New technology guidelines and innovation in Australia may be a game-changer for the petroleum cleanup industry. Released earlier this year, the Cooperative Research Centre for Contamination Assessment and Remediation of the Environment (CRC CARE) stated that this new advice from Australia leads in the cutting-edge cleanup of petroleum-based contaminants in groundwater. The first report of its kind in the country, this report will help solve some serious environmental issues in the country. The report is important for environmental industry managers, consultants, remediation, owners of contaminated sites, and state and federal regulators concerned with the environment.
Petroleum Cleanup is Crucial
In Australia over two-thirds of the contaminated sites feature petroleum hydrocarbons. Contamination caused by fuel, oil, and gas leaks and spills in subsurface areas is one of the most common forms of pollution in this day and age. These leaks typically occur around industrial sites where petroleum is used and stored. The report released in February of this year provides the new industry standard for clean-up. It is the latest in a widespread search for the best ways to clean up petroleum. The Managing Director of CRC CARE, Professor Ravi Naidu, says it’s the latest and best at the moment, as well as unique to Australian conditions.
Solving Petroleum Clean-Up Issues
The report describes the best way to assess the situation of the petroleum contamination site and the best ways to remediate and manage the clean-up. It outlines these solutions for soil and groundwater clean-up.
Specific Report Innovations
The report specifies a difficult issue: the clean-up of the petroleum light non-aqueous phase liquids (LNAPLs). These substances are less dense than water and can travel long distances. They secrete harmful vapors and are linked to contaminating drinking and agricultural water supplies.
New Guidelines State
Pollution scenarios can vary greatly and cause considerable trouble to clean-up experts. Therefore, it was recognized that a systematic approach useful for each unique situation was necessary. The following are examples from the CRC CARE report:
- Engage with regulators and key stakeholders during early stages to identify and create goals
- Prioritize sites, especially in emergency responses
- Define site sensitivity
- Set clear goals and endpoints
- Select the best available and most affordable clean-up solution
- Pilot test the chosen technology
- Ensure safety in the design, installation, and commission for the system
- Monitor performance of clean-up
- Finalize a plan to close out the clean-up
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