Based on a review of available records, Mercury had been released to the earthen floor in the basement of a building that housed an active commercial retail location formerly used for staging of gas regulators and meters that contained elemental Mercury. The basement was currently being used by the commercial tenant for storage of retail items. AGES was contracted by a law firm to evaluate and remediate this issue.
Ambient Air Evaluation
To determine if air quality issues were present, AGES used a Lumex 915+ Mercury Analyzer to collect instant and 10-second composite air samples at numerous locations throughout the building. All air results were less than a conservative residential standard selected for the project. Based on these results, an emergency remedial action was not required.
To evaluate the volume of Mercury present in the basement, AGES collected numerous soil samples at various depths from the earthen floor for analysis of Mercury. Mercury was detected in all samples at concentrations exceeding the state of Kentucky residential action level (1.8 mg/kg). Based on these results, remedial action was required to remove affected soil from the basement area.
Soil Removal Action with Air Screening
Prior to the commencement of response action activities, all retail items stored on the basement floor were repackaged into new containers; the old storage boxes were disposed of at a licensed landfill. The soil response action consisted of removing wooden interior walls and all soil from the basement floor using a vacuum truck with a hose attachment and hand tools. Soil was removed to bedrock, which was encountered several inches below the basement floor. Because all soil was removed to bedrock, confirmation soil samples were not collected. All excavated soil was loaded into roll-off boxes and vacuum truck boxes and transported to a licensed landfill.
During the response action activities, a Lumex 915+ Mercury Analyzer was used to monitor ambient air quality. After the soil removal was completed, the Lumex was used to monitor Mercury levels in the ambient air near the perimeter of the basement floor. Mercury was not detected above applicable OSHA limits in ambient air at any time during or after the response action activities.
After the conclusion of all remedial activities, concrete floor was poured over the bedrock floor in the basement. All retail items were then returned to the basement for storage.
1.) Use of the Lumex for initial air screening allowed for a quick response on the need for emergency remedial measures.
2.) All project work was performed with no disruption to retail activities in the first floor of the building.
3.) By establishing a good working relationship with the current tenant, AGES was able to complete all work on schedule and budget and avoid any litigation.