Under federal and state law, operators of certain underground storage tank UST systems must be trained in how to keep the USTs in compliance with applicable regulatory requirements. To become authorized, these Operators must be trained and must pass a DEC-administered exam that demonstrates their competence to operate these tank systems. As described below, DEC is offering the authorization exam online.
Monitoring Well Comparison Study: Samples are typically sent off-site to laboratories for analysis. To more quickly identify conditions in the field, portable analytical equipment may be brought on-site during field sampling. This equipment can be used to achieve a more real-time understanding and reduce the need for iterative laboratory sampling.
A specified percentage of the collected samples are then submitted to an analytical laboratory to confirm and correlate the results of the field instrument screening.
Complete on-site labs can be expensive, and often site sampling and assessment becomes an iterative process whereby samples are collected and sent to an off-site lab to be analyzed with results fed into an interim assessment report. This process must be repeated until the extent of the contamination is fully characterized.
Fully assessing a site may take months to complete. Prior to collecting samples or undertaking any subsurface work, contact utility companies to identify the location of any underground utilities. Likewise, field personnel must be careful not to operate large excavation equipment where there might be interference with overhead utility lines.
Furthermore, if contamination extends beyond the source property boundaries, site access agreements need to be executed to make provisions for proper access onto adjacent properties.
New sampling technologies are available to help collect samples cost effectively and to provide better protection of samples prior to analysis. For example, some Ust case solution technologies allow for soil sampling in a way that minimizes the loss of any potentially volatile chemicals prior to lab analysis.
Other methods or preservation techniques maintain the integrity of the sample during transit between the site and the lab. Finally, it is important that all sampling equipment be properly decontaminated between individual sampling points.
Equipment decontamination is a critical practice to ensure the integrity of each sample by preventing cross-contamination. Soil Determining the nature and extent of a petroleum release generally begins with characterizing soil and rock permeability and conducting soil sampling, and this is typically an iterative process.
Soil samples are collected to establish the full horizontal and vertical extent of the release in the soil.
Samples are often screened for petroleum hydrocarbons in the field using a portable photo-ionization detector PIDflame-ionization detector FIDor an ultraviolet fluorescence UVF instrument to quickly establish where contamination is present.
Continuous sampling of soil cores allows rapid visual observations of soil staining from releases, and technologies such as UVF screening can quickly identify the exact vertical extent of a release in the soil column. Using continuous screening of soils in this way, from the ground surface to the bottom of the borehole, allows a precise understanding of the vertical extent of contamination at each boring.
Identifying soil strata is critical in development of the CSM and in design of the remediation strategy. Each implementing agency will have its own acceptable field screening methods and requirements for analytical testing.
Groundwater Commonly a fuel release will be present as dissolved contaminants in the groundwater. Monitoring wells are usually constructed to establish the horizontal and vertical impact to the groundwater resource.
Groundwater nearly always flows in a specific direction, although the direction can change during various times of the year or be artificially impacted by underground utilities or man-made changes. Monitoring wells are typically established around a release to understand the extent of contamination, together with background up-gradient and down-gradient conditions that existed before the release.
The number and location of ground water monitoring wells are used to characterize the nature and extent of contamination. A minimum of three monitoring wells is necessary to establish the direction of groundwater flow.
For sites with complex geologic conditions, man-made disturbances, or underground utilities within the groundwater, more wells will be necessary to fully understand groundwater flows.
Gauging groundwater depths periodically is important in understanding how a fuel release behaves underground throughout the year. Seasonal fluctuations in ground water levels may impact dissolved contaminants in the groundwater. To accurately characterize ground water contamination at a site, groundwater sampling should be conducted during different seasons to account for potential variations in dissolved contaminant levels.
When a large quantity of product has been released, pure gasoline or fuel is often found floating on the groundwater surface. Thickness of the LNAPL will vary considerably as the groundwater table rises and falls and the product either saturates or evacuates from the surrounding soil particles.
Federal regulations require that any free product identified during the LNAPL assessment be removed from the ground and properly managed. Downward Solute Plume Migration: The report's purpose is to promote a common understanding of the phenomenon of diving plumes.
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