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Abstract

Traditional bioremediation approaches have been used to treat petroleum source contamination in readily accessible soils and sludges. Contamination under existing structures is a greater challenge. Options to deal with this problem have usually been in the extreme (i.e., to dismantle the facility and excavate to an acceptable regulated residual, or to pump and treat for an inordinately long period of time). The excavated material must be further remediated and cleanfill must be added to close the excavation. If site assessments were too conservative or incomplete, new contamination adulterating fill soils may result in additional excavation at some later date. Innovative, cost-efficient technologies must be developed to remove preexisting wastes under structures and to reduce future remediation episodes. An innovative soil bioremediation treatment method was developed and evaluated in petroleum hydrocarbon contaminated (PHC) soils at compressor stations of a natural gas pipeline running through Louisiana. The in-situ protocol was developed for remediating significant acreage subjected to contamination by petroleum-based lubricants and other PHC products resulting from a chronic leakage of lubricating oil used to maintain the pipeline itself. Initial total petroleum hydrocarbon (TPH) measurements revealed values of up to 12,000 mg/kg soil dry weight. The aim of the remediation project was to reduce TPH concentration in the contaminated soils to a level of <200 mg/kg soil dry weight, a level negotiated to be acceptable to state and federal regulators. After monitoring the system for 122 days, all sites showed greater than 99-percent reduction in TPH concentration.