Soil remediation in NJ can be a necessary but costly step in your construction project. While it might be tempting to overlook potential issues, it’s important that project managers and property owners are proactive in testing the soil if contamination is suspected. A simple soil test can uncover important information, allowing you an opportunity to correct the problem and protect the health and safety of everyone on site.
What is Soil Remediation?
Soil contamination occurs when man made toxins are missed with the natural environment in the soil. Many times, these chemicals come from industrial activity or hazardous waste such as PFAS, heavy metals, pesticides, and petroleum hydrocarbons. Common examples of soil contamination include:
- Farming chemicals
- Failure of a septic system
- Waste from mining operations
- Industrial activity nearby
- Improper waste disposal
- Livestock manure runoff
- Landfill leaching
- Failing underground storage tanks
- Hazardous fumes in the air that fall to the soil
If these compounds are present in the soil, then you need to be proactive with soil remediation in NJ to eliminate the contaminants and restore the safety of your land. Soil remediation technologies can be used to separate out the chemicals. Or, sometimes it is necessary to remove the contaminated soil and replace it with clean fill.
Examples of common soil remediation strategies include soil washing, thermal desorption, and bioremediation. But the effectiveness of these services depends on the specific type of contamination on your property as well as the extent of the problem. Before choosing specific services for soil remediation in NJ, it’s smart to talk to a remediation team for personalized recommendations based on testing results for the site. The overall cost of remediation will vary depending on the amount of soil that needs to be treated, as well as the type of contamination.
How to Determine if Soil is Contaminated
In most cases, a visual inspection isn’t sufficient to determine if you are dealing with soil contamination. Instead, you should hire a soil expert for testing, inspection, and a treatment plan for soil remediation in NJ.
This process begins by taking a soil sample from the property. This sample is sent to a lab that measures the levels of chemicals and unwanted compounds in the soil. An initial test can be used to determine the presence of pollution. Then, additional tests are completed to identify the extent of the contamination on the site.
It’s important to look at the history of the property to determine the types of tests that need to be completed. The cost of soil sample testing varies depending on the testing that needs to be done. For example, the extent of testing for contaminated sites is much more extensive than a basic test if you are concerned about a small area of land on a residential property. The presence of industrial or agricultural activity in the area increases the risk of contamination, so a soil expert will likely recommend in-depth testing for a variety of potential contaminants.
If it’s determined that the soil is contaminated, then it is also important to test the surrounding areas. Often, soil and groundwater tests go hand-in-hand to see if the soil contamination has leaked into the water sources as well. Then, a plan can be designed for soil remediation in NJ to clean up the mess and ensure safety in the future.
What to Do if Your Soil is Contaminated?
Have you recently discovered that your soil might be contaminated? The best thing you can do is bring in an experienced team for assistance through the testing and remediation processes. Doing nothing about the contaminated soil could be dangerous to your health and put the health of others in the area at risk as well.
For example, contact with contaminated soil can lead to health concerns. These issues can cascade if gardening is done in the soil. Even if you don’t come in contact with the dirt regularly, your health might still be at risk because you could be breathing in soil vapor when it is tracked into the building from people’s shoes.
Here are a few important steps you should follow if you need soil remediation in NJ
Soil Testing and Mapping
If the initial tests are positive for the presence of contaminants, then you need to move forward with additional testing. A soil remediation contractor can assist with optimal testing including full site mapping so the remediation plan covers the full extent of the problem.
Soil Remediation Services
Next, it’s time to design the scope of work for the soil restoration that is needed. This remediation plan is designed around liabilities, laws, and best practices to protect both the population and the environment. Hiring a contractor for soil remediation in NJ is the easiest way to move forward because they can assist with obtaining the right permits and remediation work that is needed.
Final Testing and Reporting
Once the soil has been cleaned up, the project isn’t finished yet. The final step for soil remediation in NJ is to complete follow-up testing to ensure that all contaminated soil is gone. When it is decided that the project was completed with a successful outcome, then your soil remediation contractor will submit a Remedial Action Report to the NJDEP. The environmental department will review the information then send you a No Further Action (NFA) report for the site.
Finishing the Site
After the contaminated soil has been removed and you receive approval from the NJDEP, it’s likely that additional work needs to be done to bring the property back to where it needs to be. For example, excavation and backfill are necessary to level uneven terrain and restore the overall quality of the site.
Our team is here to assist with every detail of soil remediation in NJ. If you have questions about this process, then feel free to reach out to us at any time.
Legal Issues with Contaminated Soil
New Jersey law requires the completion of due diligence on the property, including testing for possible contaminants as well as the extent of the contamination. If you are preparing for a construction project, then it is important that soil testing is included in the pre-construction checklist.
The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) has strict standards in place to prevent dumping practices. Recently, the dirty dirt bill was passed that regulates standards for industries working with solid waste. Just because these protections are in place to keep the contaminants out of the soil doesn’t mean that property owners hold no responsibility. If it is discovered that soil on your property is contaminated, then you might be left with the responsibility of managing the issue. In this situation, not only should you hire a contractor to help with soil remediation in NJ, but it can also be helpful to have an environmental attorney assist so you can seek financial assistance from the responsible party.
Every situation is unique, which is why you need professional assistance. If you leave the contaminated soil without remediation, then you could potentially face legal ramifications. An environmental attorney can assist with everything from natural resource damage (NRD) claims to complaint filings, recovering soil remediation costs, and seeking insurance coverage for the remediation work.
Contact Mikula Today!
At Mikula Contracting, we offer expert services and an experienced team to assist with everything you need for soil remediation in NJ. If you have questions about soil contamination and the best remediation techniques, then contact us today to schedule a consultation. Our knowledgeable team promises a full-service approach for every project, ensuring a safe, successful outcome for your soil remediation.