Project: Oeser Company Wood Treatment Facility: Remedial Investigation/Feasibility
Location: Bellingham, Washington
The Oeser Company has operated its wood-preserving facility at this
Bellingham location since 1948. High concentrations of hydrocarbons and
pentachlorophenol were found in the soil and groundwater underlying the
facility. Concern that these contaminants may have discharged to the
nearby Little Squalicum Creek led to the site's designation as a
Superfund site in 1997. We served as a consultant to the EPA contractor
on this RI/FS.
This Superfund site contained complex non-aqueous phase liquids (NAPLs)
in the soil and groundwater.
Our work included developing a conceptual model for the site, writing
the groundwater sections of the pre-scoping report, managing the soil
and groundwater components of the RI, and participating in Good Faith
Offer negotiations with the facility owner. To develop the conceptual
model, we characterized the site’s geology, contaminant distribution,
groundwater flow directions, and contaminant migration pathways. Our field
investigations entailed drilling 294 cone penetrometer borings, 17 monitoring
wells, and 26 soil borings. We also developed a series of three-dimensional
maps to depict NAPLs in soil and groundwater.
Our analysis indicated that contaminants present below the site were
largely immobile and concentrations present at the site boundary were
below cleanup standards. EPA ultimately concluded that the contaminant
concentrations outside the property boundaries did not present
significant risk and did not merit remedial action. Hot-spot
excavation and capping are planned on-site.