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October 13, 2015

Bay Trail to Be Closed All Day Tuesday October 27, 2015 For Repairs

The East Bay Regional Park District will close the Bay Trail on Tuesday October 27, 2015 for repairs to the asphalt. The Connecter Trail through Gate 4 will also be posted with the closure. Bicycle and walking access to the RFS will require entry off Meade Street that day.

See the attached flyer from EBRPD for more information.

 
 

September 1, 2015

   

Helicopter Flyover of RFS Now Scheduled For Wednesday Afternoon September 2, 2015  

This is an update to last Friday's email (see 8/28/15 news item below) regarding the schedule of September activities. The reported Department of Homeland Security fly-over of the RFS will take place tomorrow afternoon Wednesday September 2, 2015. The helicopter will do a fly-over of the Berkeley campus in the morning and then travel to the RFS in the afternoon.   

The U.S. Department of Energy National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) describes the flyovers as follows: A NNSA helicopter may be seen flying at low altitudes around the California Bay Area from September 1- 6, 2015. The purpose of the flyovers is to measure naturally occurring background radiation. A twin-engine Bell 412 helicopter, operated by the Remote Sensing Laboratory Aerial Measuring System in Las Vegas, Nevada will be equipped with gamma radiation sensing technology. The helicopter will fly in a grid pattern over the area at 300 feet (or higher) above the ground surface, at a speed of approximately 80 miles per hour. The flights will take place over various portions of the Northern California metropolitan areas. The flyovers are part of a research project sponsored by the DHS Security's Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO). The background data will be used by DNDO to improve aerial radiation measurement capabilities used by local, state, and federal entities.    

See also the following September 1, 2015 Campus News item:

http://news.berkeley.edu/2015/09/01/helicopter-campus-flyover-to-measure-background-radiation/

and the Berkeleyside news story for a photo of the helicopter and more information about the flyovers at:  

http://www.berkeleyside.com/2015/08/31/low-flying-helicopter-to-measure-radiation-in-berkeley/

 
     
 

August 28, 2015

RFS Community email Regarding September Activities at RFS

To BGC (RFS) Community,

 

Welcome back to the school year. September will be a busy month at the BGC (RFS) and this email is being sent to inform you about planned or expected activities at or around the RFS. Included as an attachment to the email is a Department of Toxic Substances Control Work Notice  regarding upcoming field environmental investigation activities being conducted under the DTSC site investigation Order.

 

Week of September 1, 2015

Marsh edge mowing and weed abatement. The "Bulb" at the edge of Western Stege Marsh will be mowed starting September 1 for continued weed control and in advance of a geophysical survey planned for the week of September 7 or 14. In addition, the RFS Facilities crew will begin removing invasive pampas grass- this work will continue into the fall.

 

September 3, 2015 (estimated)  Helicopter fly-over for DHS research. Researchers with the campus College of Engineering partnering with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)  will conduct field tests at the RFS as part of their research program. The work will involve the overhead presence of a helicopter for a half day, as well as use of a quadcopter (small drone). It is expected that the helicopter will be flying mostly in the North Meadow to the northeast of B167,

 

Environmental Sampling Weeks of September 7 and 14, 2015

Environmental consultants working with the campus Office of Environment, Health & Safety (EH&S) will complete miscellaneous sampling and geophysical surveys. A geophysical survey using magnetometers and other metal-detection equipment will take place at the marsh edge. Small soil sampling activities (< 1/2 day) will take place in the field directly north of the EPA Laboratory, to the east of B163, and in Western Stege Marsh.

 

September 15, 2015 (Tuesday)- Town Hall meeting

RFS Town Hall  Meeting. Please hold 11:00 am - noon Tuesday September 15, 2015 for the first RFS Town Hall meeting of the school year which will be held at the B445 conference center. Updates will be provided on upcoming maintenance projects, Berkeley Global Campus development, and the ongoing environmental site investigation and remediation activities.

 

September 19, 2015 Coastal Cleanup Day (Saturday)

The annual Coastal Cleanup Day is Saturday September 19, 2015. The local cleanup in the Richmond southeast shoreline watersheds coordinated by Supervisor John Gioia will take place from 9 a.m. to noon starting at Shimada Friendship Park at Marina Bay to the west of the RFS. For more information go to The Watershed Project's website at: http://www.thewatershedproject.org/home.php

 

CRT Soil Pile Removal- Throughout September

Clean soil that originated from the LBNL Computation Research and Theory Facility (CRT) construction site that was stockpiled in three locations (B280, B277, and B128) in 2012 and 2013 is expected to be removed from site in fall 2015 for use at the Presidio in San Francisco, including the Doyle Drive project. Soil loading and off-haul will be coordinated by Cal Trans with work overseen by EH&S to insure proper dust control and prevention of tracking mud onto local roadways. Cal Trans expects that over 1,000 truckloads will be removed.

 

For updates and additional information, be go to the RFS Environmental Website at http://rfs-env.berkeley.edu.

 

 

Scott Shackleton

Assistant Dean, College of Engineering

University of California, Berkeley

Phone: (510) 643-2314

Fax: (510) 642-7654

 

 
 

August 19, 2015

Schedule for September Field Activities

The State of California Department of Toxic Substances Controls has issued a Work Notice for upcoming work at the Berkeley Global Campus Richmond Field Station property beginning in September 2015. The following work will take place:

- Mowing and weed abatement along the marsh edge. Post Ridgway's rail breeding season (ending August 31) routine maintenance will commence, including mowing of the Western Transistion Area and removal of pampas grass and some other invasive weeds. Most work will include use of motorized equipment including mowers, chain saws and weed whips.

- Geophysical survey of the Western Transition Area/Bulb. Surveyors will use magentometers and other metal detecting devices to survey the area. Work will take place after mowing has been completed.

- Soil sampling - two soil sampling projects are anticipated. One is in the meadow north of the EPA laboratory where ten samples will be collected. The other is adjacent to B163 where one soil sample will be collected in advance of a proposed phytoremediation project.

In addition, removal of the three large piles of clean soil originating from the CRT Project in 2012-13 is being planned and may occur in September. Please check back to this website for updates.

 
     
 

August 19, 2015

Corporation Yard Removal Action Plan Update

Final Plans and Specifications for the removal action planned for the Corporation Yard have been submitted to DTSC and incorporate DTSC and State Fire Marshal comments. The proposed work includes two of three removal actions from the July 18, 2014 Final Removal Action Workplan and will consist exclusively of hand digging eleven small areas of localized contamination, for a total removal of around 46 cubic yards of soil. It is anticipated that completion of work plans and issuance of a DTSC work notice will be completed in September with in ground work to begin in late September or early October. Please check back to this website for updates.

 
 

January 26, 2015

Marsh Monitoring Well Installation Starts January 28

Drilling contractors working for UC Berkeley will install four monitoring wells along the edge of Western Stege Marsh beginning January 28, 2015. Well development and follow-up sampling will be completed in approximately a week.

