Mitigation

The cleanup of an oil spill can be a minor project, involving the removal of a few buckets of contaminated soil, or a major excavation project costing tens of thousands of dollars. There are two options for the mitigation of the contaminated soil: disposal at a landfill and baking.

Disposal is slightly less expensive but may have a long term liability if the landfill requires future cleanup. Landfills must keep a record of the source of the disposed material. Any future pollution and cleanup could become the responsibility of the original owner of the contaminated material.

Baking the soil involves the heating of the soil and burning off the oils in the soil. Once this is done, the soil can be returned to the site. The baking option appears to be the safer method.

There are also some experimental methods to treat the contaminated soil with oil eating bacteria. However, most of these methods require exposing the soil to air and oxygen, and as such, are impractical in residential settings.