We recognize that all hazardous materials incidents present unique challenges.  Our employees work with clients to determine what services and approaches best meet their needs and provide them with the high level service they have come to expect.

 

 

Rail derailment of vinyl chloride cars
Dallas, TX, 2 days, total cost $16,500

A major railroad had a derailment in Dallas, TX, involving four vinyl chloride railcars that were not ruptured but had to be transferred.  Tracy Clark was involved in the site supervision, along with another major environmental response company, to transfer the rail cars. Both companies set up and transferred all four railcars.  The crews worked as team to complete the hook up, transfer and tear down. The project was completed in one 14-hour day. The integrated contractor team was complimented by the railroad for their ability to support each other and complete the job.

 

Buried chemicals on University property
Fayetteville, AR, 10 days, total cost $125,000

A university in Arkansas has an area on their campus that contained buried laboratory chemicals that were buried during the mid-60's and the area marked using warning signs. The University retained an environmental engineering firm to oversee the excavation and identification of the containers that were buried. It was unknown how many containers were in place and the identity of each unknown. It was believed many of the elements were shock and or temperature sensitive when buried.

Tracy Clark conducted the project over site and supervision of the excavation, removal, identification and packing for disposal. The excavation had to be conducted like an archeological dig, slow and tedious. More than 600 containers were removed and identified using a field chemical hazard identification system. Twelve containers were believed to be shock sensitive after discovering peroxides and nitrates around the opening caps. These containers were remotely opened and stabilized. Because of the time of year, the temperatures were extremely hot. This created the complex challenge of keeping all of the containers at a constantly regulated temperature.  This goal was achieved by using misting fans to cool the containers. All of the containers were packed according to their chemical properties and sent for incineration.

 

Testing and cleaning of water treatment plant's tanks
Dallas, TX, 4 days, total cost $21,500

A water treatment plant hired United Professional Services to purge, hydrostatic test, clean and perform ultrasound testing of two stationary chlorine storage tanks. Butch Beardsley provided project oversight and supervised the degassing of the residual chlorine gas.  He also supervised the hydrostatic testing, cleaning and ultrasound testing.  All of the liquid and vapor valves were exchanged along with the safety relief valve. Upon the final cleaning, a dew point of less than -40 degrees F had to be established inside the tanks to insure that they are moisture free. This temperature was achieved and the tanks were placed back in service in less than four days.

 

Rail derailment of liquid Ethylene cars
Aubrey, TX, 14 days, total cost $75,000

A major railroad had a derailment in Aubrey, TX, involving a liquid Ethylene rail car that had turned upside down and had to be unloaded. Liquid Ethylene is highly flammable and is shipped at -200 degrees F.  If heated, it will build pressure and release from its container.

Butch Beardsley managed and supervised the transfer procedure that required building a road into the remote area, coordinating trucks for removal of the liquid Ethylene and flaring operations as to keep the pressure within working limits on the trucks while transferring. The operation was conducted around the clock for three days until the rail car was emptied and the remaining vapors flared. At the railroad's request, we began site restoration consisting of driveway and roadway reconstruction, water drainage design and construction, and fencing were simultaneously underway to prevent the landowner's livestock from wandering off the property.

 

Crude oil pipeline rupture
Corpus Christi, TX, 28 days, total cost $1.5 million

A major petroleum producer had a pipeline rupture that was located adjacent to the Corpus Christi bay area. Via a small waterway, the crude oil migrated about 1/2 mile into the bay. Tracy Clark supervised removal of the product. This effort required the coordination and deployment of more than 200 workers onto the beach and in off-shore sand bars. The sand bars were designed as protective habitat for waterfowl. This project required coordination between United Professional Services, EPA, Coast Guard, General Land Office and the Texas Water Commission.

 

Petroleum condensate release
San Jose Island, Gulf of Mexico, 4 months, total cost $1.3 million

A major petroleum producer had a corrosion line break that released an undetermined amount of condensate off-shore that passed through a private island. Butch Beardsley conducted the project oversight consisting of mobilization of equipment and materials that had to be barged to the island. All affected soils were loaded into roll off containers and barged back to the mail land. About 7,000 cubic yards of affected soil was removed and disposal conducted. Backfill material was hauled back to the island via barge and set in place. Vegetation, similar to that prior to the release, was restored to the site.

 

Gasoline and jet fuel pipeline release
Leonard, Texas, 60 days, $800,000

A major petroleum producer had a pipeline rupture that was located in a rural area. The pipeline had experience a corrosion leak releasing refined gasoline and jet fuel into the surrounding terrain. Butch Beardsley provided the project oversight working with the responsible party, local authorities, surrounding land owners and the state regulatory agency. The impacted soil was removed and staged on site in a bermed line staging area. Approvals from the State of Texas were obtained for "land farming" permitting the rendering of soils from hazardous to non-hazardous levels. Achieving non-hazardous levels significantly reduced the disposal cost. The soil was treated using micro-organisms, aerating and watering.

 

Condensate and solids release from a natural gas production platform
Sanya, Hainan Island, South China, 45 days, $400,000

A major petroleum producer had a natural gas production platform 60 miles off shore from Sanya, China. While re-working the gas process vessels, product condensate and solids (mud) spilled from the vessels onto the deck as the crew conducted their reworking. Once the condensate and mud materials dried on the deck from the hot China sun, it was discovered that elemental mercury was co-mingled with the mud. The mercury had been tracked inside the living quarters of the platform and many areas outside on the platform.

Tracy Clark was contacted by the platform's superintendent in China seeking help with cleaning up the mercury to re-establish safe concentration levels. The Chinese government recognizes permissible exposure limits per American and European standards.

Within six hours, Mr. Clark responded with a team of four technicians scheduling air flights and shipping supplies.  The team flew from Dallas-Fort Worth to Los Angeles then on to Hong Kong. The next morning, the team and supplies were ferried across the bay to the People's Republic of China to meet with the client's representatives.  Due to the platform's close quarters, all non-essential personnel were removed from the platform helicopter allowing a thorough decon of the living quarters and platform.

Concentration levels of .001 cu m3 of mercury were established and the platform's crew returned for their work duties. Mr. Clark and crew remained on site an additional 14 days to help the platform's crew establish standard operating procedures and safe handling practices for future re-working efforts.

Once the site was cleaned and the SOPS implemented, Mr. Clark arranged for on-site has-mat training for the Chinese Nationals on identification, protective clothing, hazards and working practices related to mercury.

 

 

 

Some Examples of Our Work