The four additional monitoring well installations are the last of four field activities completed as part of the Field Sampling Plan Phase 4 approved by DTSC in October 2014. The wells are being installed to contribute to characterization of the groundwater in the Eastern Transition Area in the vicinity of the Biologically Active Permeable Barrier.

No traffic disruptions are expected due to this work along the connector trail from Gate 4 to the Bay Trail.

 
 

December 4, 2014

LBNL Fiber Optic Distributed Sensor Survey Project to start week of December 8, 2014

BGC Operations and Facilities Management staff will commence digging two ~100 meter long shallow trenches to the west of the NRLF starting approximately Tuesday December 9, 2014. The trenches are being excavated for placement of burying fiber optic cable as part of the LBNL Fiber Optic Distributed Acoustic Sensor project. Once cables have been placed in the trenches they will be backfilled with the excavated soil. The campus Office of Environment, Health & Safety has sampled soils in the area. For more information on the Soils Management Plan evaluation of this activity see the Current and Future Activities page for SMP Form A, SMP Form B, sampling plan letter, and the DTSC approval letter of the work.

 
 

October 27, 2014

Bulb Exploratory Excavation Scheduled for October 29, 2014

On Wednesday October 29, 2014 environmental consultants for the University will use excavation equipment to determine the source of metal leading to a magnetic anomaly found during a magnetometer survey by the Department of Toxic Substances Control. Work is expected to be completed the same day. For more information, see the DTSC Work Notice.


 
 

October 10, 2014

Field Sampling Plan (FSP) Phase IV to Start in October

The fourth phase of field activities at the RFS Site will commence in mid- to late- October 2014. Sampling activities include soil sampling in the coastal terrace prairie, installation of passive soil vapor monitors in the field to the east of B280 to investigation carbon tetrachloride in groundwater, installation of four groundwater monitoring wells along the edge of Western Stege Marsh, and exploratory excavation in the Bulb to determine the source of a magnetic anomaly. These activities are expected to begin the week of October 20 and take two to three weeks to complete. In addition, work is scheduled at the Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center to remove approximately six cubic yards on hydraulic oil contaminated soil on or around October 15. For more information on FSP, see the October 6, 2014 Work Plan on the Technical Documents page of this website. DTSC previously issued a Work Notice for these activities.

 
 

September 30, 2014

DTSC Work Notices Issued

The Department of Toxic Substances Control has issued Work Notices for the September 30, 2014 Magnetometer Survey in the Bulb at the Former RFS and for Field Sampling Activities at the RFS and Zeneca.

Work plans for these activities are expected to be available the second and third weeks of October and will be posted when final.

 
     
 

July 21, 2014

Final Removal Action Workplan Available

The DTSC approved July 18, 2014 Final Removal Action Workplan, University of California Berkeley, Richmond Bay Campus, Research, Education, and Support Area (RES) and Groundwater within the Former Richmond Field Station Site (RAW) is now available for download from the Technical Documents page of this website. The RAW establishes the remedial goals and final remedy including prescriptive requirements and land use controls (LUCs) for all RES soils and groundwater at the portions of the Richmond Bay Campus that were determined to require additional removal actions based on site characterization activities. The RAW also includes a Soils Management Plan to be used for future construction and other soil disturbance which supports the implementation of LUCs by providing a framework to prohibit uncontrolled soil excavation or disturbance activities,

 
 

April 28, 2014

Final Richmond Bay Campus (RBC) Environmental Impact Report (EIR) Available

The following email message regarding the RBC EIR was sent today from Armando Viramontes, Government & Community Relations Representative, Public Affairs, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. The message contains the link to the document

Hello,

This email is to inform you that the University of California has prepared a Final Environmental Impact Report for the Richmond Bay Campus 2014 proposed Long Range Development Plan.

The Final Environmental Impact Report (EIR) has been submitted to the University of California Board of Regents for consideration at the upcoming Regents meeting to be held in Sacramento on May 14 and 15. At this meeting, The Board of Regents will decide whether to adopt the Richmond Bay Campus Long Range Development Plan and certify the Environmental Impact Report.

The Notice of Availability, Final EIR, the Mitigation Monitoring Reporting Program, and all of the Final EIR appendices are available for viewing by agencies and the public. 

In addition, the following documents are also available: the final draft Long Range Development Plan; the proposed Physical Design Framework; the draft Removal Action Workplan; and the Joint Statement of Commitment to Strengthen Community Partnerships between UC Berkeley, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and the Richmond Community, signed by UC Berkeley Chancellor Nicolas Dirks and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Director Paul Alivisatos.

The Final EIR and these additional documents can all be accessed online at:
http://richmondbaycampus.lbl.gov/environmental_documents.

html

Copies of the Final EIR are also available for review at Richmond and Berkeley public libraries. Please see the Notice of Availability for additional information or to request copies.

 

 

 

 
 

January 7, 2014

Public Comment Period Extensions on Proposed Richmond Bay Campus Planning Documents

In November 2013 the University published two draft public comment planning documents for the proposed Richmond Bay Campus, the draft Environmental Impact Report (Draft EIR) and the draft Removal Action Workplan (Draft RAW).

In response to community requests, the deadlines for public comment on these documents has been extended to the following dates:

January 17, 2014 Draft RAW (see the DTSC Notice and November 26, 2013 email below for more information on accessing the Draft RAW document)

January 21, 2014 Draft EIR (see LBNL notice below)

NOTICE OF COMMENT PERIOD EXTENSION
Draft Environmental Impact Report for the proposed

Richmond Bay Campus Long Range Development Plan

State Clearinghouse No. 2013012007

Hello,

On November 15 the University of California made available the Draft Environmental Impact Report for the Richmond Bay Campus Long Range Development Plan and announced a 60 day public comment period (a 45-day comment period is required) to end on January 13, 2014.

 

In response to community requests, the comment period has been extended an additional week and will now end at close of business on Tuesday, January 21, 2014.

 

The Draft EIR and related documents are available for review on-line at http://richmondbaycampus.lbl.gov/environmental_documents.html; and in local public libraries: The main branch of the Richmond Public Library located at 325 Civic Center Plaza, in Richmond; The City of Berkeley Central Library at 2090 Kittredge in Berkeley; and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Main Library at One Cyclotron Road, Bldg. 50, Room 4034 in Berkeley.

 

If you have any questions about this Notice or the RBC LRDP Draft EIR CEQA process, please send an e-mail to RBC@lbl.gov or call Jeff Philliber at (510) 486-5257.

Thank You.

Armando Viramontes
Armando A. Viramontes
Government & Community Relations Representative
Public Affairs
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
 
     
 

December 2, 2013

Work Notice for Zeneca Cap Maintenance

The California Department of Substances Control has issued this Work Notice for cap maintenance at the neighboring Zeneca site currently scheduled for December 9- 11, 2013.

