Category: Projects

Cleanup of Rural Town

Former Railroad Fueling Facility – Skykomish, WA

sky aerial croppedCRETE principals provided project management and environmental and civil design services for one of the largest petroleum cleanups in Washington State. The site is impacted by diesel and Bunker C dissolved in and floating on groundwater resulting from decades of locomotive fueling operations. Contamination had impacted soil and groundwater below a small town in the Cascade foothills and seeped into an adjacent river and wetland.

The comprehensive cleanup of river sediments, upland residential and commercial areas, wetlands, and the industrial facility included:

  • Excavation below Town including relocating and replacing structures and infrastructureSky dozer and bldg
  • Excavation and replacement of a vital flood control levee and nearby river sediment
  • Excavation and restoration of wetlands
  • in situ biological treatment of diesel-impacted soil and groundwater
  • Installation of a funnel-and-gate hydraulic containment system with reactive media
  • Treatment of groundwater and floating product using an integrated and fully automated product skimming/collection, and groundwater treatment system

The cleanup project occurred over a five-year active construction period.

Work Performed

  • Regulatory negotiations – MTCASky vault
  • Upland and waterfront RI/FS
  • Bench testing of surfactant/polymer enhanced flushing and chemical oxidation
  • Permitting – in-water cleanup, floodway, wetlands, historic landmarks, cultural resources, utilities, WSDOT
  • Petroleum upland and sediment cleanup
  • Shoreline design and cleanup
  • Construction plans and specifications
  • Wetland restoration
  • Construction oversight
  • Construction stormwater treatment

Value Added

  • Negotiated a soil protective of groundwater remediation level that was more than 150 times greater than the cleanup level
  • Demonstrated that organic acids were causing elevated TPH results
  • Designed a cofferdam to contain NAPLs and silt during nearshore excavation
  • Designed an innovative funnel-and-gate groundwater containment system with reactive media while protecting the railroad mainline
  • Managed a design team of 15 firms and over 35 engineers and construction managers
  • Integrated mechanically stabilized earth walls during backfill to provide a near vertical face for the next year’s excavation and to protect newly constructed improvements
  • Managed uncovered cultural resources during mass soil excavation
  • Documented and protected historic structures within the project footprint
Posted in Design & Cleanup, Projects, Sediment, Site Assessment | Leave a comment

Hylebos Waterway Brownfield

Fuel Terminal Expansion – Tacoma, WA

Targa New TanksCRETE performed environmental due diligence for the acquisition of an asphalt refinery. The refinery was located within a multi-PLP CERCLA site. A limited investigation was performed to verify environmental conditions and to estimate environmental liability. The property has been used as a petroleum bulk terminal since its acquisition.

Successful operation of the terminal triggered expansion to carry renewable fuels. CRETE assisted with the environmental due diligence for the acquisition of a neighboring property on the Hylebos Waterway that was used for fungicide manufacturing and as a treatment, storage, and disposal facility operated by a tank cleaning company. CRETE completed the investigation, feasibility study, and cleanup action plan.

The cleanup included demolition, stabilization of dangerous wastes, confirmation sampling to demonstrate cleanup, disposal of waste soil/water, and UST identification and removal. The compressed schedule for site development forced an accelerated cleanup, which was accomplished by utilizing a quick-acting stabilization agent, by working closely with the Pierce County Health department on permitting and disposal of the waste, and by working directly with the permitting agencies for UST abandonment and disposal. Key elements included:

  • Completed an RI/FS and Cleanup Action Plan with Ecology under the Voluntary Cleanup Program
  • Disposed of 7,000 tons of contaminated soil
  • Delineated and removed discovered USTs and responded to soil impacts discovered outside the original cleanup area
  • Stabilized leachable metals by in-place soil mixing with a new stabilization agent to reduce costs and shorten the schedule by 2 weeks
  • Permitted, designed, and implemented cleanup within 3 months.

Cleanup was successfully completed and CRETE is currently performing long-term groundwater monitoring.

