What is Soil Contamination Anyway?

Soil contamination is the presence of man-made chemicals to the natural soil environment. Soil contamination typically occurs from rupture of underground storage tanks, application of pesticides and herbicides, percolation of contaminated surface water to subsurface strata, leaching of wastes from landfills or direct discharge of industrial wastes to the soil. What the toxin is that contaminates the soil varies, but some of the toxins that are found in contaminated soil are:

  • Chloroform
  • Carbon tetrachloride
  • Tetrachloroethylene
  • Chromium
  • PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls)
  • VOCs (volatile organic compounds)
  • Lead
  • Arsenic
  • Petroleum

The National Priorities List (NPL) keeps a listing of all sites that have been contaminated with these toxins as well as others. This helps the EPA determine which sites are more dangerous and need immediate clean-up. The sites could have contaminated soil or these toxins could be found in groundwater on that site as well.

It is a slow process identifying all the contaminated sites and putting the right plan in place to clean them up and ensure safety throughout the process as contaminated materials are hauled and remediated. At Westside we work with contractors to help get this job done as efficiently and safely as possible.

Our rail-based facility makes it easy to transport soil, and our negative air system allows us to safely process the soil, ensuring a clean, efficient result.

 

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