level Change.

Two controversial topics for some, but well-documented science.  I had an opportunity to read "The Water Will Come" by Jeff Goodell, one of Booklist's Top 10 Science Books of 2017, on an extended plane trip during this holiday season.  Goodell presents a well-researched overview of the impact of climate change and the associated changes in sea level on countries, populations, infrastructure, and politics.   While the geopolitical challenges of climate change are well beyond the scope of most of our local environmental remediation efforts, Goodell did prompt me to reflect on a few observations we've made in the field and the potential impacts to come.

Is your remediation site in a low lying or coastal area?   US EPA confirmed Hurricane Harvey impacted 13 of 41 of the US’s most-toxic waste sites in the Houston area in 2017.  Goodell points out that the "Runit Dome, a concrete bunker on Enewetak Atoll where the US military buried 111,000 cubic yards of radioactive debris left behind after then nuclear tests of the Cold War. It sits right at sea level.  "It is already cracked, and as the waters rise, it will be submerged, creating  a problem of nuclear waste in adjoining waters."

Is the infrastructure that supports your remediation systems or access to your facilities at risk in high-water conditions?     The reactor meltdowns at Fukushima, Japan resulted from the failure of the cooling water systems in turn caused by the loss of power sources in extremely high water conditions precipitated by the tsunami and storm surge.  Critical infrastructure and no doubt remediation systems failed in New York and New Jersey as a result of Super Storm Sandy.

The Navy base at Norfolk, VA, the largest in the U.S., anticipates a significant impact to operations (and environmental cleanup) by 2020. 

How have changes in groundwater levels affected your long-term remediation systems?  Even the performance of remedial systems sited a distance from low lying areas are often highly dependent on the accurate placement of system hardware in relationship to groundwater levels.  Most readily affected are systems that rely on groundwater control through pumping or multiple phase extraction.  Changing storm patterns result in often significant changes in groundwater level potentially with costly impact on the effectiveness of installed remediation systems. 

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Tags: High Resolution Site Characterization (HRSC), LNAPL, UST, UST Cleanup Funds, Sea Level Change, Climate Change

7 Steps for a High-Resolution LNAPL Conceptual Site Model (LCSM)

Posted by John Sohl on Dec 27, 2017 12:11:17 PM

So, you’ve decided that a high-resolution 3D assessment of your site would help clear up the uncertainty in where any residual product is hiding and what its spatial relationship is to the soil permeability and the installed monitoring and recovery wells.  How do you get started?

Multiple organizations including U.S. EPA (www.epa.gov/ust), ASTM International (astm.org), the Interstate Training and Regulatory Council (ITRC.org), the American Petroleum Institute (API.org), the Australian Cooperative Research Centre for Contamination Assessment and Remediation of the Environment (CRCCare.com), and the individual state jurisdictions all have published guidelines for undertaking a systematic assessment of petroleum contaminated sites. 

Turns out, you probably have a lot of important information readily available to get started.  Your key to success going forward will be both a systematic review of where your current LCSM stands to identify data gaps and uncertainties followed by a systematic data collection effort to close those data gaps with multiple lines of evidence.

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Tags: High Resolution Site Characterization (HRSC), LNAPL, ITRC, UST, UST Cleanup Funds

6 Reasons For High-Resolution Characterization of Your UST Site

Posted by John Sohl on Dec 18, 2017 10:15:00 AM

The EPA's Office of Underground Storage Tanks (OUST) reports the number of cases of Leaking Underground Storage Tanks remaining unresolved exceeds 70,000 across the U.S. The EPA data also indicates the average cost of cleanup as US$130,000.  As with any data, it's important to look at the distribution of data, not just averages.  A vivid (maybe too vivid) example of this “flaw of statistics” is the fact that the average age of diaper wearer is somewhere near middle age, let’s say 45 years old.  Drilling down into the data available from individual state UST cleanup funds, we find many examples of cleanup costs exceeding US$1.0M, sometimes with no end in sight.  We can reasonably infer from the OUST data that the less complex sites have been resolved at a lower cost of cleanup, leaving the more complex sites yet to be addressed.  This begs the question – WHY?

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Tags: High Resolution Site Characterization (HRSC), LNAPL, ITRC, UST, UST Cleanup Funds

CIMAS 2017

Posted by admin on Oct 28, 2017 8:00:00 AM

COLUMBIA Technologies do Brasil, Ltda. Continues to Build Relationships in Latin America at the V International Congress on Subsurface Environment (CIMAS 2017) 

SÃO PAULO, BRASIL – October 30, 2017 – COLUMBIA Technologies do Brasil, Ltda,  a leading environmental assessment and analysis firm in Brasil will be in attendance at the V Congresso Internacional de Meio Ambiente Subterrâneo in São Paulo, Brasil.  COLUMBIA Technologies do Brasil provides high-resolution site characterization assessments to aid property owners in reducing the risk, uncertainty and cost of contaminated land investigation and remediation. COLUMBIA will attend with their joint venture partner, Aragon Perfurações e Sondagens, a services firm offering the largest array of advanced environmental drilling equipment in Brasil.

