Durham Road, Newport South Wales

The site at Durham Road located in Newport South Wales was successfully redeveloped as a primary school with sports playing fields following the remediation of PCB waste. Soil Engineering Technical Services (SETS) were commissioned by Vinci Construction UK to produce a remediation methodology and provide environmental engineer support for the collection of validation samples whilst ensuring the remediation methodology was followed correctly. The value of environmental support and chemical validation testing was 122k. The duration of the remediation works was nine months which included pre and post groundwater/surface water monitoring.

Prior to the redevelopment works historical uses of the land were identified through a combination of desk study searches and intrusive investigations. The main source of contamination was identified as corroded metal drums containing PCB waste which had been landfilled on the site during the 1950s-60s at a depth of 1.50m to 2.0m. The environmental receptors at risk from the PCBs were identified as the adjacent River Reen and the future child users of the playing fields.

Previous risk assessments produced by an environmental consultancy showed the risks to humans from the PCB waste was low due to the PCB drums being covered by relatively clean material. The risks to the River Reen were also considered to be low due to the immobility of the PCB wastes within the sub soil and shallow surface water. However, public opinion required the removal of the PCB waste prior to the redevelopment works.

In order to identify the number of drums requiring removal Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) was used in conjunction with pilot excavations to confirm the location of the drums. A suitable methodology was produced by SETS. The remediation methodology involved the excavation and segregation of PCB contaminated waste by a remediation sub contractor and disposal of PCB waste for incineration. Validation criteria were set based on the environmental consultancies previous recommendations of 0.02 mg/kg for human health and 2µg/l for ground and surface water. The validation report was produced by the initial environmental consultancy.

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