US Army Corps


Painesville FUSRAP Site

Large scale soil excavation and remedial action for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)

Excavation, segregation, and removal of over 68,000 tons of radioactive-contaminated (Ra-226 and Th-232) soil and debris, and the characterization, size-reduction, packaging, and removal of over 6,000 cubic yards of buried debris (concrete, piers, wood, and steel) and piping.

We used a proven, innovative soil assay soil sorting system that combined gamma spectrometry with rolling conveyor detection and achieved 94% volume reduction.

Project Highlights

  • Soil Segregation Technology

    Large scale soil excavation using automation technology.

  • Automation and Efficiency

    Excavation, conditioning/drying of the material, processing and automated survey/segregation, and load-out via rail cars.

  • Project Management and Oversight

    Management of subcontractors performing engineering, waste transportation, disposal and laboratory services at four distinct sites.

  • On-site Water Treatment

    Established a water retention, treatment, and verification and industrial discharge system to meet drinking water treatment goals.

  • Value Engineering

    Established air monitoring program, performed air sample analysis, and developed an innovative landfill cap proposal.

  • Safety Management

    470 days with zero lost-time accidents and injuries, and received USACE District's commanding officer recognition.

Capabilities Delivered

The Know-how, The People, The Vision

Our partnerships include some of the best companies in the industry. We know how to bring the right skills at the right time to enhance our partners' and customers' success.

Project Details

As a prime contractor to the USACE Buffalo District, Perma-Fix performed a large scale soil excavation and remedial action project at the Painesville Formerly Utilized Sites Remedial Action Program (FUSRAP) site to clean up legacy contamination resulting from the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) operations in the 1950s. This marked completion of the first successful large soil sorting project on a FUSRAP site. Complex operations consisted of 100% sorting and radiological assay of material, negotiations of soil sorting equipment algorithms with Ohio EPA (OEPA) and USACE, and the deployment of a mobile on-site gamma spectroscopy laboratory.

The scope of this project included the excavation, segregation, and removal of over 68,000 tons of radioactive-contaminated (Ra-226 and Th-232) soil and debris, and the characterization, size-reduction, packaging, and removal of over 6,000 cubic yards of buried debris (concrete, piers, wood, and steel) and piping as they were encountered in the excavations. Many areas of excavation exceeded 25 feet and appropriate engineering controls and personnel entry restrictions were employed. The project also included the termination and relocation of utilities and new utility improvements.

The 68,000 tons of soils and debris came from four distinct geographical areas, including a former landfill area. The landfill area contained debris from former site buildings including concrete piers, timbers, and structural steel members. This debris was size-reduced and prepared for disposal along with the soil. We performed the excavation of this material, on-site transportation to a conditioning/drying area, on-site conditioning, processing and automated survey/segregation of the material, and load-out into staged rail cars. We used six articulated dump trucks to move the debris and soil on-site and an automated conveyor system to load the material into staged rail cars for disposal at a facility in Grandview, Idaho. We were responsible for coordination of rail logistics and movement of the material via rail from Ohio to Idaho.

We used a proven, innovative soil assay soil sorting system that combined gamma spectrometry with rolling conveyor detection. Soil and debris processing prior to segregation resulted in a 96% waste volume reduction, allowing 43,000 tons of soil to be placed back as fill. As a result of our value engineering approach, we reduced the volume of soil requiring off-site disposal and saved the project over $24 million.

We managed subcontractors performing civil engineering, waste transportation, and disposal and laboratory services at four distinct non-contiguous sites spread over 40 acres. We provided 24/7 site access control and designed and constructed full-scale site infrastructure which consisted of 3,800 linear feet of security fencing, a new access control point, 480 three-phase power drops, a trailer complex, an on-site laboratory, numerous utility drops, a large-scale water collection and treatment facility, decontamination pads, rail line upgrades, a load-out facility, site water/sewer systems, and a material management area.

This work included the treatment of collected water (groundwater, seepage water, storm water) to industrial discharge limits. Following initiation of work, however, stakeholder groups influenced the regulators to apply drinking water standards to water treatment goals, which required extensive additional treatment and verification and potential delays for implementation. We quickly re-designed and received expedited approval for a complex water treatment system and verification process to meet the more stringent standards. We implemented this process and successfully treated water to the required levels for discharge. While the process was being deployed, we constructed a water retention system allowing remediation to proceed while water was staged awaiting treatment and verification. This alleviated delays and resulted in meeting our initial performance management baseline schedule.

We actively pursued value engineering throughout the project. We established an aggressive air monitoring program which included 24/7 perimeter monitoring, area-specific triangulated work zone monitoring, and task-specific individual worker monitoring. Analysis of more than 3,000 air samples indicated that an exceptional dust control and material management process was working there were no elevated samples within 10% of established levels. Our proposed innovative approach to landfill capping was accepted by the Ohio EPA (OEPA) and USACE. The approach consisted of capping with an approved geosynthetic clay liner rather than impermeable clay.

We implemented a multi-site integrated safety management system (ISMS) program at the project/field level in accordance with the project environmental safety and health (ES&H) plan. We performed 470 days, over 87,000 work hours, with zero lost-time accidents and injuries, exceeding all safety and environmental goals for the project (no lost-time accidents and no notice of violations), and received USACE recognition from the District's commanding officer. We developed and implemented the Accident Prevention Plan and the Site Safety and Health Plan in accordance with USACE's EM 385-1-1 program.


Waste Treatment

Our fixed base facilities offer highly specialized treatment options that help reduce risk and avoid costly internal program development.

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Nuclear Services

Our highly experienced team of professionals can handle domestic and international challenges across all project disciplines.

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Health Physics

We have cutting-edge technologies, a large team of industry experts, extensive capabilities, and an unwavering commitment to safety.

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International Division

We are a highly experienced in safe, compliant and environmentally responsible nuclear services and waste management across the globe.

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