The effect of drought on benzene contaminated underground storage tank sites in Georgia
Tweedell, Amanda Joanne
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Light Non-Aqueous Phase Liquids (LNAPLs) such as Benzene, Toluene, Ethylbenzene, and Xylene (BTEX) are commonly found in petroleum products. BTEX is a major source of soil and groundwater contamination at underground storage tank (UST) sites that store gasoline and diesel fuels. Accidental releases from these sites can lead to extensive contamination plumes. Various remediation techniques and natural attenuation are used to attempt to clean up sites that have been contaminated by BTEX components. Environmental and geological conditions can influence remediation efficacy. Droughts that cause major water table fluctuations, for example, may increase the rate of natural attenuation of dissolved benzene at UST sites. This study focuses on six contaminated UST sites in Georgia. Data was compiled from reports submitted to the Georgia EPD Underground Storage Tank Management Program, and analyzes how the 2007-2009 drought and changes in groundwater levels affected benzene contamination levels.