One of the major challenges that environmental risk managers face today is the management and removal of asbestos present in soil. Some of the likely reasons as to why asbestos may be present in soil include debris generated from properties razed down by fire, asbestos buried onsite unlawfully, non-removal of asbestos-covered ducts or pipes during demolition projects, bad asbestos waste-handling practices during manufacturing processes, reclamation of former landfills to allow for new land development projects, etc.
Unlike asbestos removal from buildings, which has been successfully kept under control over the years by industry experts and relevant legislation, the management and removal of asbestos found in soil is generally not well understood by many, despite requiring an equally well-planned and coordinated intervention.
If you are interested in knowing how specialists deal with the management and removal of asbestos present in soil, here is a general breakdown of the process.
Finding out the extent of the problem
First things first: all available information relevant to the site is reviewed to find out the risk of asbestos being found in soil. Typically, the asbestos management specialists will consider if there are any reasons (like the ones highlighted earlier on), which present the potential for asbestos. Once that has been done, they will send a team of competent asbestos soil surveyors to the site so they can assess if further investigations are needed to collect additional information. This preliminary site excursion is meant to further know the extent of the problem. Using their broad level of experience in performing a wide range of brownfield site investigations, asbestos management experts can carry out rigorous and comprehensive investigations, thus coming up with site remediation techniques that give clients maximum value for every dollar spent.
Selecting and using an appropriate site remediation methodology
While asbestos management specialists often come up with a list of site remediation methods for a particular site, they will have to choose a method that will be the most effective. Some of things that will need to be considered are the skills of available personnel, the layout of the site, the licensing system, the air monitoring strategy, the need to work with other contractors at the site, and other project-specific requirements. And, as with any other land remediation project, asbestos management specialists will need to choose a method that is not only feasible, but safe and affordable as well. Once this is done, the specialists will draw up a plan of work that they will follow from start to finish. Once they have completed the remediation, asbestos management professionals provide their clients with detailed reports containing all the important information including the extent of work carried out, and possible strategies to prevent recurrence of the problem.