Impact Avoidance & Mitigation
GeoServices has more than 20 years experience in mitigation, cleanup, and closure of contaminated sites. We are proud to apply this experience to problems related to development of Marcellus shale gas supplies and have developed innovative approaches to problems unique to the extraction industry.
Contaminant Release Characterization and Cleanup
Release of contaminants occurs despite the most rigorous spill prevention and safety plans. When a release occurs, we can provide a broad range of services to help mitigate damages. While GeoServices is not an emergency spill responder, we are extremely effective in follow up to assure that potential lingering environmental issues are resolved and to help minimize damages caused by the initial response. Our expertise is working through the mitigation process to assure technically sound, timely, and cost effective resolution of environmental issues. Some of the activities which may be completed include:
- Site Characterization
- Site Remediation
- Risk Assessment and Contaminant Fate and Transport Analysis
- Storage Tank work
- Act 2 Closure for release of liability
Ground Water Quality and Geochemical Characterization
Release of contaminants and stray gases can occur. Currently, issues regarding stray gas migration are in the news almost daily and are the subject of political and regulatory discussions. In fact, on October 12, 2010, the PADEP Environmental Quality Board approved regulations related to gas migration response which require that an operator immediately conduct an investigation upon learning of a gas migration incident. Unless sufficient attention is paid to background water quality and potential migration pathways, misidentification of the true source of gas migration or other contaminant releases can occur. GeoServices has developed a program to help minimize problems associated with these issues. The program includes the following elements:
Ground Water Quality Characterization
- Review and prepare sampling programs and sampling plans.
- Prepare conceptual models and select sampling locations and parameters for testing.
- Collect ground water, surface water, soil gas, and vapor intrusion samples.
Water Quality Data Management and Geochemical Evaluation
- Geochemical evaluation to identify similarities and differences between water samples that go beyond simple comparison of numeric results.
- Statistical evaluation of trends and data correlation.
- Database management and GIS mapping, including spatial and temporal evaluation of data.
- Develop testing parameters and field protocols and sample wells.
- Develop and conduct homeowner questionnaire and interviews.
- Evaluate existing well construction, water level, and yield.
- Conduct screening and investigation for stray gas and vapor intrusion.
Stray Gas Evaluation
- Conduct historic review of gas migration incidents.
- Identify predominant geologic features and fractures.
- Develop 3-D site-specific conceptual model for stray gas migration.
- Identify sampling locations to evaluate both vertical and horizontal distribution.
- Identify parameters for testing and establish sampling protocol.
- Measure combustible gas concentrations at wells and surrounding features and collect samples.
Ground Water Monitoring of Pad Sites
- Install ground water monitoring wells for pad site infrastructure.
- Complete periodic sampling of ground water for release detection.
Environmental Review of Drilling Procedures
Drilling for natural gas in the Marcellus Shale presents challenges, particularly in Pennsylvania. Reports of impacts to local wells as a result of natural gas drilling have recently made headlines across the area and new regulations are being promulgated to limit potential impacts from drilling. For example, identification of the depth of the deepest fresh ground water is now (or soon will be) required. As no maps of these data are currently available, site-specific information must be developed. GeoServices’ experienced personnel can identify conditions which may impact drilling or the environment surrounding the drilling site to reduce impactS.
- Assessment of depth to deepest fresh ground water
- Assessment of topography
- Geologic assessment
- Drilling methods assessment
- Borehole geophysics
- Background sampling
- Post-drilling sampling