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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Environmental Remediation and Clean-Up

Title: Environmental Remediation and Clean-up

Phase(s): Preliminary Engineering

Category: Scope

Date: April 4, 1997

1. Background

The New Haven Line is a commuter railroad facility serving New York and Connecticut. It is owned and operated by the Connecticut Department of Transportation. The New Haven Line (NHL) facilities have been under-going rehabilitation and expansion to accommodate increased ridership and fleet. Improvement and expansion program for New Haven Line facilities have been planned and funded through the years for items such as maintenance yards, shops, track realignment, parking, inter-lockings, stations, platforms, and viaducts. Recently, two major NHL projects moved into the construction phase as follows: (1) PECK Bridge and Viaduct Replacement Project in Bridgeport, (2) Stamford Maintenance of Equipment, and Car Storage Facility Project. The estimated construction costs of these projects as awarded were: $85,831,983 and $20,412,565, respectively.

As the construction started in January, 1993, these two projects have been affected by environmental issues, resulting in remediation and clean-up of the project areas as required by the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (CDEP). Since these issues were not adequately addressed during the planning and design phases, the required investigation, testing and design was accomplished during the construction phase. The investigating and testing process was done, followed by design and preparation of remediation and the clean-up documents. These require approval by the CDEP before the construction work can be performed. In addition, since this work was beyond the scope of work for the construction contract, it could only be accomplished by change order, which would be processed for the Connecticut Department of Transportation's approval. This process, from the investigation phase to the approval of the change order, would require a considerable length of time where by part of the construction operations could not be performed until these environmental issues were resolved. As a result these projects have suffered considerable delays and additional cost, thereby increasing the overall project cost.

2. The Lesson

Resolution of Environmental Issues is a major factor to the success of any Project. Railroad corridors have been used as dumping grounds by the Railroads and neighborhood communities. In addition, maintenance and repair shops as well as rail storage yards have been polluted by oil and diesel fuel, due to leakage from locomotive engines and spillage at fueling facilities. For several years of continuous railroad operations, fuel oils and other contaminants have accumulated inside the railroads right-of-way and facilities which has necessitated clean up and remediation to conform with the current rules and regulations imposed by The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). These requirements are applicable to all railroad capital projects for new construction as well as for rehabilitation, expansion and reconstruction projects.

Environmental clean up includes removal and remediation of surface and subsurface contaminants and other hazardous materials.

To save time and avoid additional cost in completing a project successfully, all environmental issues should be addressed during the planning and design phases. All possible investigations, sampling, testing, preparation of report and remediation documents should be completed and approved by DEP and any permits acquired prior to award of the construction contract. If possible, environmental work should be made part of the construction contract to be scheduled with the other construction operations. Environmental remediation and/or clean up work can then be staged with the construction operations for the entire project. The contractor will be aware of these issues from the beginning and appropriate scheduling and planning can be established and implemented efficiently by the contractor.

3. Applicability

Detailed investigation, testing, design and permit acquisition for the required environmental remediation and clean up on all major rehabilitation, expansion and new construction projects must be accomplished from its inception. All environmental issues should be addressed during the Environmental Analysis (EA) and Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) Stages of the project. Sampling, testing and evaluation, complete with report and recommendations, should be undertaken for the project site under consideration. Continuous coordination activities should be performed with the Department of Environmental Protection agency for expeditious approval and permit acquisition processes. Final construction documents should incorporate all the required environmental work and in turn be made part of the construction contract for the contractor to be able to establish efficient planning, scheduling and construction staging.

4. Reference:

NJ Transit Project Management Plan 
FTA Project Management Oversight Regulations

Last updated: Monday, February 8, 2016