Synergy Environmental, Inc. was retained by a confidential client from Houston, Texas to complete Phase I Environmental Site Assessments (Phase I ESAs) to facilitate the assets purchase of 107 facilities in Virginia and West Virginia.  The facilities included 13 bulk storage facilities, one corporate office building and 93 fuel stations.  All of the bulk storage facilities were located in Virginia.  Seventy-nine of the fuel stations were also located in Virginia.  The remaining fourteen fuel stations were located in West Virginia.  Some of the fuel station sites included car wash buildings and/or attached restaurants.   Additionally, three of the fuel station locations in West Virginia were located along the West Virginia Turnpike.

The Phase I ESAs were conducted in accordance with the American Society for Testing and Materials (“ASTM”) document entitled “Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessments:  Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Process,” (E152705), which pursuant to 40 CFR § 312.11 meets the requirements of all appropriate inquiry.  The objectives of this project were to evaluate the environmental conditions at the Sites, to document that due diligence was exercised; and, to perform “all appropriate inquiry” for the purpose of CERCLA sections 101(35)(B)(i)(I) and 101(35)(2)(B)(ii) and (iii) and in accordance with 40 CFR Part 312.

The Phase I ESA activities included: 

  • Performance of Site visits by Synergy personnel;
  • Review of regulatory databases and historic aerial photos, topographic maps and city directories;
  • Retrieval and review of regulatory files available through the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality and the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection;
  • Review of environmental lien and activity and use limitations information for each site;
  • Review of vapor migration screenings for each site; and
  • Preparation of a summary report.

Subsequent to conditions observed during the site visits and discovered during the review of the historic and regulatory information, limited Phase II investigations were recommended for eight of the thirteen bulk storage facilities.  The limited Phase II investigations included:

  • Preparation of a site-specific Health and Safety Plan, developed in accordance with the requirements set forth in 29 CFR 1910.120, Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response;
  • Mark out of public and private utilities by the Virginia ONE call;
  • Pre-excavation of the soil boring locations with an air knife/high vacuum (“soft-dig”) rig;
  • Installation of soil borings and the collection and analysis of soil samples;
  • Collection and analysis of groundwater samples, if groundwater was encountered during the soil boring activities; and
  • Preparation of a summary report of findings.

The Phase I ESAs and limited Phase II activities were completed within approximately ten weeks, wrapping up during mid-April 2014.  However, a listing of recognized environmental conditions, by location, was provided within six weeks to meet the settlement deadline.

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