CGRS Environmental Services tackles remediation project in midst of pandemic
Remote job sites by their very nature present a few more challenges than others: mobilization is slower, and subcontractors and supplies often aren’t as readily available. And if they’re in the mountains, colder temperatures and snow – sometimes lots of snow – are a given.
CGRS Environmental Services team members regularly work in those conditions. But they have faced an unexpected challenge while at a remote mountain location in southeastern Colorado: while all CGRS team members have remained healthy, the COVID-19 pandemic has made it more difficult than usual to count on permits, subcontractors, equipment and supplies.
The team has remained flexible while following recommendations for social distancing and should complete the remediation system installation – on budget – in early May.
The site in a Costilla County town consists of a plume covering approximately 40,000 square feet, including the source property, two off-site properties and the surrounding right-of-way. Because the source site is small and congested, CGRS received permission from one of the off-site property owners to stage its materials and equipment on their site.
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The spill was originally reported as diesel in 2019, but tests revealed it was actually gasoline. To address the groundwater and light non-aqueous phase liquid (LNAPL) plume, CGRS is installing an air sparge/soil vapor extraction soil and groundwater remediation system to address a complex subsurface. Between Feb. 3 and March 13 the team installed 27 groundwater monitoring wells, 17 soil vapor extraction (SVE) wells, and 28 air sparging (AS) wells, six of which are nested to address perched groundwater and the underlying groundwater table off-site. Trenching and piping began March 23 and is scheduled for completion in the coming weeks, when CGRS will wrap up the project.
The CGRS team has encountered only a couple of issues in regards to COVID-19 safety recommendations:
- With the County operating on limited capacity and reassigning staff to deal with its COVID-19 response, a few small issues with obtaining permits arose, but the CGRS team was able to work around any potential delays.
- The potholing subcontractor was short on crew members for a time, so the CGRS team and drilling subcontractor took care of other responsibilities while waiting.
- Team members have had to make trips to Denver and Pueblo to pick up parts that were delayed so they wouldn’t hinder the project’s completion.
CGRS team members and subcontractors have followed social-distancing guidelines oftentimes by performing work on different parts of the system at the same time, and not many people have been out and about. And because other essential businesses have remained open, they have been able to purchase basic hardware and food nearby.