Ecological restoration: a remedial design for a petroleum contaminated site near Levelland, Texas



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This thesis demonstrates how to integrate environmentally sensitive remediation technologies with sustainable design solutions to create a master plan for a petroleum contaminated site near Levelland Texas. Located approximately 30 miles west of Lubbock, Texas, the site is currently listed on the National Priorities List (NPL), which is a comprehensive list of some of the nation’s most hazardous waste sites. The site was contaminated by the former Motor Fuels Corporation (MFC) refinery. During its operation (1939-1954), the refinery used a nearby playa lake as a disposal area for refining wastes that contaminated local soils and created a groundwater plume that contaminated nearby wells. In 2009, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) exercised efforts to remove contaminants from the groundwater plume but did not take any action to remove pollutants from the soil on site. Investigations of established and innovative remediation methods are presented to distinguish appropriate methods for the site of the former MFC refinery. Phytoremediation, which is the use of plants to degrade contaminants, is an environmentally friendly and cost-effective alternative to traditional methods. The master plan of the site integrates a treatment train system (i.e. landfarming, bioremediation and phytoremediation) with a context-sensitive design in order to remediate the contaminated site while educating the public about remediation technologies and it’s role in ecological restoration. The design for re-development aims to increase the local economy and attract a variety of visitors, businesses, and institutions by providing public transit and opportunities for recreation, commerce and entertainment.



Landscape architecture, Phytoremediation, Hazardous wastes--Biodegradation