Paper No. 9
Presentation Time: 4:00 PM
THE GEOLOGIST'S ROLE IN UNDERGROUND STORAGE TANK (UST) CLEANUPS WITH A FOCUS ON SITE CHARACTERIZATION & REMEDIATION
Due to the large number of industries that utilize underground storage tank systems and the susceptibility of these systems for leaking chemicals into the soil and groundwater, a large number of environmental cleanups involve UST facilities. Many young geologists will begin their careers in the environmental sector and will play a huge role in the successful cleanup of UST sites. Before remediation of a UST release can even begin, a geologist must carefully and adequately characterize site conditions. A geologist will define the extent of the contamination by characterizing subsurface soils and bedrock, installing monitoring wells, and collecting groundwater data. In order to understand groundwater and contaminant flow, a geologist will review research publications, conduct aquifer tests, and interpret fate and transport models. A geologist may also be tasked with identifying potential sensitive receptors, such as creeks and water supply wells, by conducting a site reconnaissance and reviewing environmental maps and databases.
Accurate site characterization data is absolutely critical when determining both the type and design of the remediation system. Typical remediation technologies include source removal, air sparge/soil vapor extraction, multi-phase extraction, chemical oxidation, natural attenuation, and bioremediation. The final remedial design is largely based upon the data collected and interpreted by the geologist.