Superior was founded in 1989 to provide specialized assessment and remediation services including Green Technological Approaches using existing and emerging technology such as enhanced natural bioremediation, phytoremediation, and in-situ treatment processes. We pride ourselves of working with customers to understand their needs and give them choices to consider for their environmental projects.
In many cases, Superior has been involved in analyzing different options for our customers and presenting them feasible choices to address the issues impacting them. For over 25 years, Superior has been providing various remediation approaches for reducing or eliminating contaminant levels of soil and groundwater including heavy metals, chlorinated solvents and a range of petroleum hydrocarbons.
We have been in the forefront of providing innovative services as an alternative to the “dig and haul” approach and accordingly do not maintain major excavation and transportation equipment in our organization. We have managed hundreds of excavation projects for customers who choose to take that approach, from planned remediation projects to emergency response management for incidents such as transportation accidents and pipeline spills. In these situations, our service seeks to improve operational efficiencies and control overall project costs.
Pilot testing is a critical step in understanding how a site will respond to particular remediation strategies. Superior owns and operates several trailer-mounted remediation systems with varying capabilities that are suitable for short-term operations. Trailers and trained operators will mobilize to sites to obtain site-specific data for designing full-scale remediation systems.
Superior’s pilot testing is accomplished by the following steps:
With the data in hand, Superior will prepare recommendations and proceed with full-scale design.
Bioremediation is a Green Remediation approach that uses natural and/or facultative bacteria to help destroy contamination. Basically, an environment is created or enhanced to increase bacterial populations that use contaminants as a food source. The use of bioremediation for environmental cleanup is an established remediation technology.
Superior has provided bioremediation services for in-situ treatment of soils and groundwater treatment using both above ground bioreactors and in place treatment approaches. In one case, the cleanup of the bankrupt and abandoned Zephry Naph-Sol Refinery in North Muskegon, Michigan, Superior used on site assets converting their above-ground storage tanks into bioreactor treatment system for remediation of contaminated groundwater pumped from the site and also to treat contamination in place through infiltration into site soils.
Superior developed an ex-situ bioremediation program for soils contaminated with residual crude oils from the petroleum exploration and development . Large land farm plots were established to address contaminated soils from cleanup of the Porter Oilfield, an old Michigan oilfield established by the Pure Oil Company in the 1930’s. Superior undertook the project to locate abandoned production wells, provide well plugging services as needed, perform wellhead area site assessments, and conduct cleanup of impacted soils. The land farming was undertaken as an innovate approach to reduce disposal costs and related liabilities. The process uses a number of Green Remediation benefits including Solar Energy Breakdown, Oxidation, and enhanced biological degradation to accomplish contaminant reduction. Soils were periodically tilled for optimal degradation and sampled until contaminants were below residual regulatory criteria. The impacted site soils were remediated and then this treated material was used as backfill for other project locations, classic recycling!
Superior’s Construction Team works closely with Superior’s Engineering Team to provide turn-key mobile treatment systems. Mobile systems are tailored to a project’s specific needs, from straight forward to complex. A multitude of factors are considered in the design, such as contaminants of concern, availability of a fixed or mobile power supply, programmable controls, remote sensing and telemetry, location, acceptable noise levels, and appearance.
Superior has constructed and operated mobile systems for pilot testing as well as for full-scale, long-term operation. These systems can be rented or purchased.
Superior builds mobile treatment systems with these capabilities:
In-situ Chemical Oxidation is a process to detoxify or destroy contaminants of concern. It is applicable to a variety of contamination issues including chlorinated solvents, hydrocarbons, and herbicide/pesticide contaminants. This remediation approach uses specific chemical materials that are known to react with the contamination in soil and/or groundwater. For some projects, the chemicals are physically mixed with contaminated soils using heavy equipment to blend oxidizing agents such as Potassium Permanganate with solvent contaminated soils.
Superior developed our innovative Ozone Injection Service in the 1990s, using customized Ozone Sparging Trailers developed by our Engineering Department and constructed by our remedial services staff. We designed, installed, and operated these trailers at numerous contaminated sites. They have been used for site cleanup and spot remediation needs.
In the early 2000s, Superior was providing in-situ chemical oxidation services (ISCO) using basic pumping equipment to inject various chemicals into the subsurface, depending on the type of contaminant and the site characteristics. Challenging sites included chlorinated solvents from dry cleaners and manufacturing, and petroleum contamination from both crude and refined oil products. Superior has evolved to use the injection services to treat contaminated sites including those impacted by petroleum, chlorinated solvents and heavy metals over the past five years.
Phytoremediation (plants restoring balance) is another Green Remediation approach that uses living natural plants, both local and selected species, to naturally address certain contaminants in the environment. Phytoremediation is a cost-effective plant-based remediation approach taking advantage of the ability of plants to concentrate elements and compounds from the environment and to metabolize various molecules as part of their life cycle. It refers to the natural ability of certain plants to bioaccumulate, degrade, or render harmless contaminants in soils, water, or air. Organic pollutants such as solvents and petroleum compounds as well as heavy metals are the major targets for phytoremediation.
This Phyto technology can be used for in-situ removal, degradation, or containment of wastes, sediments, and waters using innovative approaches. Phytoremediation techniques are capable of cost-effectively treating both soils and groundwater particularly where contamination levels have been reduced and the cost of continued operations does not provide effective reduction of residual contaminant levels.
Superior has provided phytoremediation services to address soil contamination from residual hydrocarbons at past petroleum exploration and development sites. This Green Remediation project included planting of phreatophytic trees followed by grasses creating a low cost solar energy driven technique.
Superior has the networking ability to team up with other professional firms and experts providing unique approaches to establishing successful phytoremediation projects for our clients.
Vapor intrusion (VI) is emerging as a significant concern at contaminated sites around the country. Soil and groundwater contamination is able to migrate in a vapor form into occupied structures, and even at relatively low concentrations, these vapors are harmful to human health. If a Vapor Intrusion Investigation indicates that VI is occurring and has the potential to harm human health, mitigation or remediation of the vapors will be necessary.
Several mitigation and/or remediation strategies are available to address the VI pathway. For new construction on contaminated or brownfield sites, presumptive mitigation might include installing a soil vapor barrier and/or a sub-slab depressurization system (SSDS) below the foundation. For existing buildings, the two primary mitigation options include applying a vapor proof sealant to the floor, or installing a SSDS below the foundation. Evacuating the inhabitants or utilizing indoor air filters can also be used as a short-term option until a more permanent long-term solution is implemented. VI remediation often consists of removing and remediating the source of the vapors, which is usually contaminated soil or groundwater.