Alpha Terra Science has completed hundreds of investigation and cleanup projects across several Midwestern states. We tailor the scope and timing of the project to your needs. We utilize a mobile lab with field interpretation of data when speed is required, or stage projects in small steps as budgets and timing allow. Our experience and ability to think on our feet really sets us apart from the competition.
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) Dry Cleaner Environmental Response Program (DERP) has established a mechanism to help drycleaners pay for the completion of the investigation and remediation related to releases of drycleaning solvent. Alpha Terra Science is one of the leading providers of consulting services to drycleaners, with work completed on dozens of drycleaning projects. Our extensive knowledge of the program and our solid relationship with WDNR project managers has resulted in a perfect 100 percent rate of reimbursement on claimed DERF expenses.
The DERF fund provides reimbursement of eligible expenses subject to a $10,000 deductible, with a percent matching deductible for expenses above $200,000 and a site expense cap of $500,000. Our extensive knowledge of the program and our solid relationship with WDNR project managers has resulted in a perfect 100 percent rate of reimbursement on DERF projects, with more than $500,000 claimed thus far. Our excellent rate of reimbursement is due to our knowledge of the program rules and regulations and our meticulous management of the project budget.
Typical projects include investigation of the extent of contamination in soil and groundwater from historic releases of tetrachloroethene (PCE) or Stoddard solvents. While working closely with the WDNR project manager, the extent of contamination is defined, typically via a phased-Geoprobe investigation to rapidly collect soil and groundwater data in a cost-effective manner. Monitoring wells are installed later as needed.
Remedial activities depend on the situation, and may include excavation and off-site disposal, capping and reductive dechlorination, soil vapor extraction, enhancement of reductive dechlorination, or chemical oxidation. Interim remedial actions have been completed to accelerate the project pace and more rapidly pursue case closure. Deed restrictions and placement of the site on WDNR GIS databases also help accelerate case closure.
In residential areas or at facilities in multi-use retail establishments, sub-slab vapor monitoring has been required by the Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services (WDHFS). Alpha Terra utilizes several vapor sampling techniques tailored to site specific conditions.
These projects have been successfully completed in an affordable manner via use of detailed sampling, calculated site-specific soil cleanup goals, our knowledge of hazardous waste disposal regulations, and pursuit of alternate soil disposal options for listed hazardous materials.
Alpha Terra is the number one provider of environmental consulting services for investigation and remediation of agrichemical contamination in Wisconsin. The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (WDATCP) has regulatory authority for these projects and many of them are funded through the Agricultural Chemical Cleanup Program (ACCP).
The ACCP provides reimbursement of eligible expenses subject to a flat deductible plus a percent of expenses, up to a maximum project expense of $400,000. The ACCP can cover up to 75% of eligible project expenses. Alpha Terra Science has managed more than 70 ACCP projects with over 7.8 million dollars of reimbursement successfully obtained for our clients. We pride ourselves on completion of these projects with virtually no program-ineligible expenses. Our excellent rate of reimbursement is due to our knowledge of the program rules and regulations and our meticulous management of the project budget.
Typical projects include investigation of historic incidental releases of fertilizer and pesticides at current or former agrichemical distribution facilities. Alpha Terra has also helped with several agrichemical spill cleanups on a rapid response timeframe. Other types of projects have also been completed, including investigation and clean up of banned pesticides such as DDT, chlordane, dinoseb, and lead arsenate where land application or conventional solid waste landfill disposal would not be permitted.
The extent of contamination is defined, typically in a one-day or two-day Geoprobe investigation with use of a mobile or fixed-base laboratory. Use of experienced field staff knowledgeable of the WDATCP remediation goals is essential for proper completion of the field investigation activities. The investigation data is summarized in a report, and the site-specific soil cleanup goals are negotiated with the WDATCP project manager. Alpha Terra has often been successful in negotiating cleanup levels that are higher than the generic WDATCP standards.
Remedial activities typically involve at least some excavation of contaminated soils. When possible the excavated soils are landspread on farm fields; this keeps costs down and the fertilizer or pesticide value is not lost. In some situations, remediation includes phytoremediation, the establishment of vegetation as a mechanism for uptake of remaining contaminants. The use of trees and crops can be less invasive and has been successfully used to reduce overall project costs. Engineered barriers are also oftentimes utilized as part of the remedial remedy.
Post remediation groundwater monitoring may be required to evaluate the risk to potential receptors. When it has been determined that residual soil and/or groundwater contamination is not a risk to human health or the environment closure documents are prepared. If contaminated soil remains a soil GIS listing is utilized to obtain closure, along with a cap maintenance plan, if necessary. Residual groundwater contamination is allowed with a groundwater GIS listing.
