At KC Harvey, we believe in delivering projects with more than just the bare minimum quality, timeliness and financial responsibility; we believe in true innovation to best meet our clients’ needs. We are proud to present the following projects that demonstrate our innovative solutions and project delivery.
Desalination Membranes for Subsurface Irrigation Patent
Highly saline wastewaters are generated in industrial applications such as the exploration and production of oil and natural gas. This produced water is typically managed by injection into a deep well or evaporation ponds. Both of these approaches are disposal techniques and not considered treatment processes, nor do they provide beneficial use. KC Harvey’s CEO and Chief Scientist, Kevin Harvey, along with his partner Dr. Jonathan Brant (University of Wyoming) envisioned a system whereby saline water would be delivered to subsurface soil in tubes like those used in drip irrigation. The difference is that the tubes would be constructed of membranes and other materials that are used in separating solids, including salts, from water. One application of such membranes is in a sub-surface irrigation system that utilizes saline produced water from oil and gas operations which would solve water management issues while simultaneously growing forage or food crops. For more information, please see our What’s New article.
Large Scale Oil Field Reclamation Management
In the early 2000s, natural gas producers discovered abundant new unconventional gas resources in the Rocky Mountain West, leading to rapid development of new gas fields and expansion of existing fields. The regulatory requirements for these developments require a higher level of attention to reclamation to return disturbed areas back to their original use, primarily wildlife habitat, as quickly as possible. These semi-arid, high desert environments are challenging for reclamation, making compliance with the higher reclamation standards difficult for most operators, who turned to KC Harvey for solutions. KC Harvey took a two-pronged approach to find a solution: first, develop procedures to prevent soil degradation on new well pad locations, and second, mitigate the contamination that was preventing plant growth on existing locations. Our science-based approach inspired the development of systematic pre-construction soil salvage procedures that inventory suitable soils prior to construction, and salvage those soils for reclamation. Concurrently, we developed soil amendment procedures to mitigate sodic soil conditions at well pads where sodic sub-soil had been mixed with and contaminated the salvaged soil. Implementation of the pre-construction soil salvage plans on new locations and treating sodic soils with amendments on old locations had an immediate positive impact on reclamation success and allowed natural gas producers to meet their reclamation goals.
East Gallatin River Streambank Restoration
KC Harvey restored approximately 4,000 feet of steep eroding banks on the East Gallatin River near Manhattan, Montana, using bioengineering techniques including coir encapsulated soil lifts. Banks were planted with over 15,000 willow sprigs harvested on site and 720 small/medium containerized native shrubs and trees to restore riparian vegetation and habitat. Work included site characterization and surveying, design, permitting, construction and contractor management. Additional planting, seeding and weed control is ongoing.
Dakota Access Pipeline Permitting and Reclamation
Permitting and Planning: KC Harvey assisted with baseline studies and permitting support along the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) right-of-way in North Dakota and South Dakota in 2014. We mapped vegetation community types within the survey corridor according to dominant species to allow for an analysis of special-status species habitat, migratory bird habitat, and reclamation planning as well as seed-acquisition for revegetation. We reviewed typical topsoil depths within the survey corridor verified topsoil depths at representative locations in order to plan topsoil salvage methods and depths along the Project and alternatives. We also completed a wetland and non-wetland Waters of the U.S. survey during the same survey effort. We provided on-going agency consultation and Project support in order to respond to Project questions regarding species habitat, noxious weeds, reclamation, and other items.
Environmental Field Services: During the summers of 2017, 2018 and 2019, KC Harvey planted over 140,000 trees and shrubs along the DAPL right-of-way in order to replace those that were removed for the pipeline construction. Trees and shrubs were replaced at a 2:1 ratio, in accordance with an agreement with the North Dakota Public Service Commission (PSC). After planting, KC Harvey watered the trees and shrubs and maintained them (mowing, fencing, etc.) to promote their survival. KC Harvey conducted annual survival surveys and prepared monitoring reports required for the PSC.
Comprehensive Geo-spatial Information Management System for the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria
KC Harvey’s international operations manager, a Nigerian national, spent 7 months in Nigeria working on a mapping project for the Rice Farmers Association of Nigeria (RIFAN). The project involved training recent college graduates to collect data on individual rice farmers via tablet devices to create a comprehensive Geospatial Information Management System. This cloud-based System will consist of geo-referenced maps of various rice farmland, cross-correlated to individual farmers nationwide. This source and analytics platform that allows the client to securely access timely, relevant farm data inputs, outputs and resources from anywhere in the world. The project is ongoing, but the teams have already collected data on 90,000 farmers. This project will, among other objectives, provide much desired national and international visibility for farmers that will hopefully stimulate funding and technical partnership with bilateral and multilateral development agencies such as the World Bank.
