VOR Station

Executive Summary

The goal of this project was to supplement data from a past investigation revealing soil contamination on an industrial site. Prior to our involvement, previous consultants had conducted initial remediation programs and discovered copper-impacted soil in excess of guidelines. We were later brought on board to further delineate contamination at the site and detect any possible migration of contaminants to adjacent areas. Ultimately, AEL’s investigation identified a much higher level of impacted material than previously determined. In fact, AEL effectively identified around 2,000 cubic metres of impacted material, as opposed to the original estimate of 70 cubic metres. Through the combined use of exclusive online software, local contractors and resources, on-site testing, and off-site disposal of contaminated material, our team was able to provide a prompt and cost-effective remediation of the property.

Introduction

This case study occurred on a remote industrial property in Northern Quebec. AEL conducted a Phase Two Environmental Assessment (ESA) and remediation at VOR Station (VOR). The local area was only accessible by train, with site access by car from the nearby town.

Problem

Following a past investigation by previous consultants, we conducted an ESA and identified concentrations of 25 metals, including copper at resolution below action criteria. The estimated volume of copper contaminated material was approximately 2,000 cubic metres. This finding directly contradicted (and far exceeded) the initial estimate of 70 cubic metres provided by previous consultants.

Solution

To minimize mobilization/demobilization on-site, AEL quickly characterized the site in-situ by using the Niton X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) analyser, which provided immediate quantitative data. Confirmatory samples of impacted material were then sent to a Canadian Association for Laboratory Accreditation (CALA) certified laboratory for detailed analysis. By screening the copper impacted material on-site and returning “clean” material for reuse (mostly rock), AEL was able to reduce the amount of material shipped off-site while still managing to remove associated environmental risk and liability.

Results

The conclusion to this project proved to be successful on many different levels. In order to facilitate an effective remediation plan, the following elements were given due consideration and priority: budget, accessibility of transport, speed of discovery/time management, controlled laboratory testing and analysis, environmental liability, and regulatory compliance. Subsequently, this project was completed in record time and came in $200,000 under budget, with more than $1M in potential savings.

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