 
 

December 5, 2013 Public Meeting on the Draft Removal Action Work Notice

On December 5, 2013, a public meeting on the Draft Removal Action Workplan for the Prooposed Richmond Bay Campus was held in RFS B445 from 6:30- 8:30 PM. Comments from the public at this meeting will be responded to along with written comments. For more information on the public meeting, see the DTSC Public Notice and the powerpoint presentation at the meeting:

Powerpoint Presentation [5.9 MB ppt]

 
     
 

November 26, 2013

Removal Action Workplan Public Draft Available, Public Reveiw Period Starts Today

The University of California is pleased to announce the completion of draft environmental review documents for the proposed Richmond Bay Campus (RBC) to be sited at the Richmond Field Station (RFS) and adjacent Regatta Property. The Draft Removal Action Workplan (RAW) published today evaluates cleanup alternatives to remaining legacy pollution at the RFS. The draft Long Range Development Plan Environmental Impact Report (Draft RBC LDP EIR) analyzes the potential environmental effects related to development and operations at the RBC under the California Environmental Quality Act.

 

Two public review meetings will be held to in early December to allow the community to provide input and formal comments to these two documents. You can find the documents and the time and location of the two meetings below.

 

Draft Removal Action Workplan (RAW) Public Meeting December 5, 2013

The RAW has been prepared by the University under the direction of the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC). DTSC is conducting a RAW Public Meeting as follows:

 

Date: Thursday December 5, 2013

Time: 6:30- 8:30 PM

Location: Richmond Field Station Building 445

 

The Public Comment Period for the RAW extends from November 26, 2013 to January 10, 2013. Paper copies of the RAW can be found in the Richmond Public Library (325 Civic Center Plaza), the DTSC Berkeley Office (700 Heinz Avenue by appointment), and in the RFS B478 lobby. Electronic copies are available on the RFS Environmental Website on the Technical Documents Page of this website and on the Envirostor Website at http://www.envirostor.dtsc.ca.gov/public.  

 

The Environmental Impact Report (EIR) Public Hearing December 11, 2013

The activities identified in the draft RAW are also outlined and analyzed in the Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the proposed University of California RBC Long Range Development Plan (LRDP). UC is conducting a separate public hearing in accordance with the California Environmental Quality Act on the Draft RBC LRDP EIR, as follows:

Date: Wednesday December 11, 2013

Time: 7 to 9 pm

Location: Richmond City Council chambers, 440 Civic Center Plaza in Richmond

           

The public comment period on the Draft RBC LRDP EIR extends from November 15, 2013 through January 13, 2014. Comments on the RBC LRDP EIR may be emailed to rbc@lbl.govInformation regarding the EIR, including notice of availability, review period, and public hearing date is provided at:

http://richmondbaycampus.lbl.gov/environmental_documents.html

 

For more information on the RAW, please see the attached DTSC Public Notice and the Community Notice and visit the RFS Environmental Website  http://rfs-env.berkeley.edu for updates.

 

Thank you and we look forward to your feedback.

 
 

November 15, 2013

Draft EIR for Proposed Richmond Bay Campus Public Review Period Starts

The following notice on the availability of the draft Environmental Impact report for the proposed Richmond Bay
Campus, including portions of the Richmond Field Station provides the link to the EIR documents. Note the Public Hearing for the EIR will be held on December 11, 2013 at 7:00 PM in the Ciy of Richmond Council Chambers.

Please visit this website in the next week for futher updates on public meetings, including a DTSC Public Meeting for the draft Removal Action Workplan.

Hello,

The University of California proposes to establish a new research campus at properties it owns in Richmond. The campus would allow for consolidation of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) research programs and for development of additional research facilities for use by LBNL and UC Berkeley and institutional or industry counterparts for research and development focused on energy, the environment, and health. The proposed 2014 Long Range Development Plan for the Richmond Bay Campus has been prepared by UC Berkeley and UC Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory to guide development of up to 5.4 million square feet of research, office and support facilities through 2050.

UC is the Lead Agency for a Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) that analyzes the potential environmental effects of Long Range Development Plan related development and operations at the Richmond Bay Campus under the California Environmental Quality Act. The Draft EIR identifies significant and unavoidable impacts associated with development under the Long Range Development Plan in the following resource areas: air quality, cultural resources, greenhouse gas emissions, and transportation. The Draft EIR is being circulated for agency and public review and comment over a 60-day period beginning Nov. 15, 2013 and ending Jan. 13, 2014.

A Notice of Availability of the Draft EIR, the Draft EIR and related documents are available for your review:
  • In local public libraries: The main branch of the Richmond Public Library located at 325 Civic Center Plaza, in Richmond; The City of Berkeley Central Library at 2090 Kittredge in Berkeley and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Main Library at One Cyclotron Road, Bldg. 50, Room 4034 in Berkeley.
  • Copies also available by emailing RBC@lbl.gov; or by calling (510) 486-5289.

A Public Hearing will be held to receive oral public comment on the Richmond Bay Campus Long Range Development Plan Draft Environmental Impact Report at 7:00pm on Dec. 11, 2013 in the City Council chambers at the Richmond Civic Center located at 440 Civic Center Plaza in Richmond.
Thank You.

Armando Viramontes
 
 
Armando A. Viramontes
Government & Community Relations Representative
Public Affairs
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory 
 
 

October 31, 2013

Latest Groundwater Sampling Results Report Available

The lastest report on groundwater sampling for chemical analyses at the RFS and the DTSC Approval Letter are now available on the Technical Documents page of this website. The report, titled Final 2013 Groundwater Sampling Resutls Technical Memorandum, describes the results of April 2013 water quality sampling and the results of semi-annual groundwater elevation measurements. The data show that detected concentrations of volatile organic compounds and other constituents were consistent with previous sampling results in the same geographic areas. The next sampling event is scheduled for April 2014.

 
 

September 13, 2013

Neighborhood Activity Update: 1) East Stege Marsh, 2) Stege Pistol Range, 3) Moody Underpass

A number of activities are occuring at properties in the RFS neighborhood in the upcoming month that are not UC Berkeley activities and will not impact campus property, but will lead to increased traffic at the Meade Street entrance to the RFS and at the Bay View intersections. Please be careful when entering and exiting the field station and traveling to and from the RFS.

1) East Stege Marsh sampling starts week of September 16, 2013.

Envrionmental consulants for the neighboring property owners of the former Zeneca site will be in East Stege Marsh next to the Bay Trail and Connector Trail to RFS Gate 4 the week of September 16 collecting sediment and water samples as part of the DTSC five- year review of the cleanup and restoration work performed in the marsh. Please see the DTSC Work Notice for more information.

