2000 CPEO Brownfields List Archive

From: CPEO Moderator <cpeo@cpeo.org>
Date: Thu, 22 Jun 2000 18:04:08 -0700 (PDT)
Reply: cpeo-brownfields

US EPA Region 9


For Immediate Release: June 22, 2000


Crews removing tens of thousands of pounds of lead-tainted soil

SAN FRANCISCO   The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is midway through
removing tons of soil at a housing complex in Richmond where old railway
operations had left behind high levels of lead-contaminated dirt.
An EPA cleanup crew is removing and backfilling an estimated 60,000 cubic
yards of soil from roughly 12 acres on the Richmond Townhouse Apartment
property, where lead levels in the soil have tested as high as 9,710 parts
per million.  The EPA's cleanup level is 400 parts per million of lead in
residential soil.  

The total cost of the cleanup paid with federal and state funds is expected
to cost more than $1.2 million, and is slated for completion in late July.
The cleanup crew is removing soil up to two feet down, and installing a
fabric barrier to discourage future digging.

An estimated 510 people live in the apartment complex, and 40 to 50
children attend the on- site daycare center regularly.  Since 1993, Contra
Costa County Health Services officials have recorded six children from the
townhouses with mildly elevated blood lead levels.  These numbers were
based on laboratory and doctor reports, as well as on-site blood testing
offered by the health department in February. 

Long-term exposure to lead can result in behavioral and learning problems,
slowed growth and damage to the brain and nervous system.  Parents can call
(510)374-3184 for information about getting their children tested, or talk
to their regular doctor.

The California Department of Toxic Substances Control will fund and oversee
the transport of the contaminated soil to a landfill in Kettleman City.

Throughout the cleanup, crews are wetting the soil to suppress potential
dust emissions.  Hourly air samples are also being taken to ensure the
safety of local residents. In addition to removing the soil and backfilling
the area with clean dirt, the EPA is also re-landscaping much of the
property, and replacing the sprinkler system.

--From 1909 through 1959, the Pullman Palace Car Company operated a 22-acre
rail car maintenance yard that included the area where the Richmond
Townhouse Apartments now sit.  Rail car maintenance included the use of
lead based filler material to repair dented rail cars and sandblasting
paints that commonly contained lead.

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