Work PerformedTarga Exc Tanks Bkgrnd

  • Property transaction due diligence
  • Regulatory negotiations – MTCA
  • Upland RI/FS
  • Permitting – construction stormwater
  • Shoreline site cleanup and development coordination
  • Construction plans and specifications
  • Construction oversight

Value Added

  • Negotiated, designed, and implemented cleanup under tight schedule to facilitate site redevelopment
  • Used an innovative metals stabilization agent to reduce costs and support schedule
  • Achieved groundwater cleanup levels 2 years after cleanup was implemented
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CERCLA Removal Action

Lower Duwamish Waterway – Seattle, WA

T117 Historical AerialTerminal 117 is the site of a former asphalt roofing materials manufacturing facility that operated from 1937 to 1993. PCB, petroleum, dioxin/furan, and PAH impacts in soil and sediment triggered EPA to designate the site an Early Action Area of the Lower Duwamish Waterway (LDW) Superfund site. CRETE successfully worked with the Port of Seattle and City of Seattle during several phases of the project, including: 1) design and oversight of a 2006 time-critical removal action in the Upland Area; 2) preparation of an Engineering Evaluation/Cost Analysis; 3) design of a non-time-critical removal action (NTCRA) in the Upland and Sediment Areas; and, 4) NTCRA bidding and construction support.

Key elements of the NTCRA included:

  • Pre-design and pre-confirmation soil, sediment, and geotechnical sampling
  • Removal of 46,000 cubic yards of soil and sediment in an Environmental Justice neighborhood
  • Special approval by permitting agency to conduct in-water and riverbank work outside of the standard in-water work window established for protection of salmonids
  • Deconstruction and diversion for re-use of existing site building materials
  • Utilized adjacent commercial facilities for construction haul roads and storage to minimize impacts on the residential community
  • Integrated the design with planned right-of-way cleanup activities by the City of Seattle
  • Performed a Cultural Resource Assessment with reporting to the Tribes and the State Historical Preservation Office
  • Prepared the technical bid documents for public bid, including the Port of Seattle’s first use of responsibility criteria

Upland construction was completed in the summer of 2014. The majority of the in-water work was completed in the winter of 2014 and the remainder was completed during the 2014/15 in-water work window.

Work Performed

  • Regulatory negotiations – CERCLA/MTCAT117 Completed Bank
  • Permitting – TSCA risk-based disposal approval, EPA off-site rule, ESA Section 7 biological assessment, cultural resource assessment
  • Sediment and upland cleanup design and bid documents
  • Construction oversight
  • Upland and sediment EE/CA
  • Insurance cost recovery
  • Groundwater-surface water fate and transport
  • Dioxin forensics

Value Added

  • Implemented project within an Environmental Justice residential area with intensive stakeholder involvement
  • Designed the cleanup to integrate with adjacent cleanups, utility improvements, and future site development of a habitat mitigation site
  • Obtained a non-potability determination for site groundwater
  • Negotiated cleanup levels incorporating groundwater-surface water attenuation due to tidal influence
  • Participated in a dioxin forensics work group that concluded that the site was likely not a significant contributor of dioxins to the neighborhood
Posted in Design & Cleanup, Projects, Sediment, Site Assessment, Stormwater | Leave a comment

TSCA PCB Demolition and Cleanup

Former Industrial Warehouse – Tacoma, WA

PCB cleanup background image

CRETE prepared a cleanup plan, construction drawings and specifications, and provided construction oversight for the demolition of an 117,000-square foot warehouse located near the head of the Sitcum Waterway in Tacoma, Washington. The site has had a variety of manufacturing uses which resulted in volatile organic compound (VOC) contamination in the soil and groundwater beneath the building. The building materials include interior and exterior PCB-containing paint and caulk. PCBs leached from the paint and caulk into the adjoining building material (concrete) and also migrated into the shallow soil adjacent to the building. CRETE worked with the Port of Tacoma to develop a strategy to segregate PCB-impacted materials from other building materials during building demolition to reduce disposal cost and avoid generating PCB Remediation Waste. PCBs in the building materials and surrounding soil trigger EPA TSCA and Washington State Dangerous Waste Regulations.

A fully-contained pilot abrasive blasting test was performed to evaluate the removal of paint with TSCA-level PCBs from building material surfaces. The results of the pilot testing determined that abrasive blasting technologies could not adequately remove TSCA-level PCB contaminated paint from building materials. As a result, the cleanup action used existing data to delineate TSCA level soil which eliminated the need to sampling during construction. In addition, the cleanup action utilized the 2013 TSCA reinterpretation to profile demolition wastes as PCB Bulk Product Waste, regardless of PCB concentrations. This pre-characterization of the demolition waste as suitable for Subtitle D landfill disposal eliminated the need for Subtitle C disposal and sampling during construction.

Building demolition and PCB soil cleanup were performed in late 2014 and early 2015 and the Port is currently using the site for truck queueing.

