Case Study: The Quesnel, BC Groundwater Remediation Project
A large energy Canadian energy company faced a problem: a simple gas station decommissioning project had turned into one of the company’s largest environmental liabilities. Contamination from tank filling operations had left residual contamination in the shallow groundwater at the site, the main drinking water supply for residents living in the vicinity, an economically depressed area.
A project risk analysis was called for and executed using the PMBOK risk management processes. Overall risks were identified and evaluated. A particular concern was the possibility of cascading and interacting risks that could increase the probability and negative impact of issues at the site.
The selected risk mitigation included a wide range of activities. A key element was design, permitting, and construction of a groundwater containment system at the site to control the plume of contamination. The required completion time was tightly constrained by weather conditions at the site.
With risk mitigation measures selected, project risk analysis was used at a more focused scale to develop a project plan. The plan was implemented and regular risk management activities and discussions were integrated into the management and execution of the project.
All project goals were ultimately realized, and the groundwater containment system was up-and-running before the required target date. There was a very a high level of satisfaction by both the team and the client on the results and performance.
Brad Hermanson, PE, PMP, MBA is a senior project manager with GEI Consultants, a 650-person consulting firm delivering integrated civil, geotechnical, environmental, water resources and ecological solutions from 30 offices to diverse clientele nationwide.
Brad has worked in the engineering consulting field for almost 30 years. For virtually all of that time he has been a project manager, with a particular interest and emphasis on project risk management. He has either managed or provided project management support to some of the most complex environmental projects in the northwest.
Brad has served in a leadership role directing project delivery operations at a regional or firmwide level for several consulting firms. For over four years he served as Director of Project Delivery and Quality for a 550-person consulting firm in the northwest. He has provided consulting to numerous project delivery organizations seeking to improve their project delivery practices.
Brad is a frequent and enthusiastic speaker and trainer, helping aspiring and practicing project managers to understand the best practices of project management. He co-taught the risk management section of the PMI Portland Chapter PMP training program for almost 10 years, and has been the keynote or educational presenter at numerous PMI chapter meetings and roundtables. He recently gave a webinar on quality to a global audience affiliated with the PMI Quality Community of Practice.
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