Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 3

contaminated sediment Related Abstracts

3 Oily Sludge Bioremediation Pilot Plant Project, Nigeria

Authors: Ime R. Udotong, Ofonime U. M. John, Justina I. R. Udotong

Abstract:

Brass terminal, one of the several crude oil and petroleum products storage/handling facilities in the Niger Delta was built in the 1980s. Activities at this site, over the years, released crude oil into this 3 m-deep, 1500 m-long canal lying adjacent to the terminal with oil floating on it and its sediment heavily polluted. To ensure effective clean-up, three major activities were planned: Site characterization, bioremediation pilot plant construction and testing and full-scale bioremediation of contaminated sediment/bank soil by land farming. The canal was delineated into 12 lots and each characterized, with reference to the floating oily phase, contaminated sediment and canal bank soil. As a result of site characterization, a pilot plant for on-site bioremediation was designed and a treatment basin constructed for carrying out pilot bioremediation test. Following a designed sampling protocol, samples from this pilot plant were collected for analysis at two laboratories as a quality assurance/quality control check. Results showed that Brass Canal upstream is contaminated with dark, thick and viscous oily film with characteristic hydrocarbon smell while downstream, thin oily film interspersed with water were observed. Sediments were observed to be dark with mixture of brownish sandy soil with TPH ranging from 17,800 mg/kg in Lot 1 to 88,500 mg/kg in Lot 12 samples. Brass Canal bank soil was observed to be sandy from ground surface to 3m, below ground surface (bgs) it was silty-sandy and brownish while subsurface soil (4-10m bgs) was sandy-clayey and whitish/grayish with typical hydrocarbon smell. Preliminary results obtained so far have been very promising but were proprietary. This project is considered, to the best of technical literature knowledge, the first large-scale on-site bioremediation project in the Niger Delta region, Nigeria.

Keywords: Bioremediation, contaminated sediment, land farming, oily sludge, oil terminal

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2 Mass Flux and Forensic Assessment: Informed Remediation Decision Making at One of Canada’s Most Polluted Sites

Authors: Tony R. Walker, N. Devin MacAskill, Andrew Thalhiemer

Abstract:

Sydney Harbour, Nova Scotia, Canada has long been subject to effluent and atmospheric inputs of contaminants, including thousands of tons of PAHs from a large coking and steel plant which operated in Sydney for nearly a century. Contaminants comprised of coal tar residues which were discharged from coking ovens into a small tidal tributary, which became known as the Sydney Tar Ponds (STPs), and subsequently discharged into Sydney Harbour. An Environmental Impact Statement concluded that mobilization of contaminated sediments posed unacceptable ecological risks, therefore immobilizing contaminants in the STPs using solidification and stabilization was identified as a primary source control remediation option to mitigate against continued transport of contaminated sediments from the STPs into Sydney Harbour. Recent developments in contaminant mass flux techniques focus on understanding “mobile” vs. “immobile” contaminants at remediation sites. Forensic source evaluations are also increasingly used for understanding origins of PAH contaminants in soils or sediments. Flux and forensic source evaluation-informed remediation decision-making uses this information to develop remediation end point goals aimed at reducing off-site exposure and managing potential ecological risk. This study included reviews of previous flux studies, calculating current mass flux estimates and a forensic assessment using PAH fingerprint techniques, during remediation of one of Canada’s most polluted sites at the STPs. Historically, the STPs was thought to be the major source of PAH contamination in Sydney Harbour with estimated discharges of nearly 800 kg/year of PAHs. However, during three years of remediation monitoring only 17-97 kg/year of PAHs were discharged from the STPs, which was also corroborated by an independent PAH flux study during the first year of remediation which estimated 119 kg/year. The estimated mass efflux of PAHs from the STPs during remediation was in stark contrast to ~2000 kg loading thought necessary to cause a short term increase in harbour sediment PAH concentrations. These mass flux estimates during remediation were also between three to eight times lower than PAHs discharged from the STPs a decade prior to remediation, when at the same time, government studies demonstrated on-going reduction in PAH concentrations in harbour sediments. Flux results were also corroborated using forensic source evaluations using PAH fingerprint techniques which found a common source of PAHs for urban soils, marine and aquatic sediments in and around Sydney. Coal combustion (from historical coking) and coal dust transshipment (from current coal transshipment facilities), are likely the principal source of PAHs in these media and not migration of PAH laden sediments from the STPs during a large scale remediation project.

Keywords: Remediation, contaminated sediment, mass flux, forensic source evaluations

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1 Assessing Sydney Tar Ponds Remediation and Natural Sediment Recovery in Nova Scotia, Canada

Authors: Tony R. Walker, N. Devin MacAskill, Andrew Thalhiemer

Abstract:

Sydney Harbour, Nova Scotia has long been subject to effluent and atmospheric inputs of metals, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) from a large coking operation and steel plant that operated in Sydney for nearly a century until closure in 1988. Contaminated effluents from the industrial site resulted in the creation of the Sydney Tar Ponds, one of Canada’s largest contaminated sites. Since its closure, there have been several attempts to remediate this former industrial site and finally, in 2004, the governments of Canada and Nova Scotia committed to remediate the site to reduce potential ecological and human health risks to the environment. The Sydney Tar Ponds and Coke Ovens cleanup project has become the most prominent remediation project in Canada today. As an integral part of remediation of the site (i.e., which consisted of solidification/stabilization and associated capping of the Tar Ponds), an extensive multiple media environmental effects program was implemented to assess what effects remediation had on the surrounding environment, and, in particular, harbour sediments. Additionally, longer-term natural sediment recovery rates of select contaminants predicted for the harbour sediments were compared to current conditions. During remediation, potential contributions to sediment quality, in addition to remedial efforts, were evaluated which included a significant harbour dredging project, propeller wash from harbour traffic, storm events, adjacent loading/unloading of coal and municipal wastewater treatment discharges. Two sediment sampling methodologies, sediment grab and gravity corer, were also compared to evaluate the detection of subtle changes in sediment quality. Results indicated that overall spatial distribution pattern of historical contaminants remains unchanged, although at much lower concentrations than previously reported, due to natural recovery. Measurements of sediment indicator parameter concentrations confirmed that natural recovery rates of Sydney Harbour sediments were in broad agreement with predicted concentrations, in spite of ongoing remediation activities. Overall, most measured parameters in sediments showed little temporal variability even when using different sampling methodologies, during three years of remediation compared to baseline, except for the detection of significant increases in total PAH concentrations noted during one year of remediation monitoring. The data confirmed the effectiveness of mitigation measures implemented during construction relative to harbour sediment quality, despite other anthropogenic activities and the dynamic nature of the harbour.

Keywords: Remediation, monitoring, Recovery, contaminated sediment

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