Improper remediation of hydrocarbon releases to soil or hydrocarbon impacted oil and gas field wastes results in conditions that, at the least, cause tension between lessors and surface owners and the operator. Further, unsatisfactory remediation may lead to legal conflicts, which wastes both natural and capital resources. Fortunately, agricultural techniques are available by which most hydrocarbon releases and adverse environmental impacts can be corrected.

The available petroleum hydrocarbons [TPH] remediation methods include biotreating, composting, dilution, dilution burial, road spreading, reuseable resource technology and ultra-violet ray treatment. This paper discusses land treatment and dilution only, because of the authors' desire to provide an in-depth presentation. Other remediation techniques will be discussed in subsequent papers. Typically, acceptable residual TPH concentrations are attained with land treatment within six months. Dilution is even faster.

Most remediation papers provide case histories describing the results of a particular remediation project. Seldom do these papers provide the technology by which the reader can apply the method to another situation. This paper discusses the theory and design aspects of land treatment TPH remediation. The authors conclude remediation to acceptable residual concentrations can be accomplished at most locations. This conclusion is based on the assumption, oil and gas regulators accept time-tested residual concentrations for TPH, e.g., 10,000 to 30,000 mg/kg. Lower concentration can be achieved, but generally are not warranted on an environmental risk basis.

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