Whether your petroleum release is a result of a leaking underground storage tank, failure of your aboveground tank system, or a spill, Alpha Terra has the expertise to guide you through the regulatory cleanup process. If you are removing tanks and require a site assessment we have certified Site Assessors on our staff ready to assist you. Alpha Terra is a registered PECFA Consulting Firm and has several certified PECFA Consultants on staff.
With creation of the Petroleum Environmental Cleanup Fund Act (PECFA), the Wisconsin State Legislature established a program where costs related to investigations and cleanups at petroleum tank sites are reimbursed after a $10,000 deductible is met. Costs to investigation releases from home heating oil tanks are also covered up to a maximum of $10,000. Having completed hundreds of petroleum investigation projects we are well versed in this program and have an excellent rate of reimbursement for our clients. We’ll even prepare your reimbursement claim for you!
Alpha Terra employs several investigation techniques including the use of traditional drill rigs, Geoprobes, or backhoe test pits depending on the particular site conditions and objectives. Some sites are closed after the investigation or a short time of groundwater monitoring, while remediation is necessary at other sites. Remediation techniques used by Alpha Terra have included excavation, groundwater pump and treat, soil vapor extraction and in-situ chemical injection among others.
Contamination at industrial sites can occur due to spills or low-level repeated releases over extended periods of time. Investigations begin by defining the objectives. All work is done in accordance with NR700 requirements. Where investigation results indicate that corrective action is required, a review of remedial alternatives is conducted, that will meet the cleanup objectives.
Alpha Terra has experience with practical technology applications, familiarity with innovative approaches, and awareness of regulatory constraints. We can design remediation systems and provide engineering support for implementation of a Cleanup action. Conceptual and detailed designs for groundwater extraction and treatment systems and soil removal, treatment, and disposal projects are prepared to allow efficient remediation while minimizing cost and impacts on the client's facilities or property.
Alpha Terra has a track record of successful closures, some above the generic levels established by the WDNR. Health-based equations are used to establish site-specific soil cleanup standards wherever appropriate.
The Voluntary Party Liability Exemption (VPLE) is a process by which parties can elect to conduct an environmental investigation and cleanup of a property and then receive limits on their future liability.
Once the WDNR has approved the completion of cleanup activities at a property, a certificate of completion is issued and owners are guaranteed they will not be liable for any historic contamination. The certificate assures no additional environmental work will be required of the party with respect to releases that occurred prior to receipt of the certificate, even if previously undiscovered historic contamination is detected in the future.
The VPLE process can provide peace of mind and help facilitate real estate transactions involving contaminated property, as certificates of completion can be passed to new property owners.
Bemis Manufacturing (Sheboygan Falls, WI)
While many are familiar with investigations related to soil and groundwater contamination, recent regulatory emphasis has been placed on evaluation of the potential for adverse health effects via migration of contaminant vapors to indoor air.
Alpha Terra Science has been on the forefront of this increasingly important field. We have worked cooperatively with the WDNR and the Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services (WDHFS) on more than a dozen drycleaning sites to assess and mitigate vapor migration issues.
The WDNR has hired Alpha Terra to complete vapor sampling on state lead projects. We are one of the few consulting firms that know how to interpret the vapor data, and we understand the State remedial action thresholds. We have installed several functioning vapor mitigation systems, which have successfully allowed us to close projects that would otherwise have required additional remediation.
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“When other consultants couldn’t get my project completed, I turned to Alpha Terra Science. Their relationship with the WDNR project managers and common sense approach were instrumental in ending a nearly 10-year headache for our four generation, family-owned drycleaning business. I’d recommend using Alpha Terra Science for all environmental property needs.”
"Several years ago we had to conduct an agrichemical investigation and cleanup at our Ripon location. This wasn’t a typical project. The investigation had to be completed, the existing fertilizer building demolished, and the cleanup all conducted in less than four months so we could begin construction of our new facility. Obviously we needed help from an experienced environmental consulting firm and after careful consideration we chose Alpha Terra Science. We are glad we did as Alpha Terra easily accomplished the investigation and remediation in the timeframe necessary. "
"Since then we have received site closure for our Ripon project and have conducted investigations at our other two facilities. Along the way Alpha Terra has assisted us with obtaining reimbursement of all eligible costs available through the Agricultural Chemical Cleanup Program. They have also provided expertise with spill cleanup and spill prevention control and countermeasure (SPCC) plans. Thanks Alpha Terra for getting the job done right again and again."