On the verge of implementing an expensive long-term groundwater remediation "remedy," looking at potential litigation for contaminants migrating into an adjacent neighborhood, and quickly running out of time in their purchase agreement, a Norwegian firm was growing concerned.
The company, a global supplier of extruded aluminum, previously purchased (and assumed partial liability of) an aluminum extrusion plant in the Midwest United States that formerly used TCE and PCE for degreasing aluminum parts. As part of the purchase agreement, they had five years to assess the environmental liability at the site. After this time, they assumed all liability.
There were about nine months remaining under the purchase agreement and the environmental issues were not getting clearer or reaching resolution. These issues were getting worse and long-term costs were growing.
Here is what they were facing:
Following a referral from an internationally-renowned groundwater expert, the company retained Dragun Corporation to conduct a peer review of the data. Following our peer review, we came to a significantly-different conclusion.
We discovered major technical flaws in the consultant's (a large national firm) data interpretation and basic site characterization. We found that they completely missed an aquifer, which accounted for a gross mischaracterization of the site. We showed our client that the reported groundwater velocities were impossible, and their conclusion regarding groundwater flow was completely wrong. These "technical flaws" resulted in a conceptual site model (CSM) that was wrong and, consequently, the proposed remediation would not have worked.
Ahead of their deadline under the purchase agreement, we demonstrated, and the regulators agreed, that the proposed $9,000,000.00 groundwater pump-and-treat system was unnecessary. We also definitively demonstrated that the TCE plume in the adjacent neighborhood was not from our client's property, thus keeping our client out of a major lawsuit.
Dragun completed the site investigation and remedial action plan in six months ... and we closed the site! We did this by obtaining the first risk-based, industrial land-use remedial action plan in this district.
The company president personally sent a letter to Dragun thanking us for our work, and we continued to work for this same client for over 20 years.
Dragun Corporation is an industry leader in Environmental Regulatory Issues and Consulting for clients across North America and internationally. From manufacturing and real estate to chemical companies and livestock agriculture and municipalities. At Dragun, science, engineering, and decades of expertise converge through in-depth critical analysis, conceptualise approaches, and technical application. The result is an environmental site assessment, remediation, compliance assessment, or expert services support that helps clients in diverse industries.
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