Project Data

  • Client Name: Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority and Georgia Building Authority
  • Project Location: Atlanta, GA
  • Awards: ACEC-GA Engineering Excellence Grand Award

S&ME, Inc. designed a lead remediation plan for the former Pullman Yards train maintenance facility in Atlanta. The project, for the Georgia Environmental Facilities Authority (GEFA) and the Georgia Building Authority (GBA), met remediation requirements of the State’s Environmental Protection Division’s Hazardous Site Response Act (EPD/HSRA) program.

The contamination came from sand-blasting done from the 1890s to the 1960s to remove lead-based paint from train engines and railcars.  S&ME’s plan allowed treatment and removal of the lead-contaminated sand in a timely manner and saved $1.1 million.  Quick action was required to protect a nearby school and residential properties, and to keep the property from being listed as a “hazardous site.”  Another concern was the future use of nearby historic buildings and the threat to potential community development.  In fact, the state was negotiating a sale of the property at a price of more than $20 million.  Conditions, however, put this sale in jeopardy.

Specific S&ME services included development of a site-specific in situ treatment process.  Additionally, S&ME had to design a safe mixing and delivery system for a phosphoric acid solution used in treating some 4,000 tons of sand.   The system not only needed to deliver a huge quantity of solution (totaling 140,000 gallons) in a relatively short time, but also deliver the solution safely (pH of the solution was a highly acidic 4.0) and evenly throughout the TSP/sand.

S&ME’s inventive design rendered the contaminated sand as “non-hazardous” for disposal purposes.  As verified by extensive sampling, our methodology produced a satisfactory reduction in the leachability of the lead from the sand.  The project was completed in a much more cost-effective and timely manner than if S&ME had used conventional treatment and disposal approaches.  To our knowledge, our approach is an original application of existing technologies.


Phosphoric Acid TreatmentPhosphoric Acid Treatment S&MEPost Treatment Cover and Sampling