2) Stege Pistol Range Soil Removal. Also starting approximately September 16, 2013, property owners of the Stege Pistol Range on South 51st Street at the Bay View exit, will begin excavation and off-site disposal of 48,000 cubic yards of lead contaminated soil from the portion of the property previously used by police and security deparments for training with handguns. Trucks will leave the site via the Bay View overpass and enter on to I580 going west. Please see the DTSC Work Notice- Stege Pistol Range for more information.

3) The City of RIchmond has now closed Marina Bay Parkway for 18 months for the Moody Underpass project. One of the alternative routes to and from the housing area is Regatta, via the new bypasss at the norht end of the RFS. Traffic has increased substantially at the RFS entrance and this will continue for a year and a half.  For a map of the Moody Underpass project and more information go to the project website at
 http://www.moodyup.com/

 
 

June 17, 2013

Final Site Characterization Report Available

On May 28, 2013 the Final Site Characterization Report (SCR) for the RFS was submitted to DTSC. The final report included edits requested by DTSC in their May 2, 2013 approval of the draft SCR submitted January 10, 2013.

The Final SCR includes Field Sampling Plan Phase III results and provides recommendations for removal actions or further monitoring of soil and groundwater in areas of the proposed Richmond Bay Campus (RBC) Research, Education, and Support Area (RES).

 
 

January 8, 2013

Final Groundwater Report Now Available

The Final Phase I November 2010 through April 2012 Groundwater Sampling Results Technical Memorandum is now available on the Technical Documents page of this website. The report presents a summary of the data collected during the four rounds of site-wide groundwater sampling at the RFS.

 
 

October 4, 2012- Next Richmond Bay Campus Joint UCB, LBNL and CIty of Richmond Public Forum on Research and Science

Richmond Bay Campus Forum on Research and Science - October 4, 2012, 7:00-8:30PM
Richmond Memorial Auditorium, 403 Civic Center Plaza
The City of Richmond and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) will host a community forum to discuss the Long Range Development Plan for the new Richmond Bay Campus. Come join in a discussion and learn more about site planning and devleopment objectives for the Richmond Bay Campus. 

For more information go to the City of RIchmond website at http://www.ci.richmond.ca.us/index.aspx?NID=2397 and to register go to http://lbnlrichmond.eventbrite.com/#

 
 

September 6, 2012- Next Richmond Bay Campus Joint UCB, LBNL and CIty of Richmond Public Forum on Research and Science

Richmond Bay Campus Forum on Research and Science - September 6, 2012, 7:00-8:30PM
Richmond Memorial Auditorium, 403 Civic Center Plaza
The City of Richmond and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) will host a community forum to discuss the research and science that will be conducted at the new Richmond Bay Campus. Come join in a discussion and hear directly from LBNL and UC Berkeley researchers that will be preparing for the move to Richmond. 

For more information go to the City of RIchmond website at http://www.ci.richmond.ca.us/index.aspx?NID=2397 and to register go to http://richmondbaycampus.eventbrite.com/.

 
     
 

August 31, 2012

Meade Street Bypass Soil Import Starts Again September 5, 2012

Contractors for the City of Richmond will begin final import of clean soil for construction of the Meade Street Bypass project beginning around Wednesday September 5,2012. It is expected that 70 truck loads per day will be brought to the site and that the work will be completed by September 15. The City expects the final paving to be completed and the road to be open around October 15, 2012.

The Meade Street Bypass Road Project is a temporary roadway in an east-west direction that extends from the intersection of Regatta Boulevard and Erlandson Street to Meade Street. A portion of the bypass is being placed on RFS property through an access agreement between the City of Richmond and UC Berkeley. The purpose of the bypass is to reroute vehicular traffic to the south of the existing railroad tracks to avoid current excessive delays along Marina Bay Parkway resulting from stopped trains along the tracks. Once completed the bypass road is expected to be in place for approximately 10 years until the Marina Bay Parkway grade separation project is finished and operational.

For more information on the project, see the CIty of Richmond website at http://www.ci.richmond.ca.us/index.aspx?nid=1802

Soil sampling completed in advance of the project was reported in a November 2009 report available on the Technical Documents page of this website at:

November 2, 2009 Results of Evaluation Pre-Construction Conditions in Soil Meade Street Bypass Richmond CA [7.5 MB pdf file] PES Environmental Inc., prepared for the City of Richmond

 
     
 

July 26, 2012

Richmond Bay Campus Community Workshop Thursday July 26 7:00- 8:30 pm

Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in partnership with UC Berkeley will discuss the proposed LBNL second campus project at a community workshop on Thursday evening July 26, 2012 at the City of Richmond Memorial Auditorium, 403 Civic Center Plaza. Doors open at 6:30 pm with presentations and discussion from 7:00- 8:30 pm. For more information go to the City of RIchmond website at http://www.ci.richmond.ca.us/index.aspx?NID=2397 and to register go to http://richmondlbnl.eventbrite.com/

 
     
     
 

July 23, 2012

Upcoming Site Investigation Work July and August

Two site investigations are being scheduled at the RFS in the upcoming month.

Beginning Friday July 27 and continuing into the next week, environmental consultants for Lawrence Berkeley Natinal Laboratory (LBNL) will complete geotechnical borings at six locations at the RFS and at one location at the 3300 Regatta property. Cone Penetrometer Testing direct push and auger drill rigs will be on site for this work expected to take 3- 4 days.

In early to mid August 2012, environmental consultants for UC Berkeley will implement the third phase of Field Sampling Plan investigations. Soil and groundwater samples will be collected in a period of approximately two weeks. The final work plan is being reviewed by DTSC and the work plan and schedule will be put on this website when finally approved by DTSC. Field work will include hand augering of shallow soil samples and collection of groundwater using a drill rig.

 
 

March 16, 2012

Working at the Richmond Field Station Training Links Updated

Updated, current versions of the Working at the RFS health and safety awareness training are available through links on this RFS Environmental Website.

Campus staff, faculty and students with Cal Net access should complete the training through the UCB Learning Center at blu.berkeley.edu. For instructions, see the About RFS page of this website.

Non-UCB staff, students, tenants, and visitors can take the training from the link on the UCB EH&S website at: http://ehs.berkeley.edu/images/ehs/trainnoemployee/rfs/player.html

or download a pdf copy from the About RFS page of this website.

As a reminder, since 2008 campus policy has required that all staff, students, faculty and tenants must complete a brief electronic training about the history of the Richmond Field Station, information about the current remediation and restoration project, and safe work practices required to be followed by all members of the RFS community. This training should be completed by all new employees within the first week of hire and is now required for release of building keys.

 
 

March 16, 2012

Recent Investigation Reports Available on the Technical Documents Page

A number of recently completed reports and DTSC comments and approval letters have been posted on the RFS Environmental Website's Technical Documents page (see link on left hand resourcs bar).

Included in this update are the reports on the first three of four phases of semi-annual groundwater monitoring completed in October 2010, April 2011, and October 2011.