Meet John at CIMAS 2017

COLUMBIA’s CEO, John Sohl, and the Aragon staff will be available to answer questions regarding advanced site characterization technologies and strategies, the latest rock coring direct push equipment, and SmartData Solutions®

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Tags: High Resolution Site Characterization (HRSC), News, Brazil

Tracking Diffuse TCE Plumes with Low-Level MIP - Webinar Available

Posted by John Sohl on Aug 16, 2017 3:17:20 PM

 Mature groundwater plumes for environmental contaminants pose a complex challenge with regards to accurate delineation of sources, vertical and lateral extent, dominant pathways, and likely storage zones for residual contaminants.  It is not uncommon for plumes from multiple sources to commingle and diffuse across a relatively large distance and a varied hydrogeological spatial volume. As a result, uncertainty in the accuracy of the conceptual site model (CSM) increases, and in turn the associated risk assessment, and the costs contemplated for cleanup alternatives.  Better data resolution and scale are required to reduce these uncertainties.  Low-Level Membrane Interface Probe Technology with Hydraulic Profiling (HPT) provides one approach for obtaining cost-effective and reliable high-resolution data, at a more informative scale in order to improves CSMs and enable better decision-making.

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Tags: Hydraulic Profiling Tool (HPT), Membrane Interface Probe (MIP), News, SmartData Solutions®, VOC, TCE

Scott Pieper Joins COLUMBIA Technologies as Operations Manager

Posted by admin on Jun 16, 2017 9:44:00 AM

 COLUMBIA Technologies, an industry leader providing High-Resolution Site Characterization services throughout North and South America is pleased to announce Scott Pieper as rejoined its team as Operations Manager.  In his new role,  Pieper will directly oversee field operations including all direct sensing and certified mobile laboratory services throughout the Americas.

Pieper brings 35 years of environmental project management, spill response, site remediation, and hazardous materials management experience to our team.  He has operated throughout North and South America across all of the platforms that COLUMBIA Technologies operates.  His experience includes the operation and maintenance of certified mobile environmental laboratories, high-resolution characterization tools including the Membrane Interface Probe, the Hydraulic Profiling Tool, and Laser Induced Fluorescence systems.

"While Scott has a lot of field experience, what is more exciting to us is his team leadership and strong customer support.  We can count on Scott to find the correct, safe solution when difficult situations arise," commented John Sohl, CEO.

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Tags: COLUMBIA Technologies, High Resolution Site Characterization (HRSC), Mobile Labs, News

COLUMBIA Technologies Supports ReLASC-NICOLE Brasil in Lima

Posted by admin on May 29, 2017 12:40:00 PM

International Seminar Relasc-Nicole Management of Sites Contaminated by Hydrocarbons

COLUMBIA Technologies, LLC, a veteran-owned small business provider of high-resolution site characterization services, and our Brazilan subsidiary, COLUMBIA Technologies do Brasil, Ltda. are pleased to support the  International Seminar Relasc-Nicole Management of Sites Contaminated by Hydrocarbons. COLUMBIA's co-founder, Mr. John Sohl, will provide recent lessons learned in LNAPL Mobility, Recoverability, and How to Use High-Resolution.   In addition, John will support a Workshop on Conceptual Site Model Development on Friday, 02 June.   The seminar and workshop will take place in Lima, Peru 31 May through 02 June.  

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Tags: COLUMBIA Technologies, News

High-Resolution LNAPL Assessment at Persistent Former Retail Station

Posted by John Sohl on May 23, 2017 1:11:35 PM

COLLABORATIVE TEAM EFFORT HELPS MONETIZE THE COST OF LNAPL CLEANUP FOR TDEC

COLUMBIA Technologies was selected by PM Environmental to support a high-resolution assessment of a former retail gas station with persistent LNAPL contamination.  The goal of the assessment was to evaluate for the Tennessee Department of Environment & Conservation the impact of better information on monetizing the cost of long-term correctives action at these types of sites.  The site is one of 246 remaining "difficult to resolve" sites in Tennessee and is typical of the many of over 16,000 remaining Leaking Underground Storage Tank sites in the U.S.  The project involved a careful review of historical documents, cleanup activities, and extended field activities after hours and at night.   

Detailed information gained through this effort delineated an extensive amount of residual gasoline within difficult soil conditions highlighting the need for careful consideration of remedial alternatives.  The team employed the guidelines of the ITRC Technical and Regulatory Guidance for Evaluating LNAPL Remedial Technologies for Achieving Project Goals.  

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Tags: COLUMBIA Technologies, High Resolution Site Characterization (HRSC), LNAPL, News

COLUMBIA Technologies Achieves DoD-ELAP and ISO/IEC 17025:2005 Accreditation

Posted by admin on Mar 14, 2017 11:19:23 AM

MOBILE LABORATORIES ACHIEVE DOD-ELAP AND ISO/IEC 17025:2005 ACCREDITATION

COLUMBIA Technologies, LLC, a veteran-owned small business provider of high-resolution site characterization services, is pleased to announce the successful completion of DoD-ELAP and ISO/IEC 17025:2005 Accreditation for our mobile laboratory division. The team's hard work, the technical direction of Director Bob George and Quality Assurance Manager Gayle Goff, combined with our philosophy of best science enables us to offer another significant level of quality service to our clients.  

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Tags: COLUMBIA Technologies, Mobile Labs, News, FLORIDA

We've opened on the Space Coast!

Posted by Melanie Penny on Feb 27, 2017 3:59:42 PM

New Florida Office for Certified Mobile Labs

COLUMBIA Technologies is excited to announce that we have recently opened our newest office in Rockledge, Florida.

As of January 2017, COLUMBIA Technologies has an office on Florida’s Space Coast to provide  our full suite of NELAP and DOD certified mobile laboratory services along with our leading edge high-resolution site characterization services.

Our environmental mobile laboratories are Accredited to ISO/IEC 17025:2005 standards and by the NELAP and DOD-ELAP programs.  The services include a fully-equipped and professionally staffed environmental laboratory provided to customer locations, for rapid, reliable and certified on-site analysis of volatile organic compound (VOC) contaminants in soil and groundwater.

Click here to learn more about our Certified Onsite Mobile Laboratory Analysis Capabilities.

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Tags: Mobile Labs, News