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Liberty Environmental ~ Delaware River Basin

Important & Informative Environmental Updates for the Area

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PA DEP Reverses Policy on Vertical Blending

PA soil remediation experts Liberty Environmental

       Photo courtesy of CBA Environmental.

For many years, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) prohibited vertical blending of soils as a remedial method. Liberty Environmental recently identified a site where the use of vertical blending was demonstrated to be an attractive remedial option. Liberty proposed to DEP that it reconsider its long-standing policy on vertical blending, which was based on a prohibition on blending in its Management of Fill policy. Liberty argued that 1) the Management of Fill policy is not applicable to remediation of contaminated soil at a cleanup site, and 2) since DEP permits excavation, consolidation and capping of contaminated soil under a site-specific cleanup utilizing pathway elimination, it should allow vertical blending for a site-specific cleanup under a human health risk assessment. In correspondence received on March 2, 2018, DEP acknowledged that no statute or regulation exists to prohibit vertical blending to eliminate a human health risk and attain a cleanup standard under the Land Recycling Program. This is a significant advancement in Pennsylvania site cleanup policy because vertical blending allows for elimination or significant cost reduction of remediation.

What is Vertical Blending?

Vertical blending is a process where mechanical equipment is used to blend shallow contaminated soils with uncontaminated underlying soils, resulting in a reduction of contaminant concentrations throughout the blended soil zone to levels below applicable cleanup standards. Particularly applicable at golf courses and orchards where historical application of pesticides has contaminated very shallow soils (typically 6 to 9 inches), this remedial approach has been applied in other states with great success.

Evaluating Remedial Alternatives

Application of lead arsenate and other arsenic-containing and organic pesticides over many decades has resulted in contaminant concentrations several times higher than cleanup standards on recreational and agricultural sites. The first step in evaluating remedial alternatives on these sites, once the extent of impacts is known, is to perform site-specific studies to determine 1) the leachability of the contaminant in soil which determines whether groundwater is a medium of concern and 2) the bioavailability of contaminants in soil to establish a site-specific contaminant concentration that is protective of human health. By following this type of risk-based approach, it is often possible to substantially increase the acceptable concentration of contaminants in soil when compared to the regulatory agencies’ established cleanup levels, and either eliminate or greatly reduce the cost of remediation.

Strong State Agency Relationships Help Our Clients Achieve Their Site Cleanup Goals

Liberty Environmental is a full-service environmental consulting firm with extensive experience in assessing and remediating sites under numerous cleanup programs. Similar to this policy advancement, Liberty was also successful in petitioning DEP to reconsider its Agricultural Soils Policy, which allowed our client to to enter the Land Recycling Program (Act 2 cleanup program) to develop a former orchard site. Read more here:  Pennsylvania Act 2 and Agricultural Soils Policy _Orchard Site Remediation.

Client Alert: PA DEP Releases New Chapter 105 Waterways Permitting Forms

waterways permitting experts in PennsylvaniaClose behind sweeping changes to its Environmental Assessment procedures in 2017, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has now released updated versions of the permitting forms for its Chapter 105 Water Obstruction and Encroachment General Permit Registrations under the new State Programmatic General Permit 5 (PASPGP-5).  The changes include a simplification of the Permit instructions, the elimination of certain unnecessary and redundant forms, and an easier-to-use aquatic resource summary table.

DEP’s improvements continue a process that began over three years ago, with the release of the draft Pennsylvania Aquatic Resource Compensation Protocol and its associated Level 2 Rapid Assessment Protocols.  These guides introduced an entirely new process by which wetlands and waterways are evaluated and mitigated during land development. When the draft protocols became DEP policy in 2017, Liberty was among the first to successfully implement the protocols and obtain Joint Permit approvals using the new methods at multiple warehouse and logistics development projects in eastern and central Pennsylvania.

For questions or assistance with Chapter 105 Permit Registrations, please call David Coyne or Teresa Amitrone at (800) 305.6019 or via email at info@libertyenviro.com.

Liberty Environmental Sponsors Event to Keep City Youth Bike Hub in Operation

Reading Bike Hub in Reading PAReading, PA: After learning about the funding challenges of a local nonprofit community bike center in downtown Reading, avid cyclist, Gavin Biebuyck, a Principal at Liberty Environmental approached the leadership team with an idea to help. President Jim Cinelli put wings to the idea and connected with Rich and Amy Johnson of Pollen Consolidated who had organized other events in his space at the 505 Penn Street Loft. Plans for a fundraiser came to life.

Join us for an evening to bring awareness to this valuable community resource and help them develop sustainable funding. The event will take place on March 2nd, 2018 from 6 pm to 11 pm inside The Loft at 505 Penn Street. Music, art, an auction, and a cash bar presented by the Reading Occasional Cocktail Club with food by Trooper Thorns. Donations will be accepted at the door.

If you are unable to attend, but want to join the team at Liberty Environmental in supporting the Reading Bike Hub, please visit https://www.readingbikehub.org/donate.

About the Reading Bike Hub 

The Reading Bike Hub is a unique community bike shop located in the BARTA Transportation Center at 8th and Cherry in downtown Reading. Run almost entirely by volunteers since it opened during the summer of 2014, the center offers bike products, services, training, and social activities for youth to develop a passion for cycling. The Hub is so much more than a bike shop though, it is a safe haven, a social destination, a “difference maker” in the lives of the youth that visit the center. In 2016, with the dissolve of ReDesign Reading, the center lost its funding. The Reading Bike Hub now operates under the nonprofit license of Barrio Alegria. To learn more visit www.readingbikehub.org.

 

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