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Valero Groundwater Extraction System Operation - Monitoring and Reporting

Protecting the Bay’s economy and environment

Benicia, California

On the edge of the Carquinez Straight, a San Francisco Bay tributary, the Valero refinery is perfectly situated for oil tankers. But its ideal location also means that any environmental issues threaten the health of one of the country’s busiest and most beautiful bodies of water.

Built in 1969, over the years there were releases of intermediate and refined products into soils near the water table, which resulted in multiple isolated and comingled groundwater plumes. We were contracted in 2003 to oversee the cleanup, and we’ve been on the job ever since. We collect water samples from groundwater monitoring wells, creeks, and treatment systems, making sure the important work of the refinery doesn’t threaten the environment. Over 200 groundwater monitoring wells and six groundwater remediation systems have been installed.

The project has been a success, and we’ve been asked to perform other work on the site. We’re currently refurbishing a 340 foot trench in anticipation of a rail spur for crude oil delivery, and redesigning the groundwater system to keep protect rail operators, refinery staff and the local environment.

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