October 16, 2019

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Andrew Brey Co-Authored a Paper on Contaminated Soil Assessments for the International Journal of Coal Geology

Andrew Brey, P.G. (Florida) co-authored a paper entitled "Appraisal of coal- and coke-derived wastes in soils near a former manufactured gas plant, Jacksonville, Florida" for publication in the International Journal of Coal Geology on August 16, 2019.

Andrew's co-author was Scott Stout, NewFields Environmental Forensics Practice.

Andrew is a Senior Geologist based in Florida with more than 20 years of experience focused on environmental site assessment and remedial investigation. He has directed manufactured gas plant (MGP) and chlorinated solvent assessment activities for various utility and municipal clients throughout the eastern United States. In this capacity, project elements have included technical support on groundwater natural attenuation geochemistry and contaminant source forensic identification. His recent primary project experience includes detailed investigation and feasibility study of MGP sites and their associated surface-soil, subsurface-soil, and dissolved-phase groundwater plumes.

The International Journal of Coal Geology deals with fundamental and applied aspects of the geology and petrology of coal, oil/gas source rocks and shale gas resources. The journal aims to advance the exploration, exploitation, and utilization of these resources, and to stimulate environmental awareness as well as advancement of engineering for effective resource management.


Preliminary site assessments revealed visibly impacted soils in downtown Jacksonville, Florida (USA) suspected to be associated with a historic (1875–1912) manufactured gas plant (MGP) nearby. In this study, 19 soils from 11 borings within the impacted area were collected and analyzed using GC/FID for quantification of total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH) and GC/MS for quantification of 87 volatiles and 50 parent and alkylated polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). The results showed soils (up to 11m deep and spanning ~90 m) containing elevated concentrations of TPH and PAHs, wherein the total PAHs, which were exclusively pyrogenic in character, comprised (on average) 40 ± 10% of the TPH in most (14 of 19) soils. In accord with visual observations of black-to-maroon, viscous non-aqueous phase liquid (NAPL) in some soils, the chemical results confirm the widespread occurrence of variably weathered MGP tars throughout the area's subsurface. Multiple PAH isomer ratios indicate all but one of the tars likely were produced from the carbureted water gas (CWG) process; the exceptional tar likely was produced via the coal carbonization process. Both processes were historically used by the nearby former MGP. Three soils contained distinct hydrocarbons and pyrogenic PAHs consistent with particulate coke or coal ash (clinker) or heavy (C10 to C22) gas oil, a feedstock for CWG, the latter of which appeared as a yellowish-green NAPL. When interpreted in light of the typical MGP waste management and decommissioning practices, the results demonstrate the area's soils contain MGP wastes consistent with the discharge and/or disposal of wastes and demolition debris from the former MGP.

More Information

Learn more about the article: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0166516219303982
Learn more about the International Journal of Coal Geology: https://www.journals.elsevier.com/international-journal-of-coal-geology/
For consultation regarding contaminated soil assessments, contact Andrew at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Learn more about Andrew at: https://www.linkedin.com/in/andrew-brey-9ba575120/