Systematic Science Based Reclamation of Mining Related Superfund Sites
Human and ecological health protection is a required outcome of remediation at Superfund sites. Metal contamination and resource degradation at mining mega-sites is widespread and easily measured, yet cost-effective, permanent remedial techniques and durable cleanup procedures are often lacking. Scientists employed by KC Harvey developed transparent assessment protocols and companion remedial design frameworks for government regulators and responsible party managers. These techniques combined measures of contamination severity and risk of contaminant release with observations of natural recovery to delineate areas requiring remediation. The Land Reclamation Evaluation System (LRES) was devised in 1997 for the 300 square mile Anaconda Smelter Superfund Site. Since inception this protocol has allowed for remediation of thousands of acres and protection of thousands of acres from tillage where natural recovery is on-going. Over the past 15 years this system has been continuously updated and is now being used as a performance standard for revegetation success.
Arkansas River Mine Tailing Remediation (Colorado)
Historic uncontrolled releases of mine tailings and contaminated water into the Arkansas River downstream of Leadville, Colorado, resulted in hundreds of acres of barren or metal-impacted soils within the floodplain and in adjacent irrigated pastures. EPA required an implementable, low-cost fix that immobilized floodplain metals, stabilized erosive streambanks and allowed for recovery of the fishery and improvement in water quality. KC Harvey was hired as experts in soil remediation and floodplain revegetation. We tilled soil amendments including lime and compost into the soil to decrease acidity and reduce metal mobility, followed by seeding with native grasses. We used streambank bioengineering techniques to revegetate unstable banks using transplanted willows and riparian vegetation from the floodplain. Floodplain revegetation was successful, and water quality has improved. In 2014, the Upper Arkansas was designated as a Gold Medal Trout Water. Leadville residents, previously skeptical of EPA and Superfund have been impressed with the effectiveness of the work.
Before Treatment (2008)
After Remediation (2010)
During Treatment (2009)
After Remediation (2012)
Related ‘Metals to Medals’ Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P6kRzkyxISM&feature=youtu.be#
Additional Project Information: Click here to download the PowerPoint show from the 2012 EPA Hardrock Mining Conference: Advancing Solutions for a New Legacy
April 3-5, 2012, Denver, Colorado
Analogous Concern in Colorado: An August 5, 2015 release of mine water into the Animas River has resulted in a heightened awareness of the hazards of unreclaimed mines. Media coverage has contrasted the successful reclamation in Leadville to the uncontrolled releases on mine waste and water on the Animas. At KC Harvey, we are proud of our accomplishments on the Arkansas River and are committed to dedicating ourselves to similar work in other watersheds.
Managed Irrigation for the Beneficial Use of Coalbed Natural Gas Produced Water
In 2000, natural gas producers in the Wyoming Powder River Basin faced a dilemma — find a method for disposing or utilizing vast amounts of saline-sodic produced water associated with coalbed natural gas operations or shut in thousands of wells. KC Harvey developed a successful managed irrigation program as an alternative for managing the produced water. Since its successful development, managed irrigation has been used by several natural gas producing companies to handle all of their produced water in the Powder River Basin of Wyoming. Since 2001, KC Harvey has managed over 3,000 acres of alfalfa and other forage crops irrigated solely with produced water. This managed irrigation program was recognized by both state and federal government agencies as an accepted produced water management method, and KC Harvey won a national award from the Soil Society of America for this work. In addition, oil and gas producers as far away as Australia have noted this work and have retained KC Harvey to implement this process for their projects.
Detoxification and Neutralization of Acid-producing Mine Waste
Acid generation from sulfidic mine tailings is a world-wide environmental problem affecting thousands of miles of stream, and in some cases, these streams are entirely devoid of fish. Research performed by KC Harvey scientists developed the scientific basis for permanent treatment of acid-producing mine waste through soil amendment followed by native plant revegetation. Remediation of acidic mine waste by soil amendment has been selected by EPA and State regulators for thousands of acres at Superfund sites in the western U.S. These techniques have been implemented over a period of several decades in watersheds impaired by mine waste resulting in water quality improvements.