Stage 1: Preliminary Site Investigation

1.  Site history

Land use. Conduct a literature / title search, check zoning, site accident and emergency history, EPA notices. Who owned the property, how was it utilised, are there any concerns about past or present site conditions?

Aerial photos provide clues about site history as well as who and what the neighbours were doing over the life of the facility

2.  Area Hydrogeology

Local geology provides details as to the potential for contaminate impact to move through the subsurface. Sandy soil (compared to to a clay soil) is more permeable, allowing a free flow of contaminates.

Ground water, information on the local groundwater usage is useful in defining the risk of contaminating a water supply or impacting on a nearby reservoir

3.  Site Walkthrough

Site personnel interviews. Talk to the previous owner and some of the employees and get a comprehensive rundown on site operations. Develop a chronological listing of who has owned the site previously and what it was used for.

Site Reconnaissance - the site walkthrough is useful in judging the general housekeeping at the facility. Signs of spillage (staining, dead grass), empty drums, old refuse, all indicate possible poor housekeeping and potential costly problems. Metal covers, cut up concrete, above ground piping near building that disappears underground are good indicators of subsurface equipment which cause problems.

4.  Report

Observations, recommendations, the site history, area hydrogeology, and site walkthrough should all be combined into a report format to assist in defining the need for further work to be conducted.

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