Environmental Due Diligence

On behalf of a prospective purchaser, BPE performed a Limited Subsurface Investigation (LSI) at a freight transportation terminal located in the Midwest.

The purpose of the LSI was to address multiple recognized environmental conditions (RECs) documented in a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (Phase I ESA) prepared by BPE.

Despite the multiple RECs documented in the Phase I ESA, the Site owner’s environmental consultant, a well-recognized national firm, assured the prospective purchaser and BPE that the Site was “clean” and that an LSI was not necessary.

BPE moved forward and completed a rapid LSI that included the completion of eight (8) soil borings, two (2) temporary wells, soil sampling, and groundwater sampling during one day of field work. The investigation revealed a mass of free product in the vicinity of the main underground storage tank field.

Consequently, the Site owner took on Responsible Party status for the release, saving the purchaser hundreds of thousands of dollars in Site assessment and remediation costs. 


Regulatory Enforcement Response

Following the discovery of chlorinated solvent impacts on a Site during the investigation into a petroleum release, BPE’s Client was named the Responsible Party for the chlorinated impacts.

The Site is a complex industrial facility with numerous underground utilities including electrical transmission, fuel oil product lines, sanitary sewer, storm sewer, potable water, fiber-optic cable, and underdrain (i.e. french drain) lines. Shallow groundwater at the Site flows toward, and discharges to, an unnamed tributary adjacent to the Site.
An extensive subsurface investigation was needed since an adjacent property, a publishing facility, had known chlorinated solvent impact to local soil and groundwater.

An extensive, multi-phased soil, groundwater, and surface water investigation was completed at the Site. The investigation included a water well survey, vadose zone and phreatic zone soil assessment, temporary well installation, single and clustered permanent monitoring well installation, top-of-casing survey, aerial and vertical delineation of the uppermost water-bearing zone and the underlying aquitard for the chemicals of concern (COC), and surface water sampling and analysis.

Groundwater analytical results indicate the presence of COC, including TCE at concentrations as high as 5,000 micrograms per liter (µg/L) across the Site and along the up-gradient property line. The presence of the COC was limited to the uppermost water-bearing zone. Surface water analytical results indicate that shallow groundwater discharged to the unnamed tributary adjacent to the Site also contained moderate concentrations of the COC.

Based on multiple lines of evidence, BPE concluded that chlorinated compounds were very likely associated with an offsite source. The regulatory agency concurred with BPE’s findings that the chlorinated solvent contaminant plume at the Site likely originated from an up-gradient and off-site source. As a result, the regulator assumed control of the continued investigation into the origins of the contamination.