Water & Environment

Ensuring Clean Air and Soil for Pharmaceutical Plant Expansion

Before the laboratory addition to an Emergent BioSolutions pharmaceutical plant could be constructed in Baltimore, careful testing of the site was required to ensure the soil and air met the highest standards for the biopharmaceutical manufacturer.

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©©2015 WSP

WSP assisted Emergent BioSolutions with soil management and air monitoring services at its Baltimore expansion project.

WSP USA assisted Emergent with soil management and air monitoring services, including investigation, environmental compliance, air monitoring, waste management, construction management and oversight during site redevelopment activities performed during 2015 and 2016. Scott Haitz serves as the client manager and appointed Dave Rykaczewski as the project manager for this work.

“Removal and proper management of a large mound, consisting of approximately 12,000 cubic yards of clean and contaminated soil, was the first critical path activity within the overall redevelopment schedule to expand biopharmaceutical operations at the facility,” Rykaczewski said.

To meet the client’s aggressive schedule, WSP performed in-situ sampling to pre-characterize the soil mound and determine the limits of clean soil that could be beneficially reused, and contaminated soil that Emergent wanted removed from the property and disposed of at a permitted landfill.

WSP performed the air monitoring services to ensure worker safety on the construction site, and to facilitate soil segregation, loading, transportation and reuse/disposal at the pre-approved facilities.

“During excavation activities, isolated pockets of discolored soil and debris were identified, which were subsequently characterized as hazardous waste,” Rykaczewski said. “WSP quickly coordinated hazardous waste management services and developed a hazardous waste management plan to address the unforeseen conditions.”

‘No Further Requirements’

When hazardous waste was identified in the soil, WSP developed and implemented an alternative soil management approach to segregate affected soil and to relocate all soil to locations outside the building footprint.

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©2015 WSP

WSP performed in-situ sampling to pre-characterize the soil mound and determine the limits of clean soil that could be beneficially reused. This is the north view of the site, showing the geo-pier drilling and installation.

“This approach allowed underground utility and foundation work to proceed with minimal impact to the redevelopment schedule,” Rykaczewski said.

The environmental testing and soil management activities were completed in June 2016. The Emergent addition doubled the size of its East Lombard Street plant, located near Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center. The 112,000 square-foot facility opened earlier this month and is now complete.

WSP’s air monitoring and soil management activities allowed Emergent to remain in compliance with a “no further requirements” determination from the Maryland Department of the Environment.

The expansion is the result of a partnership between Emergent and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which named the company as one of three Centers for Innovation in Advanced Development and Manufacturing. The expansion will allow Emergent to increase vaccine production when there are national shortages.

Playing a role on a project that will benefit an important vaccine manufacturer was satisfying for Haitz and his team.

“We felt a sense of accomplishment and pride once the soil project was successfully completed and the facility was constructed,” he said.


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