• Company: Michigan Department of Transportation
  • Category: Remediation and Consulting
  • Location: Saginaw, Michigan
  • Date: April 10-15, 2019
  • Focus: ERG Environmental Services (ERG) was retained by the Transportation Department to conduct a limited environmental investigation and remediation services related to the discovery of abandoned drums of unknown chemical wastes, concrete and general refuse removal and disposal located at the Subject Site.

Project Summary

The Subject Site consisted of an approximate nine-acre parcel with an approximate four-acre pond resulting from the excavation of clay soil within the transportation company’s right-of-way. The four-acre pond was divided into two separate ponds for this investigation. According to the company, various sized steel drums and debris were illegally disposed into the Hack Road Borrow Pit and surrounding upland areas.

Project Tasks

ERG surveyed both the northern and southern pit basins to locate the estimated 30-40 drums identified and to locate other drums suspected to be contained in the pits. To enable ERG to complete this task, ERG retained the services of Nautilus Marine Group International, LLC to provide underwater acoustic imaging of the basins. Both ponds were inspected using the MS1000 scanning sonar system connected to a differential Trimble GPS system. The 360o sector scanner was used to create a mosaic of the pit bottoms to graphically display the locations of the drums and other anomalies not previously identified. This involved the launching of a dive barge to work from as the sonar equipment was deployed into the pits. Upon completion, a mosaic map and report were generated and used to develop the next phase of drum recovery. All ERG personnel were required to be trained and certified for handling hazardous materials, equipment operation, underwater diving and salvage.

Project Control

ERG was able to provide specialized services for the recovery of the drums. ERG retained the services of Great Lakes Diving & Salvage, U.S. Navy/U.S. Army Corp./Commercial certified divers, to assist with the physical locating and recovery of the drums. This involved the use of a dive barge, certified dive crew, recovery barge with crane and rigging and a staging barge to contain all the drums, anomalies, debris removed from the pits. This specialized approach saved the company hundreds of thousands of dollars because the other alternative was to drain the ponds to access the drums and debris.