Drammen and the surrounding municipalities in Norway are currently home to over 100 000 people. A new hospital was proposed to meet the needs of the growing population; however, the site had previously been used to manufacture transformers containing Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCB) and for creosote impregnation of railway sleepers. These industrial activities left a legacy of contaminants including PCBs, polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), chlorinated solvents and residues of oil and heavy metals. Toxic chemicals that persist in the environment causing adverse effects on both environmental and human health.
In 2008, Golder began a remedial action plan and site supervision for remediation of the 70 000 m2 (7 ha) former creosote impregnation plant. Later assignments included environmental investigations for the excavation and foundation work for the new hospital, including sampling of soil, water, air, and dust to identify toxins so that waste materials could be disposed of properly and safely.
Previous sampling had revealed several ‘hot spots’ of highly contaminated soil. To locate unknown hot spots and to meet requirements set by the Norwegian Environmental Agency, the site was divided into a digital grid of 10×10 m squares. In each square, samples were collected at every meter up to 6 m depth. More than 1500 soil samples were gathered and analysed, and more than 50 000 m3 of contaminated soil was decontaminated and delivered to landfills.
To keep track of the many samples and photos, Golder developed a project-specific application which transferred photos from fieldworkers to SharePoint with metadata. The SharePoint lists were used to extract Excel/VBA templates to generate reports. Golder also used GIS to create maps. Over 4000 photos were taken and approximately 40 weekly reports were generated using these digital tools.
Golder contributed to the preparation of an environmental control plan and assisted with designing and contracting the sedimentation basins and the water treatment plant, which uses chemical and physical treatment processes to ensure compliance with requirements set by the Norwegian Environment Agency.
Weekly tests are conducted on all chemical parameters. Turbidity and pH are constantly monitored and automatically logged online using sensor technology. Golder has been responsible for control, sampling, interpretation and reporting of the analytical results. All the soil remediation work has been completed in accordance with the regulatory permit. Golder is still involved with the water treatment activities at the site.
The successful remediation works have enabled construction to proceed.