Advising on contamination risks and liabilities from a diesel spill

Case Study

A major retailer lost up to 100,000 litres of diesel to the shallow subsurface close to a river in northern England as a result of pipework failure. The migration of hydrocarbons through the shallow groundwater and drains system led to river impacts, and an active remediation system based on soil vapour extraction and product skimming was implemented at the site.


Expert witness and advice were provided on the migration and fate of diesel in the subsurface environment, and assessment of the residual risk and remedial actions required to address controlled waters and human health risks.


ESI, now part of Stantec, acted as an independent appointed expert for the retailer. Advice was given on best practice in the assessment and management of risks and liabilities arising from uncontrolled release of hydrocarbons and their impact on neighbouring sites and surface watercourses, and appraisal of remedial actions.


Following completion of investigations and a detailed quantitative risk assessment, the findings demonstrated that active remediation has addressed all significant contamination risks at the site.


Further consultation ensured stakeholders provided relevant input before the final report, leading to the subsequent remedial system decommissioning and the development of a nearby site for residential end use.


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