It is not an unfamiliar sight to find a piece of abandoned land. It was probably once a hub of industrial activity, and now, its soil is tainted by years of chemical discharge. Although lying dormant, there could be plans to turn this land into a solar energy farm.
Energy projects are always thrilling, especially if they promise innovation and progress. But there is a big question behind this: How can we make sure this new project doesn’t repeat past environmental mistakes? This situation highlights the balance between progress and protecting our environment. And this is where due diligence comes in.
Evaluating potential environmental contamination
When it comes to due diligence in energy projects, it is important to understand the lay of the land. This means taking a magnifying glass to the history of a site’s land use and any earlier industrial activities. This can be done by:
- Site assessment (location, size and previous land uses)
- Historical research (property records, land surveys and historical photographs)
- Land use analysis
- Research and review local, state, and federal regulations about environmental standards and contamination.
- Interviews and surveys with individuals familiar with the site’s history (previous owners, employees or local residents)
- On-site inspections
- Sampling and testing (soil, water, and air samples)
It would be wise to team up with environmental specialists and regulatory authorities to unearth any lurking environmental hazards that might put the projects at risk.
Managing remediation measures
After authorities have uncovered any potential contamination, there are tools that they can implement to address it. The following remediation techniques would be particularly relevant:
- Soil excavation
- Advanced bioremediation
- Chemical oxidation
- Permeable reactive barriers
- In-situ solidification and stabilization
- Thermal desorption
- Electrokinetic remediation
These are just examples. The basis for selecting which techniques to use lies in their ability to address contamination from industrial activities.
As the energy sector evolves, so must our approach to project development too. By diligently evaluating potential environmental risks and skillfully managing remediation efforts, we not only safeguard the environment but also set a standard for responsible growth. Due diligence should serve as a guide from concept to completion of the project.