Statement of Qualifications
Please contact us if you would like a detailed SOQ in .pdf format.
TRS Corporate Overview and Qualifications
TRS is a carbon neutral company with a staff of 47 working from regional offices located across North America. We are a registered business in 16 states and are familiar with the business, tax, and regulatory environments in each of them. We are also knowledgeable and experienced with federal environmental laws and regulations.
TRS has successfully operated in 25 states, located in all EPA Regions. ERH has also been identified as a preferred technology in the Record of Decision (ROD) at 2 US EPA Superfund sites.
We have achieved 100% client satisfaction on all remediation projects. Feedback from our client satisfaction surveys is consistently outstanding. More than 75% of our customers provide us with repeat business. Our customers trust us to provide accurate site evaluations and pricing during project planning and to follow-up with an excellent product and superior customer support. In a recent survey of TRS customers, 100% of the respondents said they would refer a business colleague or customer to TRS and would work with us again when they have another subsurface heating project. We will provide certainty that your project will be completed to your contract specifications without needless change orders.
The Remediation Project Manager for a well-known international Environmental Consulting Engineering Firm is a repeat TRS customer. Recently, he made the following comment, which we feel captures an important element of TRS' value.
"Your staff worked with us as an extension of our team in a cooperative, proactive, and responsive manner to address changing site conditions without needless change orders. TRS made us look good to our customer."
Our corporate philosophy is to build solid business relationships based on superior engineering and customer service. We promise our customers certainty that their projects will be completed to the performance and budgetary assurances presented in our proposals. Our commitment to our clients is to complete their projects on time and on budget, and we are willing to guarantee our results.
The more sites you clean, the more contaminant types and remediation challenges you experience. We have unmatched experience using ERH for the remediation of soil and groundwater impacted by chlorinated volatile organic compounds (CVOCs). We have successfully cleaned dense nonaqueous phase liquids (DNAPL) and light nonaqueous phase liquids (LNAPL) sites and have treated compounds in the boiling range of methylene chloride to solid grease. We have designed, installed and operated ERH systems using bored electrodes, angled electrodes, pushed electrodes, sheet pile electrodes, and round pile electrodes.
No company has performed in situ thermal remediation under more occupied or vacant buildings than TRS. We have successfully completed ERH cleanups at sites that required heating beneath, or immediately adjacent to, a building or an area open to direct public access. We have cleaned under commercial properties, retail shopping centers, industrial manufacturing facilities, empty warehouses, active fire lanes, and railway maintenance yards across the U.S. We have never caused soil instability, the slightest damage to any structures, or let fugitive vapors enter a building or a public area.
We have now completed more than a dozen Guaranteed Fixed Price Remediation (GFPR) projects and we are currently performing an additional five GFPR projects nationwide. We welcome the opportunity to provide project references and we encourage you to contact each of them. TRS has performed ERH projects under the supervision of some of the environmental remediation industry’s most demanding clients, including the DoD, DOE, USACE, and EPA. We have created and implemented programs for source area delineation, sample collection and analyses, air monitoring, hot soil and groundwater sampling, health & safety, and quality assurance/quality control (QA/QC) that meet the standards of each of these groups. Having worked under the EPA Triad management system, we are also experienced in developing near real time site data sets for presentation to all project stakeholders.
TRS Core Competencies and Value-Added Services
Following are the Value-Added Services we provide to our customers:
Focus On Contaminant Removal
At TRS, we do not just heat the subsurface; we focus on our client’s real problem – getting contaminants out of soil and groundwater efficiently, safely, and to their contract specifications. We are experts in the extraction and treatment of LNAPL, DNAPL, groundwater, steam and soil vapors.
Our ERH system designs seamlessly integrate all the support technologies necessary for a successful in situ heating project. However, because each site reacts differently to being heated, a good system design is only the first step toward a successful cleanup. The ability to prepare for, and rapidly overcome, unexpected site conditions is why TRS is recognized as the leader in subsurface heating. We have an unmatched wealth of experience in dealing with issues such as tight clay sites, complex lithologies, thin vadose zones, maintaining hydraulic control, ensuring steam and fugitive vapor capture, isolating subsurface voltages, and heating under occupied buildings and public areas.
