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VERTEX was retained by an international property and casualty insurance carrier to assist them in their review and investigation of a claim made by an insured LLC entity. The Entity was redeveloping and constructing a residential housing community on a former Naval Station property located on Yerba Buena Island in San Francisco Bay in northern California.

During excavation of a trench for utility installations associated with construction of a stormwater retention basin and other infrastructure improvements at the site, petroleum-contaminated soil was encountered, including free product and total petroleum hydrocarbon (TPH) concentrations in soil exceeding 5,000 mg/kg. Concentrations were in excess of applicable site-specific reuse criteria and required off-site transport and disposal of the petroleum-impacted soils at a properly licensed facility.

VERTEX’s review identified that the source of the petroleum-contaminated soils encountered was the Navy’s historic fueling operations in the area, which dated back to 1941. VERTEX further identified that the location of the impacted soil, a former Naval Station, was an area that was undergoing ongoing environmental investigation and remediation for which the U.S. Department of the Navy retained responsibility, and for which the insured redeveloper was not responsible. However, at the current time, the Navy’s work had been temporarily suspended due to budgetary constraints.

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Assessment of Petroleum Contamination Source