Pinnacle Engineering was hired to complete a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) in connection with a client’s purchase of a 75,000 square foot industrial facility.  The Phase I ESA revealed that the facility had been used in the past as a foundry, foundry sand was present on the property, and a vapor degreaser had been removed from the property many years earlier.  Pinnacle conducted an environmental investigation and determined that the foundry sand did not pose environmental concerns; however, trichloroethylene (TCE), a solvent likely related to the vapor degreaser, was found in groundwater under the property, prompting further investigation. 

The client retained Pinnacle to conduct a Phase II ESA to assess the magnitude and extent of contamination, to oversee the excavation of contaminated soils inside and outside the building, and to coordinate and seek approval of these activities with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA). 

In order for the client to get liability assurance for a loan to purchase the property, the site was enrolled in the MPCA Voluntary Investigation and Cleanup (VIC) Program.  Pinnacle worked closely with the MPCA Project Manager to expedite MPCA review of the investigation work plan and of data obtained from each phase of the investigation.  The project included the excavation of soil inside the building in the area where the vapor degreaser had been located, and a push probe investigation to collect groundwater samples from various depths across the Site.  Groundwater monitoring wells were then installed in target areas at various depths to obtain groundwater data from shallow and deep horizons, and an exterior trench investigation was completed to determine whether a buried source of TCE existed.   All work was performed in accordance with VIC Program requirements. 

As a result of its investigations, Pinnacle demonstrated that the facility’s HVAC system provided sufficient air changes so that potential soil vapors entering the building posed a minimal risk to building occupants.  Pinnacle also demonstrated that no potential, off-site receptors were at risk.  As a result of the investigation and remediation, and Pinnacle’s close interaction with the MPCA, liability assurances were issued in a timely manner and the property transfer was completed.