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Aquifer Reclassification

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Firstech aquifer reclassification case study

Aquifer reclassification, commercial property

Customer: Confidential - Former Gas Station (Service Station)
Client: Cherry Hill, Camden County, New Jersey

Situation prior to Firstech Environmental's involvement
The client was the owner of a property that had historically been used as a retail gasoline station. The gasoline sales business closed in 1992 and the station building, underground storage tanks, pump islands and all other equipment/materials associated with the former gasoline station were removed from the site. A discharge was observed from the UST system during the closure activities and the site was assigned a case number by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP). The site was documented to contain soil impacted by gasoline-type compounds above the NJDEP's most stringent Soil Cleanup Criteria and soluble phase groundwater impact above the NJDEP's Class II-A (potable water) Groundwater Quality Standards. The former consultants on the Property had installed a number of monitoring wells at the site and had been complying with the NJDEP's requirements for the site by collecting groundwater samples from the monitoring wells on a quarterly basis for eight (8) years and reporting the data to the NJDEP. As part of the sale of the property, the client desired to see an end to the project, but the former consultant for the job could not provide any projection for the closure of the case by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP).

Firstech Environmental's response
Firstech Environmental completed a free evaluation of the information and data that had been generated for the site. The findings of the free evaluation suggested that the groundwater contamination present at the site was within groundwater designated as non-potable by the NJDEP. Firstech Environmental recommended that the NJDEP be petitioned to re-classify the aquifer underlying the site to a non-potable (Class III-A) classification. The potential benefits of this strategy to the client included the establishment of a less stringent Soil Cleanup Criteria for the soils underlying the site, and the elimination of future work associated with the groundwater underlying the site.

Current status
Firstech Environmental proceeded with the recommended alternative remedial strategy. The NJDEP responded by approving the aquifer reclassification petition: no additional groundwater sampling activities were necessary for the site. Additionally, as the soil impact underlying the site did not exceed the less stringent Soil Cleanup Criteria applicable to the site as a result of the aquifer re-classification, the NJDEP issued a "No Further Action" (NFA) letter for the project. The client has not been required to complete any additional investigation activities at the site since the NJDEP's issuance of the NFA.