Environmental Support Services for a Petroleum Refinery – Soil Management Plan


Cox-Colvin provides a variety of environmental support services to a major petroleum refining company in the Midwest. One of these services is the management of excavated soil. The refinery, which has been in operation since the late 1800s, is proceeding through a major upgrade. As a result, excess soil generated through construction and maintenance activities must be properly characterized prior to its onsite reuse or disposal at offsite facilities.


To assist the refinery in their efforts, Cox-Colvin developed and assists in the implementation of a comprehensive soil management plan. The plan, which is incorporated into a web-based GIS/database application, is used to consistently evaluate, track, and document soil management data and decisions from pre-excavation sampling through on-site reuse or off-site disposal. Decision flow diagrams are used to present the progress of the evaluation process of each project to refinery and consulting personnel. Decisions are based on answers to specific questions or analytical outcomes. The database stores supporting documents such as written documents, laboratory reports, cost information, and disposal records. The GIS module incorporates high quality historical aerial photography to provide project personnel the ability to review how project areas were used in the past. The GIS module also presents the findings of the soil management in a variety of ways including the location of sampling points, underground utilities, planned excavation areas, actual excavation areas, the location of characteristically hazardous soils, location of underground utilities, and is used to produce project maps for distribution.