Working closely with the NJDEP, BP developed the final remedial action plans for the site, completed certain soil cleanup aspects of those plans, and installed and began operating a wide variety of technologies to complete the final phase of cleaning up this large and complicated site.
BP spent many years investigating this former terminal site and deploying cleanup technologies with much success. BP put in place the remaining cleanup systems necessary to complete these efforts. Impacts to soils and groundwater from petroleum and other chemical products have been reduced significantly over time; and remediation systems are shut-down as they meet their goals.
Specifically, in 2010 BP completed the final excavation of impacted soils across the site, and treated, backfilled and capped other selected areas, including the old terminal storm water basins. Completion of this work earned notification from NJDEP that BP had finished with cleanup of the majority of shallow soils. Since then, the focus has been on furthering cleanup of deeper soil and groundwater beneath the site, and doing so while the Port was developed and operated safely overhead.
A component of BP's groundwater cleanup strategy is the operation of a pumping system around the perimeter of the site to maintain hydraulic containment. Simply put, that means drawing groundwater impacted with chemicals out of strategically placed wells, and pumping it into the BP Groundwater Treatment Plant where it can be cleaned and safely discharged. This system was the first major cleanup system installed by BP and has been in place doing its job since 1991. It has been upgraded and expanded along the way for improved performance, including the installation of new wells and piping.
In addition to implementation of the groundwater containment strategy, there has been cleanup of source areas within the site. Source areas are where petroleum and chemical products inadvertently entered the ground during the historic operation of the terminal. BP has removed petroleum and chemical impacts in several ways. One of the earliest and most proven systems was a set of skimmer pumps that removed old petroleum fuel products floating on top of the groundwater. These pumps have completed their work.
Another source area cleanup system BP operated was an air sparging system that injects air/oxygen into the ground, causing chemical contaminants to break down and turn into vapors that are removed using a technology called soil vapor extraction (SVE). The SVE system employed a vacuum to pull the chemical vapors into an underground piping system, and conveyed them to a pair of thermal treatment units that completely destroy the vapors in compliance with NJDEP air permit requirements. The oxygen injection has the added benefit of encouraging the growth of microbes in the soil that feed on petroleum and chemical products, further breaking them down into their harmless natural components. The SVE system was very effective in removing vapors from the soils and use of this technology was expanded in conjunction with the start-up of new source area cleanup systems installed at the Site in 2012. In 2016, the site LSRP determined that operation of these systems had achieved their remediation goals and operation of those systems was terminated. . Today, SVE technology is used in conjunction with the new cleanup system installed for the RMU 1C area in 2012.
Two of the new cleanup systems installed in 2012 use ozone technology. Ozone is a gas created by adding an electric charge to oxygen. Ozone is very effective at breaking down chemicals found at the site and has the added benefit of being a very green technology as it quickly converts back to oxygen. These systems significantly increased the speed of cleanup of groundwater in the main source areas at the site. In 2016, one of these systems (for the RMU 1F area) completed its job and today it supports the remaining area of active source remediation (RMU 1C area).
Additionally, in 2012 BP installed a flexible dual-phase extraction (DPE) system to remove residual fuel oil in a small area of the site. The system used drop tubes that could be adjusted to extract both liquids and vapors. The tubes could be lowered to the surface of groundwater to skim liquid fuel, or the tubes could be raised to vacuum out vapors and convey them to the SVE treatment. In 2016 the site LSRP determined that the system had removed the fuel oil in this area in compliance with NJDEP Standards and operation of the system could be terminated.
In 2013 and 2014, BP initiated the use of two additional injection technologies to supplement the cleanup being performed by the remediation systems. These technologies, which were approved by NJDEP, involved injecting nutrients to enhance natural biological breakdown processes of residual chemicals (a final "polish") in part of the RMU-1B and 1E areas and injecting chemical oxidants in another area (part of the RMU-1C) to destroy and/or volatilize chemicals which are then captured and treated by the remaining active SVE system. The injections were conducted periodically using existing wells and a mobile tank and manifold setup. In 2016, the nutrient injection program was completed. Today, the chemical oxidant injections continue in the RMU 1-C area without impact to Port operations and expansion.
The remediation systems BP has installed and the supplemental injections are doing their job. Soon, the source area active remediation systems will finish their role in the site cleanup, reducing impact levels to the point that the remaining remediation systems can be turned off so that nature can finish the job. The Groundwater Treatment Plant will continue to operate until monitoring of site conditions shows it is no longer required. Due to advanced planning and thoughtful engineering design, cleanup of the site is being performed safely and with minimal impact on the Port development and operations.
Checking groundwater monitoring wells to verify and track the effectiveness of the remediation.
BP implemented injection of chemical oxidants to supplement the primary cleanup actions in the RMU-1C area.
BP implemented injection of nutrients to enhance natural biological cleanup processes.
New Ozone Sparge Equipment Enclosures
Groundwater Treatment Plant sand filter operation
Workers pouring the concrete foundation for one of the two ozone tubing and piping manifolds.
Inside one of the finished ozone remediation system piping and tubing manifold enclosures.
Dual-Phase Extraction system equipment enclosure
Operation of the groundwater treatment plant continues (2019)
Routine maintenance keeps the groundwater treatment plant running smoothly