Environmental Enlightenment #113

By Ami Adini - Reissued April 01, 2015

This is a SHORT, LIGHT and SIMPLE newsletter. Its purpose is to rekindle in the initiated terminology they have once learned, and enlighten the uninitiated on terms they may have heard but never known the meaning of.

Exploding Grounds

A street widening project. A section of a property along the street has been acquired by the City and a new sidewalk is being constructed. The construction crew encounters a buried 1.5” steel pipe running across the intended side walk.
  Using an electric saw they start cutting. The sawed side of the pipe emits a puff of smoke and six feet away a crater opens up with a volcanic blast throwing dirt and rock. By sheer luck, nobody gets injured.

  We are called upon to investigate. We find two historical 500 gallon gasoline tanks buried underground with piping running to the locations of historical pumps some 30 feet away. The tank that connects to the sawed pipe is the one that exploded. Its end is ripped open. The sawed pipe used to be a vent line.


First - safety: Never perform hot work on abandoned buried piping until it has been traced to its origin. As a minimum, sniff the interior atmosphere and determine if it is explosive.

Second - real estate transaction: A qualified environmental assessor conducting the Phase One Environmental Site Assessment process would have been likely to find historical evidence of the tanks. Investigation of old building permits, business permits, fire insurance maps, aerial photography, etc., would have had a good probability of locating data pointing to the historical tanks. Our after-the-fact interview of the site occupant revealed his detailed knowledge of the historic installation.

You can find past issues of our "Environmental Enlightenment" at amiadini.com Wealth of information about environmental site assessments in the real estate transactions and issues concerning assessment and cleanup of contamination in the subsurface soil and groundwater.

Call me if you have any questions. There are no obligations.

Ami Adini Environmental Services, Inc.
Environmental Consultants & General Engineering Contractors
California Lic. #1009513 A B HAZ ASB
818-824-8102; mail@amiadini.com

Ami Adini is a veteran environmental practitioner with over 40 years of experience. He carries a Bachelor of Science degree (B.Sc.) in Mechanical Engineering including academic credits in Nuclear and Chemical Engineering and postgraduate education in these fields. His career includes design and construction of nuclear plant facilities, chemical processing plants and hazardous wastewater treatment systems. He is a former California Registered Environmental Assessor Levels I & II in the 1988-2012 registry that certified environmental professionals in the assessment and remediation of environmentally impacted land, and a Registered Environmental Professional (REP) since 1989 with the National Registry of Environmental Professionals (NREP). He is a California Business & Professions Code Qualifying Responsible Managing Officer (RMO) in the General Engineering Contractor classification with Hazardous Substance Removal and Asbestos certifications, and president of AMI ADINI ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES, INC. (AAES), a general engineering contractor and consulting firm specializing in environmental site assessments, rehabilitation of contaminated sites and removal of environmental risks from real-estate transactions. (Contact Ami for a complete resume.) AAES provides practical solutions to environmental concerns using the highest standards of ethics and integrity while providing its clients with maximum return on their investments.