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EDB Cap Area Treatability Study

From 1929 through 1995, an agricultural sciences company manufactured chemicals on several parcels of its property in Newark, California. Chemicals produced included quick lime, bromine, Ethylene Dibromide (EDB), magnesia compounds, phosphates, and phosphoric acid. By the end of 1996, all manufacturing facilities were removed, leaving behind only the maintenance of engineered asphalt caps at the former EDB plant (EDB Cap Area) and the phosphorus storage pit areas. The company’s activities at the site currently consist of maintaining these caps and operating a groundwater remediation and monitoring system.

A consultant contracted KEMRON’s Applied Technologies Group (ATG) to perform an in-situ stabilization (ISS), slurry wall, and chemical treatment treatability study. Given the high contaminant concentrations—up to 10 times the Immediately Dangerous to Life or Health (IDLH) conditions—KEMRON designed and built a negative pressure treatability room with supplied air (Level B) capabilities to safely conduct the study.

The complex study aimed to evaluate potential remedial technologies to determine which were viable based on the physical and chemical characteristics of soil, DNAPL, and groundwater in the source zone and downgradient parcels. It also sought to evaluate slurry wall amendments and mix designs for downgradient locations, assess potential geochemical and chemical incompatibilities in the targeted site soil and groundwater, and measure the hydraulic conductivity resulting from various slurry wall mixes. Furthermore, KEMRON aimed to identify solidification/stabilization reagents capable of improving soil strength and reducing permeability in the source zone and use the new EPA LEAF (EPA 1315) Method with a proprietary sampling modification developed by KEMRON to evaluate solidification/stabilization reagents that reduce leachate. The study also sought to reduce contaminant mass in soil and groundwater through chemical treatments, determine which amendments most effectively reduce concentrations and leachate of primary contaminants of concern (COCs) without mobilizing naturally occurring metals, and assess the effectiveness of chemical oxidant/reductant reagents combined with ISS amendments in reducing COC and leachate concentrations.

The treatability study successfully met all its objectives. Initially, the health and safety evaluation was based on OSHA Permissible Exposure Limits (PELs). However, upon receiving the materials, it was determined that NIOSH Recommended Exposure Limits (RELs) were more appropriate for ensuring the safety of KEMRON employees. Since the NIOSH RELs were occasionally below ambient conditions in the building, finding a safe solution to perform the treatability study took several months to resolve.

KEMRON’s innovative approach and rigorous evaluation ensured the successful execution of the treatability study, providing vital data for selecting the most effective remediation technologies for the site.


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