Soil and groundwater contamination can come from many sources, including past or present industrial and agricultural uses, gas tanks and gas stations, dry cleaning operations, residential fuel oil tanks, etc. Getting information on the property can be done but, it can be time consuming. Knowledge can come from many places. The county Register of Deeds can provide deed notices or restrictions. The local health department, fire department, previous owners, real estate disclosures, past or current employees, or neighbors may also have information. Samples of soil, groundwater, or soil vapor may be needed to determine if contamination does exist and at what concentrations.
A person or company should evaluate their property uses, determine if people may be exposed to the contamination in soil, groundwater or vapor, and take the actions necessary to prevent unacceptable exposures. Hiring a qualified Environmental Consultant in Illinois is of utmost importance.
A competent Environmental Consultant in Illinois can assist you in evaluating a property for an adverse environmental conditions. They may be listed in the phone book or on the internet under Environmental Engineers, Environmental Consultants, Soil or Groundwater Testing, etc. You may also consult with your financial institution, realtor, lawyer, or professional association for recommendations.
Determining what actions a property owner or operator needs to take is dependent upon the property use and the type of exposures that may occur. For example:
An owner that operates irrigation wells should consider whether they are exacerbating the contamination by irrigating with contaminated groundwater.
An owner of a vacant lot with no buildings would not need to consider exposures to people from drinking contaminated groundwater or vapors accumulating inside buildings, but would need to consider exposures to contaminated soils on the surface.
An owner of a building with a drinking water well would need to consider exposures from drinking or washing in contaminated groundwater.
For a more in depth conversation on what to do if you suspect your property may have contamination, contact the professionals at Eagle Environmental Consultants at 630-346-5551.
Eagle Environmental Consultants saved our company thousands of dollars in tank removal and site assessment costs. When we first received a violation from the fire marshal we thought it would be a simple tank removal however, there is so much more involved. They explained the entire process and handled everything from tank removal to dealing with the contamination caused by the tanks.