Tom Butt
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  DTSC Approves Final Cleanup for the Zeneca Site in Richmond
October 28, 2019  

DTSC Approves Final Cleanup for the Zeneca Site in Richmond

Cleanup Plan Minimizes Adverse Impacts, Protects Public Health and Environment

– The Department of Toxic Substances Control today announced the final cleanup plan for a contaminated site in Richmond, along the San Francisco Bay shoreline, formerly owned by the chemical company Zeneca Inc. The cleanup will allow redevelopment of the site in a manner that protects public health and the environment. 

“We considered all public comments and selected a remedy that minimizes adverse impacts on public health and safety compared to other alternatives,” said Meredith Williams, Acting Director of DTSC. “This cleanup allows this land to be used to create needed housing and ensures that members of the community and people who live, work or play on or around the site are protected.”  

In approving the Remedial Action Plan, DTSC selected Alternative 3a, a remedy that removes heavily contaminated soil and installs either barrier or low-permeability caps across areas of the site where contamination will be left in place. These caps will safely prevent people from contact with contaminated material and prevent stormwater from spreading contaminants.

The remedy includes excavation of 7,900 cubic yards of contaminated soil, groundwater treatment, and a soil vapor extraction system. Contaminated soil will be safely disposed of and replaced with clean soil. Barrier or low-permeability caps are regularly used to safely prevent people from coming into contact with waste left in place.

Out of nine potential cleanup alternatives, DTSC received the most public comments on Alternatives 3a and 6. DTSC did not select Alternative 6, which would take about 10 years to implement, require an estimated 64,370 truck trips to transport and dispose of material, and create more harmful impacts to the community, including air pollution, dangerous traffic and increased dust. Alternative 3a will take roughly two years to complete, with 1,050 truck trips.

DTSC worked with the city of Richmond for several years to ensure the remedy supports future site uses in the city’s zoning plan, including residential uses. Last month, the Richmond City Council adopted a resolution in support of Alternative 3a. DTSC and the city will work together to ensure any redevelopment of the site includes all required protections.

The Department worked with the public extensively during this process. DTSC regularly attends community advisory group meetings and hosted and attended other public meetings, including Richmond City Council meetings. DTSC has also responded to each public comment in the plan’s Responsiveness Summary.

Zeneca is responsible for completing the cleanup. DTSC has given Zeneca 60 days to submit its plan to implement the approved remedy.

The Stauffer Chemical Company, and later Zeneca, manufactured chemicals such as sulfuric acid and pesticides at the site from the late 1800s until the late 1990s. Oversight of large portions of the site was transferred to DTSC from the San Francisco Regional Water Control Board in 2004-05.

View details about this decision and DTSC’s responses to comments received during a 2018 public comment period.