Patrick Sutton
    Offsite Plume Migrations
    Topic posted June 11, 2010 by Patrick SuttonSuper Contributor , last edited January 19, 2012
    490 Views, 4 Comments
    Offsite Plume Migrations

    Scenario: An plume of petroleum from an offsite source has likely migrated beneath your property.  You determine there are no potential exposure pathways that could create a health risk based on the current land use of the property.   

    Since there are no current health risks or liability concerns for cleanup, is it an REC, BER, or nothing to worry about?




    • Matt Fox

      I would typically call it a REC, but not recommend anything further unless some kind of redevelopment that might disturb the contamination was planned.

    • Tom Speight

      It depends..... how do you determine there's no risk without doing a Phase II or some sort of regulatory work?

      Even so, the door is still open for negligence/trespass/etc. complaints against the source property.

    • jessedphillips

      I agree with Matt.  I have these a lot where the DEQ has issued a no further action letter (Closure) but acknowledged that residual contamination exists.  I will normally call it a REC and say that, if disturbance of site soils is planned, it may result in costs associated with disposal, etc., and a phase ii may be desired.  I take the same position with residual contamination on the subject property. 

      I have heard people argue that it is de minimis because "if brought to the attention of a regulatory agency, it would not be subject to enforcement action."  Maybe it could be a de minimis with a potential to be a REC, like if it were disturbed. 

    • Patrick Sutton

      I agree.  A letter for No Further Action, but having residual contamination at a site is a better exampling of the kind of question I wanted to ask. I spoke to another consultant who uses the de minimis condition approach, and then sometimes calls it a BER.

      I like to call it an REC and recommend characterization prior to future site developments for pre-waste classfication and development of measures for construction worker health & safety and soil management, if necessary. 

      Thanks for your feedback,