 
     
     
 

November 22 , 2011

Fall 2011 Site Investigation and Well Closure Work Complete

In late October and early November environmental consultants for the University completed collecting soil samples for additional site characterization and closure of sixteen geosciences research groundwater monitoring wells no longer needed. The fall 2011 site characterization work involved collection of soil samples using a hand-auger and/or shovels to continue to address previously identified data gaps. Areas sampled included  soil in the vicinity of power distribution transformers and the Corporation Yard. Well closure work was completed using a drill rig to destroy well casings. The wells were then grouted for permanent closure. The majority of the wells closed were in the Geosciences Well Field near building 300. One well closed waslocated on Lark Drive near B177. Ten wells remain in the Geosciences well field that will continue to be used by UC researchers. See the DTSC Work Notice for a map showing the locations of work. Detailed workplans are available on the on the Technical Documents page of this website and are linked below: at the following locations:


    September 12, 2011 Final Phase II Field Sampling Plan

    August 19, 2011 Technical Memorandum for Well Destructions

 
     
     
 


September 22, 2011

Soil Gas Monitor Installation Along Southeast Property Boundary to Begin September 28

Beginnining September 28, 2011, environmental consultants working for Cherokee Simeon Ventures, the property owners of the neighboring former Zeneca site, will install soil gas monitoring devices at four RFS buildings along the southeast property border with the Zeneca site.

Monitoring equipment installation is planned to begin on September 28, 2011 and should take on or two days. Installation of soil gas monitors involves hand augering (boring) holes 5-6 feet deep and placement of monitoring equipment into the borings. Soil gas monitors will be installed in four locations at the RFS along the eastern property boundary at Buildings B163, B178, B120, and B111. Soil gas sampling is planned to be completed in early October and will take  one to two days.  

This work is being completed as part of ongoing investigations of soil and groundwater at the neighboring former Zeneca site to confirm the extent of volatile hydrocarbons in the groundwater. Previous assessments of conditions by Public Health agencies and air monitoring completed by the campus Office of Environment, Health & Safety have determined that current site conditions are safe for workers. This monitoring work is being completed as a final step to confirm those assessments.

For more information on these activities, see the DTSC Work Notice, Zeneca Soil Monitoring Installation Work Plan, and the Work Plan DTSC Approval letter.

 
     
 

September 1, 2011

Clapper Rail Nesting Season Ends- Juvenile Clapper Rail Seen at Meeker Slough

Another nesting sesaon (February 1- August 31) for the endangered California Clapper Rail (Rallus longirostris obsoletus) has come to an end. Western Stege Marsh at the Richmond Field Station has had successful clutches of rails documented in past seasons and on August 26, 2011 a juvenile rail was observed at the Bay Trail crossing of Meeker Slough.

Early fall is a good time to observe rails in the Western Stege Marsh area as they emerge from nesting and begin to disperse for the winter. The best times to see the rails along Meeker Slough are at low tides near sunrise or sunset.

A tide prediction calculator can be found on the home page of this website.

We would appreciate reports of clapper rail sightings at Meeker Slough and will post photos and video clips on the Restoration Page of this website. Please report any observations of clapper rails. Please report sighting to Karl Hans at the UC Berkeley Office of Environment, Health & Safety at khans@berkeley.edu (phone: 510-643-9574).

 
     
 

September 1, 2011


Final Field Sampling Phase 1 Groundwater Monitoring Report Available

he final sampling report for the first phase of groundwater monitoring in the wells installed in Fall 2010 incorporating DTSC comments has been placed on teh Techical Documents page of this website and is available at the following link: August 22, 2011 Final (Revision 1) Phase 1 Groudnwater Sampling Results Technical Memorandum

 
     
 

June 15, 2011

Groundwater Sampling at Zeneca Week of June 20, 2011

Beginning June 20, 2011, environmental consultants for Zeneca will be drilling borings to collect groundwater sampling in thirteen locations on the Zeneca site along the property boundary between the RFS and neighboring Zeneca property between Buildings 194 and 163. See the DTSC Work Notice for more information.

 
     
 

June 7, 2011

Field Sampling Phase 1 Groundwater Monitoring Report Available

The final sampling report for the first phase of groundwater monitoring in the wells installed in Fall 2010 has been placed on teh Techical Documents page of this website and is available at the following link: Phase 1 Groundwater Sampling Results Technical Memorandum

 
     
 

April 27, 2011

Zeneca Treatabilty Studies to Continue at B478 Beginning May 4, 2011

The State of California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) has issued a Work Notice [41 KB pdf file] that describes work to begin in the vicinity of the southeast parking lot of RFS B478 (Forest Products Laboratory) starting Wednesday May 4, 2011. Environmental Cconsultants working for the owners of the neighboring former Zeneca property will complete 12 additional soil borings as part of a treatability study. These borings continue Zeneca's study of the injection of environmentally safe compounds to enhance natural degradation of solvents in soil and ground water. Monitoring wells will be monitored periodically for up to a year to assess the effectiveness of the injections. All drilling , injections and follow-up monitoring work will be overseen by DTSC, as well as UC Berkeley staff from the Office of Environment, Health & Safety.

For more information on the treatability study see the Work Plan:

February 25, 2011 Response to Department of Toxic Substances Control’s Comments on the Third Addendum to the Treatability and Pilot Study Work Plan for Localized Occurrences of
Volatile Organic Compounds in Groundwater, Lots 1 and 2, Former Zeneca Facility,
Campus Bay Project, Richmond, California
[1.7 MB pdf file]

March 8, 2011 DTSC Workplan Approval [42 KB pdf file]

 
     
     
 

April 11, 2011

Groundwater Monitoring Occurring This Week

The second round of groundwater monitoring of RFS groundwater monitoring wells installed in Fall 2010 will occur the weeks of April 11 and April 18, 2011. Water levels and samples for chemical analysis will be collected by campus consultants. Work is expected to take a week and a half.

The March 25, 2011 workplan for groundwater monitoring was approved by DTSC on March 29, 2011. It is intended to provide wet season data to be used to complete site groundwater characterization to be completed in conjunction with data collected in Fall 2010 presented in the January 11, 2011 draft Technical Memorandum of Phase 1 Field Sampling Workplan groundwater monitoring results.

 
     
 

December 10, 2010

New December Clapper Rail Video

UC Berkeley staff from the Office of Environment, Health & Safety captured more video of the endangered California clapper rail (Rallus longirostris obsoletus) in Western Stege Marsh at the Richmond Field Station on December 9, 2010. You can view the video on the Restoration Page or go directly to the Youtube link at:

http://www.youtube.com/user/karlclappereel#p/a/u/0/CqQP61zhR2g

 
     
 

October 28, 2010

Projects Update:

1) Hydrogen Fueling Station Installation October- December 2010

 

The long-anticipated installation of the of Institute for Transporations Studies’ Transportation Sustainability Research Center’s hydrogen fueling station (HFS) commenced on October 25, 2010 in the area of the former helicopter landing pad, south of the Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research center (B420). The project, expected to take approximately two months to complete, will construct a refueling station to support the UC Berkeley Fuel Cell Vehicle Research Program’s development of zero-emission vehicles. The station is designed to meet the needs of a small fleet of fuel cell vehicles that will be tested and researched over the next several years, and will consist of a hydrogen storage and dispensing facility.