CRETE is continuing to support the Port through oversight of remedial investigation and feasibility study work being performed by a previous site operator under the MTCA VCP program. Soil and groundwater contamination with solvents and metals resulted from previous electroplating operations. This contamination has triggered an evaluation of indoor air quality and potential discharge of groundwater contamination to the Sitcum Waterway. In addition to the MTCA RI/FS support, CRETE is also supporting insurance and PLP cost recovery.

Work PerformedPCB-Containing Paint Removal Pilot Test

  • Regulatory negotiations – MTCA, TSCA
  • Cost Recovery
  • Upland cleanup design
  • PCB abatement pilot test
  • Permitting – construction stormwater
  • Construction plans and specifications
  • Construction oversight

Value Added

  • Used 2013 TSCA reinterpretation to save client significant demolition and disposal costs
  • Used pilot test to demonstrate most cost-effective abatement and demolition approach
  • Triggered additional investigations that demonstrated further soil and groundwater impacts caused by previous site operations
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MTCA RI/FS and Interim Action

Former Naval Shipyard – Tacoma, WA

Port industrial yard

CRETE completed the MTCA RI/FS in March 2016 under an Agreed Order. Investigation data was collected to allow future cost recovery from PLPs that performed shipbuilding and dismantling. The site is located at the end of the Blair-Hylebos peninsula in the Tacoma tide flats and is an aggregation of multiple smaller sites that are primarily driven by TPH impacts.

In reviewing work by previous consultants, CRETE was able to identify and correct several errors. CRETE was able to identify USTs that were previously mislocated. Work included execution of a tidal study to evaluate attenuation as groundwater migrates to a tidally-influenced water body, a detailed evaluation of TPH chromatograms to help identify likely sources, and a review of indoor air sampling data. Review of chromatograms identified sources of contamination for which cost recovery will be pursued. A review of air data determined that Port contamination was not responsible for any indoor air exceedances.

CRETE also prepared a UST Decommissioning Interim Action Work Plan. CRETE supported the Port in overseeing this work in Fall 2015 and incorporated the results of this work into the RI/FS report. CRETE is continuing to work on the Cleanup Action Plan and will support Consent Decree negotiations and perform the remedial design. Cleanup work is expected to be performed in 2018.

Work PerformedEBC drilling

  • Regulatory negotiations – MTCA
  • Upland RI/FS
  • Permitting – UST decommissioning
  • UST interim action
  • Indoor air evaluation
  • TPH fingerprinting

Value Added

  • Accurately mapped and located abandoned USTs that could not be located previously
  • Performed TPH fingerprinting to identify contaminant sources for cost recovery
  • Evaluated sub-slab, indoor, and ambient air quality to demonstrated client impacts were not a source of indoor air impacts
  • Negotiated use of groundwater sample preparation and analytical techniques to address sample interference and potential false positive results
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Sediment Source Control Action

Lower Willamette River – Portland, OR

Soil riverbank cleanup

CRETE prepared the design and bid documents for the removal, capping, and stabilization of 1,700 lineal feet of riverbank fronting an active steel mill on the eastern bank of the Lower Willamette River within the Portland Harbor Superfund Site. Work was conducted through a Voluntary Remedial Investigation Source Control Measures Agreement between Oregon Department of Environmental Quality and the Owner. Bank and beach material was impacted with PCBs and metals, with contamination extending landward of the river beneath the active steel mill. Complete removal of bank and beach material was restricted by the facility and in these areas the design included capping and stabilization. Excavation and disposal included about 17,000 cubic yards of contaminated material.

The design required a balance between a more robust rock armor stabilization that is necessary given the site geometry and the desire to adequately stabilize impacted soil in place, and providing a habitat benefit to the design. Critical plant operational facilities are in close proximity to the riverbank which restricted the ability to flatten or change the relatively steep slopes. Extensive geotechnical, seismic, and erosion analysis were conducted to ensure that the design would remain in place under dynamic conditions. The design required less conventional ways to provide habitat benefits. Elements such as minimizing the footprint of rock armor by making it as steep as practical, providing higher value habitat as close to the uphill and beach extents of the armor as practical and providing habitat enhancements to fringe areas of the site work. A large portion of the work was below ordinary high water which triggered extensive permitting and restrictions on the timing of construction activities. Construction associated with the remedial action began in July 2015 and was completed in early 2016.

Work PerformedEVRAZ riverbank backfill

  • Regulatory negotiations – Oregon DEQ
  • Permitting – in-water cleanup, construction stormwater
  • Shoreline and sediment cleanup
  • Construction plans and specifications
  • Construction oversight

Value Added

  • Negotiated and designed a shoreline cleanup that protected critical plant operations
  • Negotiated a self-mitigating cleanup


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