View Full Version : hazmat cleanup
02-15-2002, 02:35 AM
i'm taking a civil environmental engineering class at college and I got to thinking about hazmat cleanup. Particularly digging out the soil around a leaking oil tank. I see this as a growing market. Would a mini x be able to hand that type of stuff or would i need a full backhoe, or excavator. I don't own anything but in a couple yoears i'd like to have bobcat/mini-x combo with a dump 1ton. and i'm trying to figure out steady work i could get with the two.
Also what kind of money do you get for that work, all I think i'd want to do is dig up the contaminated soil and haul it. What kind of certifications do you need (hazmat CDL comes to mind). I know the work is expensive to have done, but is that mostly disposal fees or do you get a premium for digging the dirt out?
02-15-2002, 10:47 AM
not to familier with this type of stuff however as a firefighter i know a lot of the fire companies have hazmat cleanup equip and also the local government has thos type of agencies for hazmat. what would u do with the contaminated soil also?
02-15-2002, 01:46 PM
Lots of regulations in this area. Around here done by private companies but with lots of DEP regulations. Disposal of soil and employee safety are the major concerns. I have even seen inspectors make the equipment run onto tarps and be cleaned before it could go on a trailer.
I would imagine it may be expensive and difficult to get into the market. Do a little research with your state to see what they require.
02-17-2002, 12:23 PM
I've never done any actual hazmat work of the kind you describe (at least not the way it's regulated these days).
I don't think a mini-x and a one ton dump would be the equipment for the job though. I'd think a full size excavator, (at least a 120 or 150 size) and a tandem dump would be more appropriate. You need at lot more reach than you can get from a mini, both across the ground and depth wise, and if you're hauling the contaminated soil away you won't want to make multiple, multiple trips. A one ton just doesn't carry enough to make it worthwhile.
The insight I have into the subject comes from work I *did* do more than 20 years ago, when hazmat wasn't such a big deal. We ran across a number of old underground storage tanks, which we just simply dug up. The property owner got rid of them by putting an ad in the paper, and people hauled them away for nothing! All we had to do was load them. Some were 5' in diameter and 25' long, others were shorter but fatter. That's why I think you need more machine than a mini. Once the tank is out you have a hole maybe 30' long by 10' wide by 10' deep. Even if you could pick the tank out with it a mini just doesn't have the reach to get to the contaminated soil
Ditto what CT18 said about the regulations. I've heard that the job needs to be run by a licensed individual, and that that individual MUST be there at all times. If they've walked across the street to get a cup of coffee and the DEP inspector shows up right then, the whole job gets shut down.
There's probably big money in it, but big expenses as well....
02-17-2002, 12:55 PM
Usually they have a mix of big and small equipment. Smaller works when near obstacles and such. When a lot of material needs to be moved the big machines come in.
I think the startup expense would be the biggest obstacle. Usually existing excavation contractors or gasoline station rebuilders are the ones to go into this area.
02-18-2002, 09:17 PM
yeah, i was afraid i'd need a big excavator anda big truck
02-19-2002, 04:19 PM
like mentioned above, clean up with our state is a PITA. i work at a few gas stations my father owns part time, and one guy left the pump running and went to the bathroom, the safety break failed and tons of gas ran out and got into the drain. it was a$1,300 cleanup that the guy had to pay for cause he left the pump unattended. we used a reputable contractor, and they have everything from full size tri axle pump trucks to mini x's. you wouldnt beleive how much paperwork the DEP and the contractor had to fill out. unless you are going to go big in that business, i dont think you could sneak by being a smaller type contractor.
02-19-2002, 08:19 PM
way to risky in my opinion, wouldnt want to deal with it either
03-30-2002, 11:33 PM
I worked as a project manager in the environmental consulting field for 15 years and contracted for lots of these "dig and haul" jobs. I've never hired a mini-x, usually a JD510 hoe or full size excavator. I would think there would be a limited market for a machine that size. Now if you've got one that's propane-fired and did excavating inside industrial buildings, you could probably make some serious $. Usually you can't run gas or diesel equipment inside buildings. We did one job in a basement where we used a supervac to suck the soil out. Also, as far as soil clean-up, usually the same contractor who pulls the tank out does the contaminated soil excavation. They don't usually charge any more for this type of work than for general excavating.
03-31-2002, 05:28 PM
could you hook up an exhaust hose up to the exhuast of a regular excavator or machine to work in a basement?
04-17-2002, 12:43 AM
Sorry it took so long to answer your question. Yes, sometimes we did that. The problem is in situations where the on-site safety policy is for no gas/diesel engines. I know that some of the defense contractor we worked for were not at all flexible on the issue. Once while running a gas drilling rig indoors we developed strong gasoline fumes. We were using flexible metal hoses that tend to leak a bit. The rotor on the distributor cracked, causing very incomplete combustion, hence the odor.
Keep in mind that underground storage tanks are being phased out, at least the smaller ones. Too many leaks. They're usually replaced with double-walled above ground tanks now. Big tanks are still buried at gas stations, truck termnals, or other places were fire and space concerns override.
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