An electric power industry client was in the process of updating older equipment at an electric power substation in McDowell County, West Virginia. During the upgrades, a large amount of PCB oil was accidentally spilled on the ground from a defective transformer on several locations. Because the client needed the PCB-impacted soils and gravel to be removed quickly and efficiently, they hired AGES to field screen soils using immunoassay testing kits for PCBs.
Using immunoassay field screening kits, AGES was able to determine the extent and boundaries of PCB impacts within one (1) hour after sample collection. This rapid time frame allowed the remediation subcontractor to remove impacted soils, quickly determine whether all affected soils were adequately excavated (or not), and move on to the next affected area, all while equipment and field personnel were still onsite. Without the use of immunoassay field testing, the contractor would have needed to wait four (4) or more days for laboratory analysis results before continuing excavation. Additionally, AGES used these real-time PCB field screening results to assist with live loading soils.
After laboratory analysis, it was confirmed that AGES correctly assessed 135 of 135 soil samples in the field, which eliminated remobilizations and double handling. This amounted to substantial cost savings for the client and completion of the cleanup in a fraction of the time.