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Phase II Environmental Site Assessments
A Phase II Environmental Investigation is an in-depth study of identified REC's (Recognized Environmental Conditions). This level of investigative effort is generally undertaken when a Phase I ESA determines a likelihood of site contamination or other environmental liabilities. The most frequent substances tested for include but are not limited to various petroleum derivatives (i.e. fuels/lubricants), heavy metals, pesticides, solvents, industrial process chemicals, asbestos, and mold.
The Phase II Environmental Site Assessment process is an "intrusive" investigation that collects original samples of soil, groundwater or building materials to analyze for quantitative values of various contaminants. The sample collection process often involves the installation of soil borings and/or test pits under the direction of a PES professional. PES maintains a staff of engineers, geologists, environmental scientists, drillers and environmental technicians experienced in implementing all aspects of Phase II investigations.
PES possesses in-house equipment including drill rigs, geoprobes, and excavation equipment (excavators/backhoes) used to successfully complete all aspects of Phase II work scopes. The equipment includes units configured to allow for rough terrain and/or limited access (i.e. Limited overhead and/or lateral clearance).
The results of the Phase II Investigation can assist a client or lender with determining the necessity and costs associated with potential property remediation.
Subsurface Soil Investigation
PES technical staff has successfully performed hundreds of Phase II site assessments on properties that range in size and complexity from a private residence to major Industrial facilities. In addition to variation in size/complexity, PES is experienced in the assessment of many contaminant types including but not limited to petroleum derivatives, PCBs, chlorinated solvents, biologic agents, heavy metals, and industrial process chemicals.
PES geological/engineering staff are well versed in both overburden and bedrock investigative protocols. Each subsurface soil investigation work scope is developed based on the findings of the Phase I ESA, requirements of the Local/State/Federal regulatory agencies and the often-overlooked needs/financial requirements of our client. PES staff is experienced at balancing the needs of all parties of concern thus resulting in an integrated work plan that accomplished the goals of all.
PES drilling and geological/engineering staff collaborate to install groundwater/soil/bedrock monitoring points that effectively evaluate subsurface conditions within the field of study. The existence of in-house capabilities enabling PES to design/oversee as well as perform the actual installation makes for an efficient and cost-effective process.
The drilling/excavation methods deployed at a specific site are based on the nature of the soil/rock materials present beneath the study area. While many companies only use drilling equipment to perform investigative efforts, PES has found that excavation equipment (test pitting) often provides significant cost savings in shallow applications. When site specifics dictate the need for drilling methods: soil borings are advanced using PES track or truck‐mounted, hydraulic drill rigs deploying either direct‐push probing methods with macrocore sampling or standard split spoon sampling. PES technical staff performs soil samples collection and site documentation that includes: grain size, color, odor (if present) and moisture content detailed description according to industry standards. Contaminant assessment screening is performed in the field using “head space” methods and properly calibrated Flame Ionization and/or Photoionization Detectors (FID/PID)
Regulatory compliance or violation is determined through the collection and submission of representative soil samples to an ELAP certified laboratory. All samples are handled using court defensible “Chain of Custody” (COC) protocols.
Groundwater Investigation and Monitoring
PES geological staff design all temporary or permanent monitoring wells utilized to assess and monitor the quality of groundwater at specific job sites. Strict installation protocols are followed to ensure the integrity of the groundwater quality data. Decontamination procedures are performed on all equipment/materials used in the installation process before, between and after each well installation. A PES geologist performs geological logging during each well installation. Representative logs provide information related to groundwater occurrence, stratigraphic variation, geotechnical character, contaminant occurrence, and well construction details.
Each resulting monitoring well is surveyed to establish location and top of well elevation. This information is used to determined groundwater flow and velocity. This information is essential to the evaluation of the need for additional investigation as well as contaminant migration. Groundwater samples are collected from the newly installed monitoring wells, using disposable bailers, in order to evaluate the groundwater quality beneath the site. As with the soil samples, regulatory compliance or violation is determined through the collection and submission of representative soil samples to an ELAP certified laboratory. All samples are handled using court defensible “Chain of Custody” (COC) protocols.
Regulatory Compliance – Report of Findings
All site-specific data obtained during the field activities is compiled into a comprehensive draft Phase II ESA report that summarizes the field methods, observations, and analytical results for soil and groundwater sampling. The draft Phase II ESA report will also provide recommendations regarding future work at the site. This can include recommendations for additional soil borings and/or monitoring wells and can establish a frequency for subsequent groundwater sampling events. These recommendations can also be used to develop remedial alternatives for a site if warranted. After the draft report is completed, it is sent to the client for review and comment. The Phase II ESA report is subsequently finalized.