Phase III ESA – Environmental Site Remediation Phase
Generally, a Phase III Environmental Sites Assessment (ESA) is the term used to describe the contaminated site remediation phase of an ESA. This includes both the planning and the execution of a remediation of an impacted site.
The Phase I and II ESA completed previously for the site have given the environmental engineers and team the history and current condition of the property. Phase III begins with delineating (investigating the boundaries of where contamination stops and starts) and quantifying what must be remediated. Volumes of contaminated soil are calculated, groundwater flow may be assessed and modeled, and other monitoring may occasionally be necessary over several seasons.
When the impacts have been adequately characterized, the team completes an analysis of what remedial options would be best suited to the site. The client’s goals for the site are a main consideration in this step and will direct the team in selecting a remediation approach. Cost, timelines, and applicable regulations and limitations are also important in determining the most appropriate strategy for bringing the site into regulatory compliance.
The Phase III ESA will continue with the development of an environmental remediation strategy and work plan, which will be carried out. For a simple excavation and disposal of contaminated soils, this could be completed in as little as one day on site. Other remedial strategies like bioremediation or chemical oxidation may take months or years to reach completion. Sometimes a lengthy remediation process is necessary due to unique site characteristics.
Sometimes, the best option is to leave impacts in place and utilize a risk management based environmental remediation strategy. AEL senior staff are able to provide guidance on risk-based approaches to remediation, including Modified Generic Risk Assessments (MGRA) and Site Specific Risk Assessments (SSRA) when cleanup is not feasible for a site. If monitored natural attenuation or the creation of barriers is feasible, the consultant may be able to build these approaches into the remediation strategy.
The Phase III ESA will conclude with formal reporting when the site environmental cleanup is complete. This report will outline the follow-up monitoring for residual contaminants if necessary. It will confirm contaminant removal, treatment, and the current status of the site (including on-site soil or groundwater testing or laboratory data to support the engineer’s conclusions).
AEL believes that each unique site deserves a tailored approach to remediation. AEL's team relies on proven, industry-leading environmental remediation strategies and technologies that are solutions-focused, meaning that the client’s goals for the site are the foundation of the remediation approach. AEL also works to reduce the amount of soil sent to landfills by using on-site testing tools to delineate the exact limits of the impacted zone, instead of relying on best guesses, and by working within the regulation to allow some soil to remain on site, where appropriate. This saves money for the client and is more environmentally sustainable.
For an easy-to-understand guide on choosing an environmental engineering company for your site assessment project, download our 9 Questions To Ask Your Environmental Consultant.