In the late 1990’s, our core management and technical teams were directly responsible for taking the ERH technology out of the Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (Battelle) and adapting it to the commercial remediation marketplace. We have been performing ERH for more than ten years and have successfully completed 70 ERH projects. Our project experience includes nine site closures and the first full closure of a site impacted with DNAPL.
Our staff engineers were the first to design and install an ERH system that allowed unrestricted public access over the electrode field, the first to deploy ERH under an unoccupied building, and the first to deploy it under an occupied building. We have completed the largest (2 acres and 88,440 yd3) and, at 130-feet below grade (ft bgs), the world’s deepest in situ heating cleanups, and an ERH system covering an area of 3 acres under a large warehouse. For these reasons, we are consistently selected to remediate the most challenging and difficult sites.
Our engineering and field staff have decades of experience deploying air-movement remediation technologies and vapor abatement systems. Using this experience, we have refined the design, installation, and operation of standard soil vapor extraction (SVE), multi-phase extraction (MPE), and vapor treatment systems to best support our ERH projects.
TRS provides a highly experienced and cohesive project team for all of our ERH projects. Our team completes each in situ thermal remediation project to contract requirements, in a spirit of collaboration, and without needless change orders. We assign personnel to key positions on each project who are experts in performing ERH remediation. Realizing the importance of working collaboratively, our team is committed to keeping our clients apprised of project progress and developments. We will proactively adjust system design, construction, and operations parameters to achieve the best possible remediation result for you and your customer.
TRS has the largest fleet of in situ heating equipment in the world. Our equipment is of the highest quality available in the industry and includes Power Control Units (PCUs), specialized steam condensers, custom vacuum blower packages, a thermal oxidizer with an acid gas scrubber, a catalytic oxidizer with an acid gas scrubber and numerous system accessories.
All of our PCUs are built specifically for TRS by ISO 9002 certified American manufacturers, and our 4,500 kW and 2,000 kW PCUs are the largest in the industry. Our PCUs are specifically designed to accommodate the full range of soil conductivities that can be encountered at a given ERH site, and to easily manage the changes in soil conductivity that happen as each site heats up. Through the use of custom autotransformers, our PCUs provide fine remote control of the power input at each individual electrode and at any number of discrete subsurface intervals.
Our PCUs are capable of providing three or six separate, simultaneous power outputs with voltages that are automatically adjustable. System control and data acquisition are performed on dedicated on-board computers. Windows based data acquisition software provides for the collection and storage of subsurface temperature, power, voltage, current and operational status information from all system components. Operations personnel can monitor and control the heating process and download data remotely via high-speed modem. This allows our project managers to access, and display, real-time system operations information from the subsurface, the electrodes, the PCUs, the ERH condensers, and the water and vapor treatment systems.
A custom ERH condenser and vacuum blower package accompanies each of our PCUs. Our skid-mounted condensers are manufactured and sized specifically to accommodate our PCUs and have automated functions that are monitored and controlled through the PCUs. Our steam condensers and vacuum blower packages are built by a nationally recognized American manufacturer with over 25 years of experience building equipment specifically for the environmental industry. Our manufacturer is known for producing high quality products that provide trouble free operations, and for their 24-hour support system, both of which help TRS limit system downtime.
At TRS safety comes first, and we are proud of our safety record. TRS has had only one Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recordable accident (a broken finger) in over 550,000 employee hours. Our Experience Modification Rate (EMR) is less than one and Total Recordable Incident Rate (TRIR) is 0.36. We have achieved this record by integrating sound engineering controls and safety procedures into our designs and operating protocols. Safety is reinforced throughout our corporate and project management philosophy, our approach to field operations, and our training programs. Additionally, we have a strict subcontractor safety evaluation and certification program that requires our subcontractors have EMR ratings of 1.0 or less.