Site development and construction is underway, which includes removal of the existing helipad asphaltm site grading, trenching for utility installation, construction of concrete equipment pads and asphalt pavement, installation of electrical services, installation of hydrogen storage and dispensing equipment, and final improvements such as perimeter fencing. Work is expected to be completed by the end of December 2010.

The HFS project is being managed by UC Berkeley Capital Projects (CP). Soils in the construction area have been tested by the campus Office of Environment, Health & Safety (EH&S) and found to be non-hazardous. Contractors will be required to implement dust control measures, and site activities will be inspected by EH&S and Capital Projects staff.

For questions or more information regarding the project, please contact the CP Project Manager, Allan Palmer at APalmer@cp.berkeley.edu. For questions or information on environmental conditions, please contact Karl Hans at EH&S at khans@berkeley.edu.

2) Well Closures

Closure of seventeen research monitoring water wells is expected to begin in late October or early November pending final approval of the work plan by the Department of Toxic Substances Control and the Contra Costa County Department of Enviromental Health. Wells are currently being sampled and land surveyed. Well closure will involve use of a drill rig to bore out or cut existing casings after which all wells will be filled with grout to grade for final closure.

 
     
     
 

August 23, 2010

August 23, 2010 Update: RFS Monitoring Well Installation Complete, Former Zeneca Property Continued Investigations

Installation of 52 groundwater monitoring wells at the Richmond Field Station begun in July 2010 is mostly complete. Environmental consultants are now beginning groundwater sampling for chemical analysis. In addition, around seventeen exising research water wells that are no longer needed will be closed through gouting beginning in late August. For more information on the scope of work, see the July 19, 2010 news item below.

At the neighboring former Zeneca property, site investigations will continue from August through October 2010 with the implementation of a new groundwater treatment pilot study in the central portion of the property (Lot 3) and continued groundwater sampling in the northwest (Lot 1) portion of the property. This work will include continued sampling to the south and southwest of RFS Building B478 (Forest Products Laboratory). See the August- October 2010 DTSC Work Notice for more information.

 
     
 

July 19, 2010

Groundwater Investigation to Begin Friday July 23, 2010

Environmental consultants for UC Berkeley will begin implemenation of the Final Phase 1 Groundwater Investigation Field Sampling Workplan (FSW) starting Friday July 23, 2010. The investigation includes installation of temporary groundwater monitoring wells and closure of existing research groundwater wells no longer needed. The current schedule calls for utility clearance to begin Friday July 23, 2010 and drilling to begin Monday July 26, 2010.

Work will be completed in approximately 6 to 8 weeks and will occur Monday through Firday between the hours of 7:00 am and 6:00 pm. The work will be overseen by the State of California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC).

The scope of work as described in the DTSC Work Notice consists of the installation and sampling of approximately 50 groundwater wells (piezometers) and closure of some existing groundwater wells.  Wells will be drilled to depths of 20 to 40 feet.  The following activities will occur:

  • Daily health and safety meetings will be held in accordance with the project’s Health and Safety Plan.
  • Underground pipes or utilities will be identified using hand-held detection devices.  Utility companies will be notified using the Underground Service Alert (USA) system and through private utility clearance consultants.
  • Piezometers will be installed at the rate of about 4 per day.  Trained drill operators will drill boreholes using a truck-mounted auger rig in accordance with Contra Costa County Environmental Health Department and industry standards.  The piezometers, which will consist of a 2-inch-diameter PVC pipe, will be enclosed with a small, lockable concrete cover at ground surface.  There will be no obstructions to vehicle or pedestrian traffic. 
  • Dust and noise will be monitored continually to ensure safe working conditions. 
  • A groundwater sample will be collected from each piezometer.  Prior to collecting samples, groundwater will be pumped from each well into 55-gallon drums until the well water represents normal groundwater conditions. Drums will be secured until characterized for proper off-site disposal.  U.S. EPA Region 9 analytical laboratory will analyze the samples.
  • For the closure of inactive wells, each well will be sealed with a cement grout to ensure a tight seal.

The work plan is available for review at RFS administrative offices in Building 478, and online on the Technical Documents page of this web site or from the links below:

Final Phase 1 Groundwater Investigation Field Sampling Workplan [6.6 MB pdf file]

FSW Health and Safety Plan [1,845 kB pdf file]

FSW Quality Assurance Project Plan [2,097 kB pdf file]

Groundwater Sampling Locations map (from FSW) [320 kB pdf file]

The plan is also available at DTSC’s Envirostor database at www.envirostor.dtsc.ca.gov/public.

 

 
     
 

April 1, 2010

New URLs for RFS Enviornmental and RFS Facilities websites

Beginning today, the RFS Environmental website has transferred its previous domain from rfs.berkeley.edu to the RFS Operations website. The new domain for the RFS Environmental website is rfs-env.berkeley.edu.

This switch was made  to establish the RFS Operations website as the primary portal for all RFS acitivities and news, including environmental concerns. This website will still

serve as a principal and current source for environmental news, monitoring data and resources.

 
     
 

September 22, 2009

Clapper Rail Fledglings at RFS on Video

The California clapper rail (Rallus longirotris obsoletus), the federally listed endangered bird species that resides in Western Stege Marsh at the Richmond Field Station, has been captured on video again in recent weeks. What's more, a rare video of two fledged chicks from a late season clutch was filmed on September 17, 2009, has provided photographic demonstration of breeding success in Western Stege Marsh for the second year in a row. To see the videos, go to the Restoration page of this website. To view the video of the fledlings go to the following link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K0vvzTluXR4

 
     
 

March 19, 2010

B478 Borings Rescheduled to April 13, and 14 2010

The subsurface borings in the B478 as reported below (see March 15, 2010 news item) have been rescheduled to April 13 and 14, 2010.

 
     
 

March 15,2010

Campus Bay Soil Pile Grading This Week

Beginning this week, contractors working for Campus Bay will begin grading an existing stockpile of non-hazardous soil to level an area to prevent ponding on the Campus Bay site. This work is expected to be completed by the end of this week.

Contractors will implement dust control and stormwater pollution prevention measures during the activities. The work is approved by and will be overseen by the State of California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC). For more information, see the DTSC Notice on this Time Critical Removal Action.

