February 2012 Meeting

Monday, February 13, 2012
6:00 - 7:30 pm

Pellissippi State Technical Community College
10915 Hardin Valley Road, Knoxville
J.L Goins Administration Building, Cafeteria Annex


Expect the Unexpected:
Unusual Environmental Conditions Encountered
During Road-Building Activities

Richard Lounsbury
Knoxville, Tennessee


Emergency response, technical, and project support was provided to the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) for three unusual and time-critical road building projects which had the potential to impact human health and the environment. These projects included: the extinguishing of and response to an underground fire in McMinn County (which had been burning for over two months prior to notification); a relict underground storage tank (UST) site in Carter County, where a flash-fire and potentially explosive atmosphere were encountered within a new utility line trench; and, a UST site in Knox County where unknown/abandoned USTs were encountered during a Phase II subsurface investigation. Each of these projects presented unique and unexpected challenges associated with the site conditions encountered. This presentation highlights in more detail the three referenced projects, summarizes the unique issues and challenges associated with each project, and highlights response actions taken to address these sites while minimizing the overall impact to already tight construction project schedules. The three projects discussed clearly indicate the fact that impacted environmental sites are not always identified during traditional Phase I studies and that responding parties need to be able to adapt to unique sets of conditions when addressing these types of unexpected projects.


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