2014 CPEO Brownfields List Archive

From: Lenny Siegel <lsiegel@cpeo.org>
Date: Thu, 22 May 2014 11:53:08 -0700 (PDT)
Reply: cpeo-brownfields
Subject: [CPEO-BIF] "Local company's toxic plume map causes alarm" in Mountain View, California
Local company's toxic plume map causes alarm
Chemicals under Googleplex is much smaller than thought

by By Daniel DeBolt and Gennady Sheyner
Mountain View Voice (CA)
May 22, 2014

Palo Alto resident Bob Wenzlau has taken on the task of mapping the various toxic plumes in Mountain View and surrounding cities, which has caused some alarm among Mountain View residents and employees.

The murky and complex topic of groundwater contamination has been a hot one in cities like Palo Alto and Mountain View, where contamination has been found under former computer chip manufacturer sites around North Whisman Road and a few other sites. The typical pollutant is trichloroethylene (TCE), a once-popular industrial solvent that has been deemed a carcinogen by the Environmental Protection Agency. The vapors are known to rise from the ground and become trapped in buildings, causing a risk for birth defects from short term exposures and numerous health problems from long-term exposures.

Information about specific Silicon Valley toxic sites isn't easy for a layman to find. Data about these underground contaminants are dispersed throughout many different databases, making it difficult for city officials and residents to access and understand the information. This, in turn, makes it hard for cleanup efforts to generate momentum. In Mountain View, toxic site cleanup oversight is divided among the EPA, the state's Water Board and Department of Toxic Substances Control. The latter two have engaged the public very little in their cleanups.


For the entire article, see


Lenny Siegel
Executive Director, Center for Public Environmental Oversight
a project of the Pacific Studies Center
278-A Hope Street
Mountain View, CA 94041
Voice: 650-961-8918 or 650-969-1545
Fax: 650-961-8918

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