ERAS conducted a technical review of historical documents to attempt to determine the source of chlorinated solvents (VOCs) found in 1988 in a former groundwater monitoring well on the Property. Files were reviewed to evaluate thedistribution and extent of VOCs nearby and sites.
ERAS conducted a Phase 2 soil and groundwater investigation under the oversight of the California RWQCB. The investigation indicated the presence of a regional groundwater contamination plume as well as some contribution of solvent contamination from a former tenant of the Property.
ERAS performed a sub-slab soil vapor subsurface investigation that indicated a possible threat to indoor air conditions. Based on these results, ERAS subcontracted an indoor air sampling specialist to evaluate risk of exposure to solvent from under the building. It was determined to be no risk to indoor air and the case was closed by the RWQCB.
Client: Mr. Jim Nicholson, Dinsmore Landscaping. occupant and prospective buyer of Property
ERAS ESA indicated the site once contained a fuel tank and two waste oil tanks but their locations were unknown. Previous Phase 2 sampling data indicated elevated concentrations of PCBs and metals in two locations.
ERAS conducted specialized and detailed historical aerial photographic evaluation to determine the location of the former fuel and waste oil tanks and the storage sheds where chemicals may have been stored. A Phase 2 soil sampling investigation that included fourteen(14) soil borings was conducted to take depth appropriate samples. An additional investigation was conducted to further delineate the extent of phenol in soil.
Client: Mr. Steve Shepard, Shephard & Sons, occupant and prospective buyer of Property
Property is in a heavy industrial area that was once part of the Kaiser World War 2 shipyard. ERAS performed additional historical research which indicated the Property is located on what was formerly San Francisco Bay marshland. ERAS also reviewed technical reports of Phase 2 soil testing and groundwater monitoring of 4 existing groundwater monitoring wells.
ERAS developed a complete cost estimate for site investigation and remediation of four separate areas on the Property contaminated with PCB’s, petroleum hydrocarbons and metals leading to case closure. ERAS performed three separate Phase 2 subsurface soil andgroundwater investigations that included a total of thirty-eight (38) soil borings with oversight from the California Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB).
ERAS established it was likely the contamination was associated with the landfilling of the former marshland because the contamination was restricted to the groundwater interface at approximately 8 feet below ground surface. ERAS also established the contamination was restricted to the Property and there were no threats to off-site receptors or occupants of the building.
The RWQCB closed the case with a deed restriction that allowed current commercial use. The total cost of the case closure was approximately 30% of the original closure estimate.
Client: Mr. Yates McKenzie, Stella Capital. owner of Property
A Phase 2 investigation was conducted by another consultant on the subject site based on the former operation of machine shop and a foundry with a furnace located in the outside yard area. ERAS prepared a workplan for the Alameda County Department of Environmental Health (ACDEH) and performed additional investigation consisting of additional soil borings.
It was determined contaminants of concern were petroleum hydrocarbons, naphthalene and lead. Soil vapor sampling indicated concentrations of naphthalene and also methane (from the degradation of petroleum) in subsurface vapor. Fortunately, naphthalene was not located in soil vapor under the building. Soil remediation was performed to remove soil with hazardous concentrations of lead and naphthalene, the soil was properly disposed as hazardous waste. A vapor mitigation system (VMS) was installed to mitigate the hazard of methane buildup.
ERAS prepared a Site Management Plan for operation and maintenance of the VMS and the case was closed by the ACDEH.
Client: John Murray of Murray Productions
We have been increasingly concerned about many Phase 1 reports that include recommendations for Phase 2 work. We therefore are offering a free training course on the purpose of a Phase 1 and how they relate to Phase 2 investigations. The purpose of this course is to clear up some of the confusion that is prevalent in this process.
It is our opinion that much of the reasoning for the necessity of the additional work is not based on specific concrete observations or other information by inspectors. This is bad enough in itself, but can become even worse if a Phase 2 is performed based on faulty Phase 1 information. The reader of a Phase 1 report should be able to determine why there is a problem, where it is and what the likely contaminant is.
As you know, a Phase 2 recommendation in a Phase 1 report is a problem for the banks, brokers, buyers and owners involved in a real estate transaction for the following reasons:
1) A Phase 2 investigation may add 4 to 6 weeks or more to the due diligence period resulting in escrow issues.
2) A Phase 2 may add significant cost ($5,000-10,000 or more) which could jeopardize the transaction.
3) If a Phase 2 is performed that is not sufficiently focused, it will not provide sufficient information to resolve the issue. 4) If a Phase 2 is performed that discovers contamination, additional investigation may be recommended leading to even further delays.
A Phase 1 environmental site assessment by ERAS indicated two underground tanks had been removed in the late 1980's from the site. Soil borings drilled near the former USTs and pump island indicated high concentrations of petroleum hydrocarbons near the groundwater table. The Property was therefore an active leak case that could not be financed until it was closed by the local regulatory agency, the Santa Clara Valley Water District (SCVWD).
