Higher Education

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Pitzer College
Contaminated Soils Characterization and Remediation

Soils Clean-up for New Student Housing

The contaminated soil area at Pitzer College comprised of approximately 65,000 square feet of over 28,000 tons of treated soils and 14,000 tons of rocks and other debris. These contaminants were removed from the site within one month even with several days of delays due to weather. Soils initially characterized as hazardous waste were treated on-site and resulting soils were able to be utilized by the landfill as daily cover soil for their Class II cells significantly reducing disposal costs and liability.

Vista Environmental Consulting (Vista) screened soils utilizing an X-Ray Fluorescence Analyzer (XRF). The XRF provided qualitative results for lead content during the initial site characterization as well as during remediation. Multiple readings could be taken quickly to delineate contaminated areas which could then be verified with laboratory analysis. This method allowed for rapid delineation of contamination during the initial site characterization as well as during remediation. Use of the XRF during remediation allowed rapid decisions to be made regarding whether to excavate additional soils or not. This was especially critical as the soils consisted of a wide variety of imported soils and there was not a clear discoloration or odor which identified the contamination. Of the 27 grids cleared with the XRF only one failed confirmation laboratory sampling on the first try.

Vista observed and performed air monitoring during the remediation efforts which included excavation, separation of rocks and debris, on-site treatment of contaminated soils utilizing a pug mill and trucking non-hazardous treated soils. Vista also managed the manifests for the trucking operations of this waste.

Vista’s ability to make quick decisions relating to the extent of excavation was not only critical to reduce the time frame of the project but also to limit the amount of soils which were removed from the site. The end result being minimization of costs to the client.