Developing Life-Cycle Environmental Response Costs for Leaking Underground Storage Systems

The scientific and engineering approaches for assessing and cleaning up petroleum releases are well established and are discussed extensively in the literature, and site-specific cost information for such response actions (or portions thereof) is often readily available. What is lacking in the literature, however, is information about “typical” life-cycle environmental response costs associated with the wide range of response actions performed at service station sites (i.e., all costs, from discovery through regulatory closure).

To address this deficiency in the literature, Neil Ram, Julie Scott, Kathryn Szymaszek, and Doug Swanson of Roux Associates, Inc., recently published an article titled “Developing Life-Cycle Environmental Response Costs for Leaking Underground Storage Systems at Service Station Sites” in the journal, Remediation (Volume 24, Issue 4, Pages 65–77, Autumn 2014, Copyright 2014 by Wiley Online Publishers).

The article summarizes:

  • The typical causes of petroleum releases from USTs at service stations;
  • The remediation technologies often utilized to clean up such releases;
  • The factors affecting environmental response costs associated with UST releases and
  • Information in state petroleum reimbursement fund databases about response action costs.

A methodology is then presented by which life-cycle response action costs are estimated for a given service station sites or portfolio of sites using site-specific or metric-based approaches, depending on the availability of information. The metric-based approach includes a site-scoring element similar to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Hazard Ranking System and a categorization element adapted from a 2001 Report to Congress, in which sites are categorized as “simple,” “average,” or “complex.” The minimum, maximum, and average metric-based life-cycle response action costs for the three categories of sites are then presented, as is a case study describing a project in which life-cycle response action costs were developed for a portfolio of over 1,500 service station sites as part of a bankruptcy litigation.

If you would like to request a copy of the published article, please click here and one of the contributors to the article will provide a complimentary copy.