ERAS conducted a soil and groundwater investigation to provide additional analytical data regarding the lateral and vertical extent of fuel hydrocarbons and MTBE in soil and groundwater. Following data collection, extensive file review analysis was conducted to supplement the site data, provide groundwater flow direction and analysis of down-gradient receptors. Case closure was granted by the SCVWD within 60 days of the initiation of the proposed work.
(Client: Mike Melton, Aerotron Manufacturing)
ERAS performed a Phase 1 project that identified oil filled underground quenching pits used by a former metal foundry that operated on the Property. The buyer wanted to convert the former industrial facility to a live work residential development. A Phase 2 project was designed that included drilling of soil borings inside the building to assess the subsurface for the presence of contamination. Analysis for a variety of possible contaminants of concern was conducted. Contamination was reported to the Alameda County Health Care Services Agency (ACHCSA), who subsequently provided regulatory oversight.
Additional borings were subsequently drilled to delineate the lateral and vertical extent of contamination for the purposes of remediation. A Remedial Action Plan was submitted to the ACHCSA. After approval, approximately 3,000 cubic yards of soil was excavated and disposed. Confirmation soil sampling by ERAS indicated that contamination was successfully removed over the entire inside of the building. A small area of contamination remained in one area that was under the adjacent residential properties. The ACHCSA provided written approval for the planned construction activities within approximately 18 months of the initiation of the project.
ERAS performed a Phase 1 project for a medical office building. Review of city records indicated the Property contained a Shell Oil Company service station that closed in approximately 1965. No plans showing the former station improvements could be found so ERAS performed a detailed review of historical aerial photographs. The photographs enabled ERAS to determine the location of the former station building, USTs and pump island. With this information, ERAS could design an appropriate Phase 2 investigation with borings in the proper location to sample and analyze groundwater samples down-gradient of the areas of most concern.
The Phase 2 investigation included the drilling of three borings down-gradient of the former USTs and pump island. The work was approved by the Marin County Department of Health. Analysis of the groundwater samples indicated high concentrations of petroleum hydrocarbons in the middle boring, while the other two contained much lower concentrations. The report of results were submitted to the Regional Water Board for them to provide direction to Shell Oil Company for additional investigation and remediation as required.
(Client: Hal Moorehead, Grubb & Ellis)
ERAS took over a contaminated gasoline station from a former environmental consultant. Work performed by ERAS included installation of groundwater monitoring, vapor extraction and groundwater extraction wells. Soil borings were drilled in off-site areas to assess the extent of groundwater contamination under the residential neighborhood. Work also included hazardous and non-hazardous waste disposal coordination, groundwater monitoring, and preparation of a feasibility study.
A risk assessment was also performed that indicated the groundwater plume was stable and decreasing in concentration. No indoor air issues were indicated by analysis of soil and groundwater samples. ERAS eventually conducted case closure activities and the case was closed by the San Mateo County Department of Environmental Health.
(Client: Mr. Parviz Darabi, Esq.)
ERAS performed a Phase 1 investigation for a small commercial office/warehouse building in San Mateo . Building department records indicated that a gasoline service station was located on the Property from 1929 to 1972. Station building plans on file indicated the first set of underground tanks and pump islands were removed and replaced with a new set of tanks and pumps in 1953 in different locations in the same general area. The current building was constructed partly over the former gasoline station improvements.
ERAS performed a Phase 2 soil and groundwater investigation under permit requirements and work scope approval of the San Mateo County Department of Environmental Health (SMCDEH). A total of 6 soil borings were drilled. Soil samples were collected for appropriate analysis under the former USTs, pump island and oil/water separator inside and outside the newer building where the former items could be accessed. Groundwater samples were collected in areas down-gradient of the former USTs and pump islands that were located under inaccessible areas of the current structure. The concentrations of petroleum hydrocarbons were low enough and the investigation comprehensive enough for the SMCDEH to not require additional investigation and the building was successfully financed.
(Client: Michael Barnette, Colliers Parrish)
ERAS performed a Phase I investigation for a commercial building in western Hayward. Review of the file for a closed fuel leak site adjacent to the east indicated that very high concentrations of gasoline contamination were found ON THE PROPERTY in 1996. The data collected by ERAS indicated an off-site source even though the most likely source site had been closed by the City of Hayward and Regional Water Board. This included 1) no gasoline found in soil and high concentrations of gasoline in groundwater and 2) no historical evidence of uses of the area of the Property that would have caused gasoline contamination.
The owner was unable to sell the Property and asked ERAS to suggest a Phase 2 investigation to prove the contamination was migrating from off-site. ERAS instead performed a Technical Review of the file for the leak case. ERAS was able to document that high concentrations of gasoline was left in soil beneath the groundwater table under the property line of the adjacent site. The contamination appeared to have been washed into an adjacent unlined creek, migrated downstream and then contaminated groundwater under the up-gradient corner of the Property. The Regional Water Board agreed and wrote a “comfort letter” for the owner and buyer and the Property was sold using SBA financing.
(Client: Paul Beckwith, Cornish and Carey)