Ecova Corp. has completed the bioremediation of a site inSouthern California that was contaminated with bunker C oil,the company reported.

Ecova of Redmond, Wash., used indigenous microbes to cleanmore than 300,000 cubic yards of soil, enough to cover 57football fields with earth 3 feet deep.

Ecova's process enhances the population of natural oil-degrading microbes by adding nutrients and oxygen. The oil ismineralized into carbon dioxide and water.

Contamination was reduced by up to 94 percent, from as highas 15,000 parts per million to fewer than 1,000 ppm, whichmeets California Regional Water Quality Control Boardstandards.

The effort cost $45 per cubic yard. Ecova estimates thatconventional disposal to a landfill would have cost $60 to$300 per cubic yard. In addition, disposal only movescontamination from one site to another.

The site was a former bunker oil reservoir near Torrance,Calif., on a 50-year-old Unocal tank farm. It will be developedinto a shopping center and a light industrial park. The cleanupwas funded by Unocal.

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