Rapid phase ii site investigation for a former petrol filling station

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Courtesy of ESI Ltd - Environment Specialists

Client: Argyll Environmental Ltd

Location: Oxford, UK

Services: Contaminated Land Site Investigation, Human Health Risk Assessment, Controlled Waters Risk Assessment, Strategic Advice on Brownfield Land Divestment, Contaminated Land Risk Assessment, Due Diligence, Rapid Site Investigation

Summary: ESI provides rapid site investigation services. We were able to provide our client with an assessment of potential environmental liability associated with the purchase of a vehicle dealership within 11 days of instruction.

ESI has recently introduced the Rapid Site Investigations (Rapid SIs) service which is tailored to meet the needs of our clients that operate in the Financial and Property sectors (e.g. Environmental Due Diligence and Environmental Auditing).

The Rapid SI service was first introduced at a vehicle dealership/former petrol station, near Oxford where additional environmental information was required to reduce uncertainty regarding historical liabilities to which the client could have been exposed, under the terms of a lease.

A site investigation was carried out by ESI during February 2008. This involved collection and analysis of soil and groundwater samples from ten targeted locations across the site. The locations were selected based on an initial understanding of the site obtained through the study of the local geology and hydrogeology. The potential for contamination due to the former and current site uses was also considered during the selection of the locations.

Information from the site investigation identified a number of potential pollutant linkages from soil and groundwater contaminants to receptors at the site, including future site users and controlled waters. The impact on these receptors was assessed in accordance with UK best practice.

Through the application of the Environment Agency’s Remedial Targets Methodology the controlled waters risk assessment considered the impact of various potential contaminants identified in soils and groundwater. This risk assessment showed that heavy metals were present in soils at concentrations that may leach to groundwater at unacceptable concentrations. It was considered that further risk assessment would demonstrate that this risk is low.

The Human Health risk assessment demonstrated that whilst some concentrations of petroleum hydrocarbons were elevated in soils they did not pose a risk to human health under the current land use.
The success of this new service was demonstrated by the timely delivery of the final report which was issued after only 11 days from receiving the formal instruction from the client.

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