Dealing with the aftermath of a hazardous spill


After hazardous substances have spilled onto the ground the process to reverse effects are often a long and difficult road. Once a spill has breached any hard surface or happens directly on soil there’s an order of steps that must be taken to ensure the clean up is properly handled. Control, containment and remediation are the big factors here. Containing the material released from doing further damage is paramount as well as using absorbent booms and pads to minimize the spill from continuing to impact the environment. After the largest portions of the spill have been soaked up by pillows, pads, or particulate, they then are collected and properly disposed of. The remainder is often covered with an organic absorbent to absorb any left over free liquid. This could be days, weeks or months, depending on the elements. Another process includes spraying the contaminated soil with liquid hydrocarbon-eating bacteria. This assists the natural degradation of any hydrocarbons still present in the soil and accelerating their breakdown to acceptable levels. Once the waste has been removed from the site, soil samples may be required from the area of to confirm that the spill is sufficiently remediated. In general, excavated areas may not be authorized for backfilling with clean soils until confirmatory samples are collected and analytical results are received indicating the remediated area meets corresponding state guidance levels. A specific list of corresponding detection limits will determine appropriate test methods. If the individual parameters are met for soil remaining on-site, no further action is typically required. While the process can be intimidating, Tri-State representatives will stay in close contact with real time communication each step of the way.


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