Excavating spill cleanup in Oshkosh


January 2018 to April 2018


» Formulated the Spill Response Plan.
» Directed correspondence and planning with the state.
» Communicated budgets with the insurance company.
» Completed excavation oversight.
» Provided documentation that resulted in closure of spill by WDNR.

In January 2018, three trucks owned by Jeff Foust Excavating were vandalized. The vandal drilled into the gas tanks, causing fuel to spill onto the gravel parking yard. Jeff Foust Excavating hired Fehr Graham to address the situation with the State of Wisconsin and his insurance company.

Our team assessed the damage from the spill and communicated with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR). We soaked up as much of the pooling gasoline as possible with absorbent clay and scraped up and stockpiled soil on site. The frozen ground made removing the contaminated material impractical. Plans and budgets were prepared to address the remaining contamination when the ground thawed in spring. The WDNR and insurance company were kept informed of the project's status and agreed with the plan of action and approach. Permission was obtained from the landfill for reuse of the soil as daily cover to minimize disposal charges.

After the ground thawed in March, we directed contaminated soil excavation activities. Excavation limits were defined using field screening and impacted soil measured more than 130 feet long by 40 feet wide and 1.5 feet deep. The team removed 103 tons of contaminated soil from the site for reuse in the landfill. We obtained 21 confirmation laboratory analyses to document the remaining-in-place soil chemistry. We sampled groundwater from a private well within 100 feet of the spill. A documentation report was prepared and submitted to the WDNR summarizing the spill response process and findings. The WDNR closed the spill case, with no further action required.

Fehr Graham saved the company money by communicating with the WDNR and the insurance company about project requirements, budget and timing. The company's insurance provider refunded the cleanup costs, which totaled a little more than half of the reimbursement coverage. Reimbursement coverage is the amount paid back to the owner by their insurance company for damages. It is likely this project would have cost significantly more to address if an emergency response contractor had been called to respond. Whenever a spill doesn't include immediate danger to public safety or the environment, hiring a responsible consultant to direct the spill response can provide significant overall cost savings.