When the Regional Water Quality Control Board opens its Wednesday night informational meeting on the controversial marshland toxic waste cleanup at the site of the proposed Campus Bay shoreline residential project, Richmond workers and residents might well have questions about similar efforts underway at the adjoining UC Berkeley Field Station just to the north.
Earth moving equipment is busy this week at both sites, which have a long history of pollution by chemical manufacturing complexes, lacing the inland soil and shoreline with a range of organic and inorganic pollutants.
The water board meeting, scheduled from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Booker T. Anderson Community Center, 960 S. 47th St., is slated to address just the Campus Bay portion of the cleanup.
Work at the UC Berkeley site has been planned in five stages, including an ongoing cleanup of the university’s portion of Stege Marsh, a waterfowl nesting area along the shoreline, which is a seasonal home to the endangered clapper rail shorebird.
Work at the Campus Bay portion of the marsh is now underway and will be the focus of the RWQB session. Neighbors and members of Bay Area Residents for Responsible Development (BAARD) have criticized Campus Bay developers for what they and water board officials have called inadequate monitoring of dust and chemical emissions from the site.
Excavated soil from the Campus Bay portion of the complex is being temporarily stored atop a recently uncapped area of the toxic waste dump on the site. It is scheduled to be moved off-site in the spring after the muck has dried.
Cherokee Simeon Ventures, a partnership between Marin County developer Simeon Properties and Cherokee Investors, a venture capital firm specializing in developments on reclaimed toxic sites, plans a 1,330-unit residential complex at the dump site.
Former site owner AstraZeneca, a British chemical and pharmaceutical company, has responsibility to clean up the site. It retained former San Francisco Mayor and past Assembly speaker Willie Brown this week as its Sacramento lobbyist in advance of Nov. 6 hearings on the site called by Berkeley Assemblymember Loni Hancock.
BARRD members raised questions about the Campus Bay cleanup last week when San Francisco water board Executive Director Bruce Wolfe appeared at a meeting of Citizens for the Eastshore State Park.
Wolfe told Sherry Padgett, a leading BARRD activist who works near the Campus Bay site, that he was surprised that Campus Bay and their cleanup contractor, Emeryville-based LFR Levine Fricke, had not implemented round-the-clock monitoring at the site.
Wolfe promised Padgett and the others that he would reiterate a standing order for continuous monitoring of site emissions.
BAARD also asked that the scope of monitoring be included to encompass more of the potentially dangerous volatile organic compounds on the site.
One compound now under monitoring, perchlorethelene, may not be dangerous, while other compounds not being followed could be dangerous.
Both sites contain large amount of iron pyrite ash and other metals, and the university site also has significant qualities of mercury.
Earth-moving equipment at the Field Station has been moving already excavated soils off site, and BAARD activists have complained that dust has been blowing off the trucks.
Work at the UC site is being conducted under the supervision of the campus Office of Environmental Health and Safety.›