 
     
 

March 15,2010

Campus Bay Injection Study Additional Borings March 31 and April 1, 2010

Environmental consultants working for CSV at Campus Bay will complete four additional groundwater borings on the Richmond Field Station near B478 as part of the treatibility study being completed at Campus Bay. This work is described in a Workplan approved by the State of California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC). These borings are continuation of work being completed to study the injection of an environmentally safe compound that promotes activity of soil bacteria to enhance natural degradation of solvents in soil and ground water. Injection wells previoulsy installed will be monitored periodically for up to a year with the first monitoring having been completed in January 2010.

For more information on this project see the September 22, 2009 news story.

 
     
 

January 22, 2010

Storm Report

A series of five vigorous El Nino fueled storms beginning January 17, 2010 delivered over seven inches of rain and strong winds to the RFS. The seasonal rainfall total for 2009-10 almost doubled to 15.26 inches (as of 3:30 PM Thursday January 21, 2010, EH&S rain gauge).

With the rains came another slug of trash from urban areas surrounding the RFS and from other places in the SF Bay. See photo below.

Bay Trail at Western Stege Marsh showing marine debris/ trash loading from the recent storms (Photo January 21, 2010.)

 
     
 

January 22, 2010

Campus Bay Soil Pile Removal Update

Contractors for Campus Bay completed the planned removal of the Lot 2 soil pile in December during the curtailment/ furlough period. Yet to be completed is the on-site grading of non-hazardous soil piles remaining at the site. It is anticipated that this work will be completed During the week of February 1, 2010 at the earliest and will be dependent on weather conditions.

 
     
 

December 22, 2009

Campus Bay Soil Pile Removal and Grading Begins This Week

Contractors for Campus Bay are currently mobilizing to begin removal of a stockple of soil that will be disposed of as hazardous waste at a State approved off-site disposal facility. Approximately 20 to 40 truckloads of soil are expected to be removed on Wednesday December 23, 2009. More soil will be hauled off site during the week of December 28, 2009. A total of approximately 80 truckloads will be removed. Following disposal of this stockpile, additional non-hazardous stockpiled soil will be graded on-site to level an area to prevent ponding. This work is expected to occur during the week of January 4, 2010.

Contractors will implement dust control and stormwater pollution prevention measures during the activities. The work is approved by and will be overseen by the State of California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC). For more information, see the DTSC Notice on this Time Critical Removal Action.

 
     
 

December 9, 2009

Treatibility Study Update- Injections Complete at RFS

Environmental consultants working for CSV at Campus Bay have completed groundwater injections on the Richmond Field Station along the fence line east and south of B478 as part of the treatibility study being completed at Campus Bay. The work included injection of an environmentally safe compound that promotes activity of soil bacteria to enhance natural degradation of solvents in soil and ground water. With injections complete the wells will be monitored periodically for up to a year with the first monitoring to be completed in January 2010.

For more information on this project see the September 22, 2009 news story.

 
     
 

December 2, 2009

Beginning Wednesday December 2, 2009, environmental consultants working for CSV at Campus Bay will begin work on the Richmond Field Station along the fence line east and south of B478. As has been occurring for about two weeks at the former Zeneca site and along South 46th St., workers will complete injection of an environmentally safe compound that promotes activity of soil bacteria to enhance natural degradation of solvents in soil and ground water. Work on the RFS property will take about three days to complete and is expected to be finished by the end of the week (December 5, 2009). After injection is complete the wells will be monitored periodically for up to a year. For more information on this project see the September 22, 2009 news story below.

 
     
 

November 13, 2009

Treatibility Study Update

As described in the September 22, 2009 news story a pilot treatibility study designed to degrade residual solvents in the soil and groundwater is being completed near the RFS front gate enterance. Workers at the trucks seen at the former Zeneca site this week began injection of an environmentally safe compound that promotes activity of soil bacteria to enhance natrual degradation of solvents in soil and ground water. The injection work will continue for the next two weeks. Wells on the RFS property along the fenceline are scheduled to have material injected beginning approximately on Monday November 23, 2009.

 

 
     
 

October 21, 2009

Huge Storm Brings 4.2 Inches of Rain to RFS

On October 13, 2009, the largest October storm to hit Northern California since the infamous Columbus Day Storm of 1962, walloped the Bay Area with heavy winds and record rainfall. At the RFS, a storm total of 4.2 inches of rain was collected in the EH&S rain gauge. The BAAQMD meterological station, located on the west side of the RFS, measured winds averaging 24 miles per hour with a maximum gust of 42 miles per hour during the peak of the storm in the early afternoon prior to frontal passage (http://gate1.baaqmd.gov/aqmet/MetSiteView.aspx?SID=2950).

The heavy rainfall brought a short term trash load along with the rainy season real first flush. EH&S staff collected video clips of trash flowing down Meeker Ditch leading into Meeker Slough. Meeker Ditch collects water from the majority of the Meeker Slough watershed (see Meeker Slough Watershed Map). See the following two movies of the Meeker Ditch flow taking during the peak of the storm at around 2:30 PM after almost 4 inches of rain had fallen in the watershed:

October 13, 2009 storm Meeker Ditch trash conveyor [3.6 MB Window Media Video file] or on Youtube at http://www.youtube.com/user/karlclappereel#p/a/u/0/U2eW0uVcRiQ
October 13, 2009 storm Meeker Ditch trash gyre [2.2 MB Window Media Video file] or on Youtube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Eu9AqAm0V90

Meeker Slough downstream of the Bay Trail bridge October 20, 2009 1:30 PM, 6.4 foot high tide:

 
     
 

September 22, 2009

Upcoming Soil Borings and Treatibility Pilot Test

Two projects involving soil borings at the RFS will occur in the next two weeks as described below. All work will be completed with EH&S oversight.

1. Two geotechnical borings for the Hydrogen Fueling Station project will be completed on Thursday September 24, 2009. The borings will be located in the area of the former Helipad to the south of building B420 (Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research center). Soil from the borings will be placed in drums and sampled for waste characterization. The work will take no longer than one day.

2. Beginning the week of September 28 , consultants for CSV at Campus Bay will complete a series of soil borings on the perimeter of the Campus Bay Lot 1 area that was excavated in 2008. Around 75 borings will be made in the Lot 1 area, across South 46th St. and along the east side and to the south east of buidling B478. The purpose of the borings is to complete a pilot treatibility study designed to degrade residual solvents in the soil and groundwater. Many of the borings will be used to inject an environmentally safe compound that promotes activity of soil bacteria to enhance natural degradation of the solvents. Some of the borings will be used to collect groundwater to monitor the effectiveness of the treatment. Around 15 borings will be made on RFS property. For more information see the Treatibility Study Work Plan and Work Notice.

 
     
 

July 21, 2009

Meade Street Bypass Soil Sampling to be Completed Thursday July 23, 2009

On Thursday July 23, 2009, consultants working for the City of Richmond Community Redevelopmnet Agnecy will complete borings to collect soil samples as part of a pre-construction soils condition evaluation for the temporary Meade Street by-pass roadway project. A drill rig will be used to collect the soil samples to a depth of ten feet below ground surface in six locations. All locations are located out side of the RFS fenceline to the north and west of RFS buildings 451-454. The work will be overseen by the State of California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) and the UC Berkeley Office of Environment, Health, & Safety.

