Manage soil and ground water environmental issues at an oil refinery in Australia for Shell.

Our Approach

Further to the recently-won Global Environmental Services Strategy (GESS) contract with Shell, ERM has secured a two-year contract to manage soil and groundwater environmental issues at Shell’s refinery in Geelong, Australia (60 km southwest of Melbourne).  The work ERM is involved in is being driven by both an Environment Protection Authority (EPA) Cleanup Notice and by the refinery’s Environment Improvement Plan (EIP). 

Commissioned in 1954, this Shell refinery is nearby to residents, a school and a coastal marine environment.  With stakeholders that include the EPA, the community and, users of Corio Bay, the EIP forms an integral part of Shell’s operation.

ERM is assisting Shell develop a more holistic understanding of the nature and extent, fate and transport, and associated potential risks from contamination and is also helping to implement controls and remediation where warranted to mitigate potential exposure to receptors. 

Shell has, in the past, conducted numerous studies to understand the contamination and ERM’s role is to now utilize this previous information as the basis for collecting targeted data so that a soil and groundwater management and cleanup plan can be developed and implemented. 

As the contamination issues involve potential exposure to workers, neighbors, and the ecology of the area, ERM’s work will involve a number of conceptual exposure model elements.  For example, work already underway or planned in the near term involves:

  • Human health, marine and near shore ecological risk assessments;
  • Soil, soil vapor, and groundwater investigations using dynamic work plans and real-time data collection to reduce the time and costs needed to develop appropriate cleanup strategies;
  • Groundwater fate and transport evaluations;
  • Maintaining existing remedial containment systems and testing new approaches;
  • Routine performance monitoring; and
  • Developing a cleanup plan for EPA approval.

Benefits and Value

ERM’s initial efforts, as lead consultant on the project, have been focused on revisiting the strategy for reaching an agreeable and sustainable cleanup plan and maintaining compliance. 

With ERM’s focus on the technical aspects of the cleanup program, Shell will be better situated to manage improvements associated with the EIP and also liaison and communication with the EPA and neighbor stakeholders