To illustrate the importance of a second opinion, a tank truck accident spilled about 4000 gallons of methanol based cleaning compound into a river.
The clean up costs would have been $305,000 higher if the methanol compound generator had accepted the initial findings of a state Department of Environmental Quality agent.
When a spill of regulated materials or waste contaminates the environment, it is tempting to accept the first remediation plan. Be prudent and request a second opinion from an environmental professional.
Insurance may not cover all the clean up costs, especially if the clean up assessment is considered unreasonable by your insurance provider.
Federal, state and local agency spill clean up assessments can be challenged, as in this example above.
What was the solution that lead to the spill clean up cost savings?
Initially, the DEQ agent recommended the river and nearby pond be drained. This would have required significant workers and equipment to dispose the water and soil.
The generator hired a consultant who determined the methanol compound would evaporate and degrade in 8 days – with no residual left behind.
The DEQ agent agreed with the findings and allowed a less invasive approach. Remediation consisted of:
- gross soil contamination
- surface water and soil sampling to confirm compound degradation
Within two weeks of the spill, sample results confirmed contamination was below regulatory standards. It is Advanced Waste’s goal to work with businesses and environmental agencies to find the best solution while ensuring the least environmental and economic disruption.
Advanced Waste Services has been helping clients with Spill Response and Spill Contingency Plans for 20 years.
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