Phase I Environmental Site Assessments (ESAs)

The purpose of a Phase I ESA is to identify recognized environmental conditions on a subject property, on adjacent properties, and in the vicinity of a subject site. TRAK conducts the Phase I ESA investigation and prepares a report of findings in accordance with the current ASTM Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments.

The Phase I ESA consists of four task areas.

  • Historical Record Review: TRAK professionals research the historical uses of a subject site and adjacent properties back to the first developed use of the property, or to 1940, whichever is earlier. Using a variety of standard historical sources, TRAK may note any uses normally associated with the manufacture, generation, use, storage, and/or disposal of hazardous substances. In addition to investigating commercial and industrial uses, where appropriate, TRAK may evaluate agricultural, oil production, and military uses, among others.
  • Regulatory Agency Record Review: To determine whether current or past uses of a site and adjoining or nearby property are associated with a recognized environmental condition likely to adversely affect a subject property, TRAK conducts a search of available agency records, and where appropriate, may discuss the site with knowledgeable agency officials. The review may include inquires by telephone or in writing to staff of local, county, regional, and state regulatory agencies. TRAK also conducts a search of the most recent versions of standard agency databases to identify known contamination or releases on a site or on adjacent properties within the minimum search distance specified by ASTM standards.
  • Site Reconnaissance: An environmental professional from TRAK physically inspects a subject property and its improvements to identify existing site conditions and land uses. Conditions that may be noted include evidence of unauthorized releases or spills of hazardous materials, indications of liquid or solid waste dumping or disposal, presence and condition of surface water discharges, use or storage of petroleum products, and indications of current chemical manufacture, usage, storage, and disposal, as applicable. Observations may include locations of groundwater wells or dry wells, underground storage tanks and aboveground tanks, pits, ponds, lagoons, sumps, clarifiers, drains, or other similar features.
  • Report: TRAK prepares a complete report following the ASTM recommended outline, including TRAK’s professional findings, opinions, conclusions, and recommendations, as well as color photographs, appropriate figures and supporting documentation.

Phase II Subsurface Soil and Groundwater Investigations

The general objective of a Phase II investigation is to evaluate subsurface conditions for the possible presence of chemical impact. A Phase II assessment may be conducted as follow-up to a Phase I ESA, to assess whether recognized conditions have impacted the soil and/or groundwater under a site. The Phase II assessment may also be conducted to identify a source, or more fully delineate the lateral and vertical extent of impacts to underlying soil and groundwater, prior to selecting a cleanup strategy.

The Phase II investigation is typically conducted in accordance with federal, state and local regulatory agency specifications and standard operating procedures, and with a level of effort appropriate to the project objectives. TRAK generally employs four task elements in these investigations, including regulatory options, pre-mobilization preparation, field investigation, laboratory analysis, client discussions and reporting.

Pre-Mobilization Preparation: TRAK develops an investigation strategy within client and project capabilities, appropriate to the level of assessment necessary to meet regulatory agency requirements. Upon selection of a strategic plan, the work scope is formalized in a Work Plan, and may include negotiations to attain agency concurrence. Pre-field activities also typically involve preparation of a site-specific health and safety plan, acquiring the proper permits, entry agreements, and utility clearances.

Field Investigation: TRAK utilizes appropriate investigative techniques, within the parameters defined by project economics, regulatory requirements, and site conditions. Guiding factors include geographical considerations, source and type of contaminant, media impacted (soil and/or groundwater), depth and extent of impacts, and depth to groundwater.

Soil investigation techniques may typically involve surface sampling, trenching, hand auger borings, hollow-stem or other drilled borings, and direct-push probes. Groundwater may be collected from temporary borings or probes, or by installation of monitoring wells. TRAK also utilizes soil vapor investigations and geophysical surveys for additional delineation.

Laboratory Analysis: Sample collection is conducted in accordance with authorized sampling plans, regulatory specifications, and quality assurance/quality control protocols. TRAK utilizes state-certified laboratories for analysis of soil, water and vapor samples, utilizing the accepted analytical methods. Investigations typically involve chemical analytes such as petroleum constituents, volatile and semi-volatile organics, pesticides and herbicides, and trace metals.

Report: TRAK prepares a complete report following appropriate agency guidelines, with project results, conclusions, recommendations and supporting documentation. TRAK’s discussion may include evaluation of impacts in comparison to risk-based or agency cleanup criteria, as a basis for recommending either additional work or No Further Action.

Phase III: Remedial Response Actions

The general objective of remedial response actions is to minimize and eliminate contaminant migration and clean up a property in a cost-effective manner and in accordance with regulatory agency criteria, with the goal of attaining file closure by the agency. The No Further Action designation is typically attained after demonstrating remaining soil and/or groundwater impacts to be of acceptable risk, verified by sample results that are less than agency cleanup thresholds or risk-based values. Low threat closures may also be the goal

TRAK, as a full service environmental engineering and contracting firm, conducts all elements of remediation systems design, construction, operation and maintenance, and site closure.

Remediation Feasibility and Design: A remediation strategy is developed to achieve reasonable cleanup objectives, often requiring negotiation with the regulatory agency to reach sensible consensus. The remediation plan is built upon site-specific data, including previous assessment results, and pilot testing such as soil vapor extraction, biovent, constant discharge aquifer tests, and air sparge, bio remediation chemical oxidation, or reduction. These data are incorporated with modeling, feasibility analysis, and engineering design, typically resulting in authorization of a Corrective Action Plan by the local oversight agency.

Implementation, Construction and Operation: Remediation technologies may be as straightforward as excavation of impacted soils with follow-up verification sampling, or may involve in-situ techniques.  Soil excavation generally includes transport of impacted soils to a licensed treatment or disposal facility, and restoration of site conditions. TRAK has utilized in-situ techniques such as soil vapor extraction of fuels (service stations, bulk terminals, gas plants, HiVac, Bio Remediation, oxidation, motor pools) and solvents (dry cleaners, metal-platers, manufacturers), augmentation by air sparge (fuel and solvent sites) and dual-phase extraction and bioventing. In-situ remediation has been enhanced by innovative methods for deep source removal, including crane auger excavation with solidification of subsurface media.

Construction of remediation systems is managed and implemented by TRAK’s certified personnel, and conducted in accordance with permit requirements (construction, emission and discharge), and regulatory agency criteria. System operation and maintenance is carried through project completion, in compliance with applicable monitoring and reporting requirements.

Verification and Closure: As indicated by system or site monitoring results, TRAK conducts appropriate verification sampling to demonstrate attainment of target cleanup objectives. Upon agency concurrence of No Further Action, or low threat closure designation, equipment is removed, the site restored, and the project completed.