Retail petroleum sites are a common fixture across every part of the United States, serving as both an accessible fuel source for motorists and convenience shopping. These establishments face several distinct challenges that most other retail destinations don’t, including consistent customer traffic on property that also contains a significant supply of hazardous chemicals. Owners of these sites must maintain a delicate balancing act to ensure they comply with all applicable safety and environmental regulations while providing competitively priced and accessible services.
As a leader in environmental consulting and engineering solutions, ATC Group Services understands the many different factors that impact retail petroleum sites. While these establishments share many common concerns, each one also faces unique challenges based on their location, equipment and operations. Our comprehensive environmental solutions cover everything from assessment to completion of site remediation, so our clients can rely on our expertise and advice through every step of the process.
How are you going to clean up my site?
Cleaning up hazardous chemicals like oil or gasoline is a complex process that varies extensively depending on the severity, type and location of the incident. Below are the basic stages of the remediation process for any kind of environmental contamination.
Steps in the site remediation process:
- Site Assessment
- Strategic Planning
- Remediation Process
- Evaluation of Results
Determining the exact scope and nature of site contamination is always the first step in the remediation process. Our professional environmental consultants speak with property owners, research applicable regulations and collect soil and groundwater samples or conduct other tests as part of the assessment. A thorough evaluation allows for a more accurate estimate and schedule for the project, as well as the establishment of informed crisis and liability management protocols.
The next step is to consult with all relevant parties to create a detailed strategy for addressing known concerns with the site. There are a lot of important choices that need to be carefully weighed, so decision makers should take the time to consider all of the information and options available. Clients must balance cost, speed, efficacy and local regulations when considering initial remediation options, like excavation or chemical injection.
Even with a careful and thorough analysis, there are always unknowns and risk factors involved in site remediation. Since retail petroleum establishments already face a lot of uncertainties, we recommend that these clients consider fixed-price remediation when possible to limit their liability. In some cases, remediation strategies need to be reconsidered to account for new developments during the process.
Evaluation of Results
The final stage of a site remediation project to conduct post-remedial action testing to ensure the goals of the project were met. This protects both clients and consultants by confirming that the terms of the contract were upheld and the remediation achieved the desired outcome.
How do you navigate regulatory hurdles?
Regulatory hurdles present a particular challenge to many retail petroleum site owners because they aren’t always consistent between jurisdictions and are subject to change by lawmakers or government officials. One of the advantages of working with established consultants like ATC Group Services is access to experts who are intimately familiar with regulations that apply to site remediation projects. Most of these requirements are created and enforced at the state level, but federal or local laws may also be a factor in some circumstances.
Unfortunately, even our experienced consultants can’t always control every part of the process. Requesting permits and finishing the official site review process requires participation from designated government officials, so clients may have to extend their timetable for completion. Even though regulatory hurdles can be frustrating, owners should strive to comply to avoid costly fines or other enforcement actions that could jeopardize their business.
What other factors can affect site access in order to continue working?
Site access for workers, vehicles and equipment is essential throughout the remediation process. There are plenty of factors that can impact the accessibility of the location, so it’s a good idea to address them in the initial planning stage. Getting full access to the site may require utilizing neighboring property, so negotiating with neighbors for access can be critical. The safety of workers and any impacted third parties is a prime consideration both on the actual remediation site and on properties used for access.
Owners of retail petroleum sites must confront all kinds of challenges when conducting a site remediation, but most of the risks and obstacles can be managed with the help of experienced consultants. ATC Group Services helps clients clean properties impacted by all kinds of contaminants, so we have the resources and knowledge needed to do the job right. We encourage business owners or operators to contact us with questions, concerns or to learn more about our comprehensive retail petroleum solutions.