REI was called to the scene of a heating oil release at a bulk storage facility as a result of vandalism. Initial reports indicated someone illegally trespassed on the property and engaged the pump for the heating oil bulk tank at the loading rack. The valves were locked out but it appeared that electrical power to the pumps was on inside the building. When the pumps were engaged (by trespassers) at the loading rack, the pressure of fuel on the lines built up and fuel leaked from the loading nozzle spilling onto the loading pad and ultimately flowing into the subsurface soils adjacent to the bulk storage containment. Site personnel notified the police, fire department, county Emergency Management Agency (EMA), the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) and REI.
REI and local response personnel mobilized to investigate and complete initial containment and recovery activities. Using inventory records it was estimated the amount of fuel lost was 1,162 gallons. On site observation revealed that fuel leaked from the loading nozzle, flowed across the containment pad and entered a soil area between the loading pad and the bulk tank system. Personnel installed several hand dug holes in the area and discovered a large amount of free product approximately 24-30” below grade. As a precaution an interceptor trench was installed between the point of release and the river abutting the property. Utilizing an excavator, several additional holes were excavated and a vacuum truck was utilized to collect free product/oily water. Free product was recovered from all the hand-excavated holes and the large recovery pit near the area where fuel ran off the loading pad. The site was monitored and vacuumed for several days. Once the product diminished and did not rapidly recover within the excavated holes vacuuming operations ceased and it was determined that a total of 1,084 gallons of oil was recovered from the subsurface. The oil was transported off site for recycling and the oily water collected was properly disposed off site as well. At the completion of the initial recovery efforts it was determined that the use of a vacuum truck was no longer feasible and that remaining product could be collected from the excavated holes with absorbents.
The property owner opted to complete the additional remediation and restoration activities utilizing in-house personnel. REI supplied the property owner with several bales of absorbent pads/booms to continue facilitating removal of product from the excavations. No product or oil sheen was ever observed in the interceptor trench installed. REI disposed of all waste generated as a result of the initial response activities.