Site Investigation at a Closed Manufacturing Facility in Italy

This manufacturing facility in Lomazzo, Italy was originally developed in the 1930s as a factory for manufacturing shoe-making tools, and the facility expanded throughout the 1930s and 40s. In the 1960s, the facility converted to production of thermostats, gas valves, sensors, and timers for a number of applications.

Manufacturing activities included shearing and molding of metal coils and used perchloroethylene (PCE) as a cooling/cutting oil and as a degreaser. Manufacturing operations at the facility have since been terminated. After operations at the facility ceased, the current facility owner retained Geosyntec to update a historical site assessment and complete an additional site investigation and remediation activities to comply with the applicable Italian regulations in order to prepare the property for potential sale and/or re-use.

Geosyntec’s Scope of Services for Site Investigation at a Closed Manufacturing Facility

Geosyntec initially completed a soil gas survey for volatile organic compounds (VOCs) beneath the main facility building. We conducted this survey using innovative passive soil gas samplers that we co-developed with the University of Waterloo. We conducted this survey not to comply with regulatory requirements, but rather as a way for our client to understand the potential distribution of VOCs in the subsurface prior to initiating more invasive subsurface investigation activities. We retained a local contractor to deploy the samplers beneath the floor of the building. Retrieved samplers were returned to the United States for chemical analysis and data interpretation by Geosyntec. These samplers have significant advantages over traditional soil gas collection methods (e.g., active collection into canisters or bags) in that they can be deployed directly below a building slab, are less expensive to deploy and analyze, have lower detection limits and could be transported easily between the U.S. and Italy.

Subsequently, under the oversight of regulatory authorities in Italy, Geosyntec again retained the local consultant to complete a soil investigation throughout the Site. Our consultant collected soil samples from 11 soil borings installed both inside and outside the facility buildings. No exceedances of applicable regulatory standards were identified; however, the regulatory authorities did request removal of three underground storage tanks (USTs) that had been closed in place. During UST removal activities, petroleum contaminated soil was identified beneath one of the USTs. Additional investigation activities were conducted to define the extent of petroleum contamination. Given the depth of the contamination (as deep as 12 meters in some areas), traditional excavation of the impacted soil was not feasible and a combination of risk assessment and site segregation were proposed. After reaching agreement with ARPA and other local authorities on this closure approach, Geosyntec and the local contractor submitted a site-specific risk assessment to the regulatory authorities for the portion of the property impacted by the petroleum release.

Notable Accomplishments for Site Investigation at a Closed Manufacturing Facility

Geosyntec’s use of the innovative passive samplers provided the client with important insight regarding the nature of potential VOC impacts at the site prior to initiating formal, more intrusive investigation activities. Additionally, use of the passive samplers to conduct this investigation provided significant cost savings compared to an investigation of similar scope using traditional sampling techniques. Our close working relationship with the local consultant has provided our client with required local regulatory knowledge and contracting ability, accessed through a familiar Geosyntec team with strong technical capabilities and expertise that our client has come to expect.

About Geosyntec

Geosyntec Consultants is a consulting and engineering firm that works with private and public sector clients to address new ventures and complex problems involving our environment, natural resources, and civil infrastructure. Our engineers, geologists, environmental scientists, and other technical and project staff specialize in the areas of environmental studies and cleanup; infrastructure assessment, engineering, and design; environmental, health, and safety management; natural resources assessment and restoration; and structural extreme load analyses, fluid dynamics, and risk mitigation services. We deliver advanced solutions to clients from offices throughout the United States and at select locations in Australia, Canada, Ireland, Malaysia, and the United Kingdom.

Company Information

Geosyntec's engineers, scientists, and innovators create high-value solutions for clients based in the United States, the United Kingdom and across Europe.

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