Statement From Great Plains Environmental

Great Plains Environmental was hired by T. L. Stroh Architects to investigate the lot located at 811 2nd Avenue North in Fargo where an incident occurred last Friday that resulted in excavation personnel being exposed to something after uncovering under ground piping at the property.  Upon conducting our visual observation with excavation contractor personnel, we were shown where some of the excavation had occurred in addition to locations where some of the underground piping was located.  Based upon our site observations and information obtained from the excavation personnel, we sampled residual vapors from one of the in-place broken off remnant pipe segments.  Requesting a “rush” analysis, the analytical laboratory provided the results, which were provided to our client.  The major contaminant detected was the Volatile Organic Compound, Naphthalene.  Some additional Volatile Organic Compounds were detected in the analysis of the vapor sample as well.


At this point, we don’t recognize an airborne threat to the public as long as the property is secured and remains undisturbed.  Significant amounts of contaminated soil are not at this point apparent.  Soil sampling is assumed to be performed either from geoprobe borings or when excavation resumes (this may be later next week).  The specific nature of the source (outside of the portion of piping discovered to date) of the contaminants identified is as of yet undetermined.  Investigation is on going as to the nature of the piping and it’s possible extent as well as if there are any underground storage tanks present associated with the piping discovered.


Currently, no further excavation work will be undertaken until more information is obtained and until a comprehensive site safety plan (SSP) is developed and reviewed.  At that point, local officials will certainly be included as an integral part of the SSP.  The SSP will include elements as required by OSHA including contingency and protective measures for both on-site personnel and the public.


Terry Johnson

Project Manager

Great Plains Environmental