Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) Compliance
Environmental Studies & Permitting
Natural & Cultural Resources
The greatest uncertainty in groundwater remediation projects is the subsurface. We apply an innovative, geology‑based approach to defining subsurface conditions and contaminant distribution.
Site geology and hydrogeology represent fundamental controls on groundwater flow and contaminant fate and transport, and dictate the feasibility of engineered remediation strategies. Successful remediation depends on a conceptual site model (CSM) that accurately identifies the geological heterogeneity and the preferential pathways imparted by it.
An accurate and comprehensive CSM helps identify the unknown or hidden conditions at your site. By decreasing uncertainty, you can focus the remedy, drive down remediation costs, increase efficiencies and improve remedy performance. With an improved understanding of the subsurface, we can avoid significant surprises or protracted cost creep.
The CSM should be a living model that combines existing and incoming data and serves as the basis for remedy selection, design and optimization. A well-constructed CSM illuminates the path to site closure and informs decision-making by defining pathways between contaminant sources and receptors.
Our approach to the CSM begins with advanced analytical techniques applied to existing data obtained through previous investigations or remediation activities. We also analyze human health and ecological risk, surface features, site operations, and regulatory goals and parameters. We leverage tools and techniques to efficiently and holistically analyze site data and present subsurface conditions and site-specific remedial strategies.
A key example of this CSM approach is our use of Environmental Sequence Stratigraphy (ESS), an innovative approach for mapping subsurface conditions and contaminant distribution.
Because ESS has been shown to result in more predictable and cost-effective remediation strategies, through the use of stratigraphic interpretation methods originally developed and used in the oil and gas industry for decades, the technique has been adopted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Air Force as a best practice for developing CSMs for contaminated groundwater sites. ESS analyses produce a thorough and reliable foundation for remediation system design, an application particularly important for complex sites where high failure rates are common.
Because ESS provides better definition of subsurface heterogeneity, it results in a CSM that more accurately depicts contaminant distribution and migration pathways — the “plumbing” that controls groundwater movement and contaminant transport. We can apply this established technique to all phases of groundwater remediation, helping you move your project to site closure in a more cost-effective, predictable manner.
When appropriate, we also employ 3D visualization modeling and other GIS and database tools to efficiently analyze site data and develop remedial strategies. Groundwater flow, contaminant fate and transport, and geochemical models can also be integrated to simulate multiple remediation approaches and accurately predict cleanup timeframes, costs and overall effectiveness.