As the industry leader in applying ERH, TRS has been at the forefront in addressing the safety concerns inherent to the technology and to subsurface heating in general. The number and variety of ERH applications we have performed to date has provided us with unique opportunities to observe and solve a wider range of safety challenges. Our staff engineers were the first to solve the issues with surface voltage and we now routinely perform ERH projects in areas that are open to direct public access. We have also heated directly under occupied buildings without ever experiencing adverse effects to utilities, building structures, or indoor air quality.
In addition to electrical safety issues, TRS has also focused on reducing the potential for exposure to steam and elevated temperatures. Methods to reduce these risks include the selection of appropriate construction materials, the use of innovative system installation techniques, and the employment of robust methods to recover steam and contaminant vapors from the subsurface. Our steam and contaminant vapor capture systems have been tested and refined throughout North America on site after site and there have been no fugitive emissions detected above background levels within any building above or adjacent to a TRS remediation system.
As an extension of our site safety efforts, we developed the first hot soil and groundwater sampling protocols to allow quality samples to be collected with confidence and without exposing site personnel to steam. Our sampling protocols have been accepted by all 25 states and 10 EPA regions where ERH has been performed. To promote industry safety, we have shared these protocols with our clients, regulators, and other in situ thermal remediation providers.
Fluids and Vapor Recovery
TRS has extensive experience in cooling and treating free product hydrocarbons, groundwater, volatile organic compound (VOC) vapors, and steam that can be removed from the subsurface during the ERH process. We design and manufacture our equipment specifically for ERH applications and we own the most advanced ERH condensers in the industry. Our equipment designs and manufacturing processes have proven effective and reliable on all of our ERH applications and under the various site and weather conditions found throughout the continental United States and Alaska. Our ERH systems have survived hurricanes, floods, tidal surges, dust storms, desert summers, and extreme winter conditions.
TRS personnel have decades of experience in the operation of high-temperature oil-water separators, knock-out pots, sparge tanks, air strippers, catalytic oxidizers, thermal oxidizers, and granular activated carbon (GAC) systems. TRS also has experience using Refrigeration Condensation Units (RCUs) for vapor treatment on several ERH remediation projects that involve the cleanup of chlorinated VOC impacted soil and groundwater.
Innovative Combinations of Remedies
A recent report published by Battelle for the Naval Facilities Engineering Service Center in March 2007 looked at the effects of in situ heating on five sites around the United States. An excerpt from that report, titled “Final Report – Cost and Performance Review of Electrical Resistance Heating (ERH) for Source Treatment,” stated:
"In addition to volatilization and steam stripping, enhanced biodegradation and other abiotic reactions at elevated temperatures were an active mechanism at all five sites."
TRS is helping to lead the efforts to combine ERH with heat enhanced hydrolysis, bioremediation, and chemical oxidation to provide a total contaminant plume solution. Our work with Battelle and the USACE in identifying and measuring biological and abiotic reactions during heat-up and cool-down at the Fort Lewis East Gate Disposal Yard (EGDY) project represents a unique contribution by an in situ heating remediation vendor towards the science of the in situ dechlorination process.
Heat enhanced hydrolysis, aerobic bioremediation, and enhanced anaerobic bioremediation (EAB) are fast growing techniques for soil and groundwater remediation. Where applied appropriately, they represent cost-effective approaches to site remediation. TRS has now proven on multiple sites that ERH can increase the effects of naturally occurring bioremediation and abiotic processes to the point where these reactions cannot only polish site groundwater, they can be an important part of an overall heat based remedial program.
The TRS ERH Process
During ERH, a power control unit (PCU) is used to pass electrical current through the soil and groundwater requiring treatment. The passage of electrical current through the subsurface creates enough heat to convert soil moisture to steam. This in situ steam generation occurs in all soil types, regardless of permeability. The heat generated by resistance to the induced electrical current also evaporates the target contaminants. The steam created by boiling soil moisture and groundwater then acts as a carrier gas to sweep the contaminants to the vapor recovery (VR) wells. At sites where ERH is applied in the saturated zone the entire treated portion of the aquifer will reach boiling conditions.
