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Hernando County submits plan to clean up contaminated site in Brooksville

BROOKSVILLE — After five years of testing and millions of dollars in expenses, Hernando County now has a plan to remedy soil and water contamination at the old public works compound in south Brooksville.

County officials submitted their formal Remedial Action Plan on Thursday, the day it was due to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. The cleanup is the second and final phase of the project, which up until now has consisted primarily of round after round of testing.

The plan is a menu of options led by a recommended solution to each of the types of contamination believed to have come from fuel, solvents and other chemicals once stored on the department's fleet management site.

In the neighborhood where contaminants were found outside the confines of the county's property, the primary plan is to excavate the contaminated soil and replace it with clean fill.

On the property itself, the proposal is to allow the existing asphalt pavement, concrete pads and sidewalks to serve as an "engineering control'' to prevent human exposure to the contamination. A deed restriction would be established to keep that cap in place, according to the report prepared by Cardno TBE, the engineer on the project.

In other areas that are not capped and where arsenic had been found, soil removal and testing is proposed. Monitoring of wells that have not been impacted by petroleum products is proposed and, for the one well that has shown petroleum contamination, a special chemical oxidant product will be used to remedy the problem.

Other options are also provided in each of the areas of contamination if they are needed, the report states.

State officials will now review the report and communicate with county officials about any additional information needed. Once the DEP signs off, the county can begin the cleanup process.

Cardno TBE estimates the active remediation will take two years and that all work on the site will be done in three and a half years after the remediation plan is approved.

Cardno TBE was paid $102,777 for their work. The firm was selected from among the county's rotating engineering list after officials raised questions about simply handing the cleanup plan to the same company that had done all the testing on the site, Creative Environmental Solutions Inc.

That firm had in 2005 snagged the original contract for the testing through a no-bid contract for $77,051 and after numerous changes in scope, ended up getting paid more than $2 million.

Barbara Behrendt can be reached at behrendt@sptimes.com or (352) 848-1434.

Fast facts

The plan for the old public works compound:

Outside the county property: Take out contaminated soil and replace it with clean fill.

On property: Let the asphalt pavement, concrete pads and sidewalks prevent human exposure to the contamination.

• Active remediation will take two years.

• Work will be finished in 3 1/2 years after the plan is approved.

Hernando County submits plan to clean up contaminated site in Brooksville 10/07/10 [Last modified: Thursday, October 7, 2010 7:43pm]
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