During ERH, it is the resistance to the flow of electrical current that heats the subsurface, not the electrodes. Unlike thermal conduction heater wells, the electrodes do not get any hotter than the surrounding subsurface.
During ERH, the subsurface will be heated from ambient conditions to the boiling point of water in a smooth and controlled manner. Because ERH needs soil moisture to work, it is impossible to desiccate any part of the subsurface during ERH. The technology is also intrinsically safe. If heating stops for any reason, steam generation in the subsurface stops immediately. Redundant vapor recovery systems and backup generators are not needed at ERH sites. Finally, ERH enhances intrinsic reductive dechlorination adding a “free” chlorinated hydrocarbon polishing effect throughout the process.
The type of contaminant and the desired clean-up goal affect the energy, time and cost to remediate a site. However, two subsurface parameters are also very important: the amount of total organic carbon (TOC) and the presence of heavy hydrocarbons such as diesel, oil, or grease.
The presence of oil, grease, or other low volatility hydrocarbons can also slow the evaporation rate of VOCs. Raoult’s Law describes this effect. However, no significant concentrations of oil, grease, or low volatility hydrocarbons have been reported within the treatment volume.
The boiling point of pure PCE is 121 degrees Celsius (°C), which is above the boiling point of pure water (100°C at sea level pressure conditions). It should be noted that when a VOC is immersed or dissolved in water, the combined boiling point is depressed as described by Dalton’s Law of Partial Pressures. The consequences of Dalton’s Law are that VOCs in contact with water will boil when the vapor pressure of the VOC plus the vapor pressure of water are equal to the ambient pressure. Dalton’s Law even describes the boiling temperature of non-aqueous phase liquids (NAPLs) in contact with moist soil. Due to the Dalton’s Law effect PCE in contact with soil moisture will boil at about 85°C.
Once subsurface heating starts, the boiling points of various VOC/water mixtures are reached in the following order: separate phase NAPL in contact with water or soil moisture, followed by dissolved VOCs, and finally, uncontaminated groundwater. This order is advantageous for remediation because contaminated water will boil off before uncontaminated water, reducing the time and energy required to complete treatment.
Our staff has successfully cleaned more sites with soil and groundwater impacted by chlorinated VOCs than all the other in situ thermal remediation providers combined. The projects that our staff has completed include both the largest and deepest applications of electrical subsurface heating. These sites also represent some of the most challenging and complex sites ever cleaned. We have treated sites with highly contaminated source areas under occupied buildings, sites with complex lithologies, tight clay sites, and sites with extremely transmissive aquifers.
We have routinely reduced the concentrations of TCE and PCE in soil and groundwater by over 99%, which typically surpasses our contracted remedial goals. Occasionally, we have been contracted to achieve higher contaminant reduction percentages and have used ERH to reach MCLs in groundwater and non-detect contaminant concentrations in soil.
On a recent project, we achieved a 99.99996% reduction in soil PCE concentrations under a 22-foot wide alley separating a shopping mall drycleaner from a row of apartments. The ERH treatment area remained open to public access throughout the remediation.
Similarly, on a site where we cleaned a mix of PCE, TCE, DCE, MeCl and vinyl chloride, CVOC concentrations in all confirmatory soil samples were below analytical detection levels. Achieving non-detect levels of CVOCs in soil allowed the property owner to eliminate all property deed restrictions and to sell the property for a $10M premium.
We have treated TCE and PCE at sites with very tight lithologies. At a former dry cleaner site in Western Springs, IL, the hydraulic conductivity of the lean clay in the treatment area was 10-8 cm/sec. The GFPR goal was a 95% reduction of PCE concentrations in soil. We achieved a 99% reduction in just 120 days of heating. Our ERH system was installed below grade in the alley behind a shopping mall allowing unrestricted public access during treatment.
Repeat business is a TRS hallmark that we are proud to have earned. Over 75% of our projects are from repeat customers and we have completed every ERH remediation project to 100% client satisfaction.