For more information on this investigation, see the DTSC Work Notice and the PES Environmental, Inc. Workplan.

 
     
 

June 24, 2009

Zeneca Work Notice for Soil Gas Sampling

Beginning Monday June 29, 2009, consultants at the former Zeneca site will begin installing 17 soil gas wells for continued investigation of the Lot 3 area of the site. See the DTSC Work Notice for more information.

 
     
 

June 10, 2009

UC Berkeley Helps Fund Richmond Jobs Program as Part of Settlement With State Environmental Agency,

The University of California, Berkeley, has entered into a settlement agreement that resolves a legal issue regarding an environmental cleanup project, and provides more than $140,000 in funding to a nationally-recognized “green collar” job training program in Richmond, campus officials announced today June 9, 2009.

            Under an agreement with the state Environmental Protection Agency’s Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC), UC Berkeley will provide $142,500 to the Richmond BUILD program [see also the Richmond BUILD website] and will pay a $142,500 civil penalty to the agency.

            The Richmond BUILD Pre-Apprenticeship Construction Skills & Solar Technology Training Program was established by the City of Richmond in 2007 to create career opportunities for Richmond residents from low-income neighborhoods, and to enhance the environment by supporting renewable energy projects.

The program provides participants with solid skills in the emerging green industry that includes training in energy efficiency, weatherization, and solar technology and installation. It prepares these students to take full advantage of the estimated $144 billion of federal stimulus dollars that are slated for the construction and energy efficiency fields.

            The settlement with DTSC resolves the legal dispute over whether UC Berkeley failed to obtain certain administrative permits regarding a 2002-2004 environmental cleanup effort at the Richmond Field Station (RFS), university property about five miles from the central campus, in the city of Richmond.

            Mark Freiberg, director of the campus’s Office of Environment, Health & Safety, said he is especially heartened that the matter has been resolved in a way that allows “a good portion of the settlement funds to support local environmental programs and much needed job opportunities in the community by going to Richmond BUILD.”

            The program was recently honored in Washington D.C. as the only northern California program to receive the 2008 FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award for career mobility in the green economy, and as an innovative approach to addressing violence prevention.

            UC Berkeley purchased the area now known as the RFS in 1950. That 170-acre property and nearby areas were previously owned by industrial manufacturing companies dating back as far as 1870. Those companies left behind numerous contaminants from production of such items as blasting caps, sulfuric acid and pesticides.

            UC Berkeley’s primary use of the RFS is for College of Engineering teaching and research activities. In recent years, the university has been involved in an extensive effort to clean up the industrial contamination left behind by previous property owners, expand RFS’s use by university researchers, restore wildlife habitat, and provide recreation areas for the community.

            The DTSC settlement stems from cleanup activities in which the university treated and removed soil from the RFS and transferred it to adjacent property owned at the time by Zeneca, Inc., where it was graded into open space owned by Zeneca.  The cleanup activities were conducted under the oversight and approval of the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board, and in consultation with numerous other state and federal agencies. The university obtained administrative permits from various agencies before beginning its cleanup work, but learned in 2007 that it was DTSC’s position that the university also needed certain permits from that agency before beginning the work. Zeneca has also reached a settlement with DTSC regarding related site remediation work.

For more information on the settlement agreement see these Frequently Asked Questions.

 
     
 

June 5, 2009

Clapper Rail Caught on Video

The California Clapper Rail (Railus longirostris obsoletus) is a federally endangered species known to reside in Western Stege Marsh at the Richmond Field Station and in surrounding marshes. The US Fish and Wildlife Service estimates that there are less than one thousand of these birds remaining in California. The once abundant populations have diminished due to hunting, habitat loss, and predation from non-native species such as the red fox and domestic house cat..

On May 1, 2009 UC Berkeley staff working on restoring portions of Western Stege Marsh observed one of these reclusive birds from the Bay Trail at Meeker Slough and filmed it bathing in slough. To watch the approximately one minute video clip go to the following youtube link:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WeorQuecEAE

For more information on Clapper Rail conservation please go to the Restoration Page of this website.

 
     
 

June 5, 2009

New Reports Available:

Western Transition Area Time Critical Removal Action Completion Report and DTSC Approval Letter

This report presents the final results of the October 1, 2008 excacavation of approximately four cubic yards of material from two subareas of the Western Transiition area that were found to contain metals and polychorinated biphenyls concentrations requiring removal to prevent potential exposure to humans, plants, and animals. For more information, see the October 2008 archived news item.

Sampling Results for March 2, 2009 Stormwater within Western Stege Marsh

This report presents results of semi-annual stormwater monitoring in Western Stege Marsh.

 
     
 

April 23, 2009

DTSC Comments on Draft Field Sampling Workplan and Draft TCRA Implementation Report Available

The State of California Department of Toxic Substances Control has issued comment letters on two documents submitted to the agency in February 2009. The comment letters are available at the following links:

April 15, 2009 DTSC comment letter on the Draft Field Sampling Workplan [1.2 MB pdf file]

April 23, 2009 DTSC comment letter on the Draft Implementation Report for a Time Critical Removal Action at Two Campfire Locations in the Western Transition Area [40 KB pdf file]

 

 
     
 

April 3, 2009

Final Zeneca Site Public Health Assessment Released by ATSDR and CDPH

The federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR, a Department of Health & Human Services agency) has released the final Public Health Assessment (PHA) for the former Zeneca/Campus Bay property adjacent to the Richmond Field Station. The report, "Public Health Assessment for Evaluation of Exposure to Contaminants from the Zeneca/Campus Bay Site", dated March 16, 2009, was completed in conjunction with the State of California Department of Public Health (CDPH).

The PHA was written to look at possible ways people could come into contact with contaminants from the Zeneca/Campus Bay site, to respond to health concerns related to the site, and to help determine what follow-up activities are needed to reduce or eliminate exposure to contaminants.

The PHA includes evaluation of historic conditions beginning in the 1940s, conditions during remedial work from 2002 to 2005, and current conditions. Following are the important findings as they relate to the RFS community:

  • There is no public health hazard from current exposure to contaminants underlying the Zeneca site under its current use.
  • There is no public health hazard from past exposure to site-related contaminants in dust during remedial activities conducted between 2002 and 2005.
  • The CDPH Radiologic Health Branch (RHB) has concluded that there are no significant radiological issues currently present at the Zeneca/former Stauffer Chemical Site that present a health and safety concern to workers or members of the general public for any future use. Based on the available data, RHB concurs with the radiological closure report for the former Zeneca site submitted to the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) in September 2008 that no further sampling or analysis is warranted.

The UC Berkeley Office of Environment, Health & Safety (EH&S) communicates frequently with regulatory agencies on the status and activities associated with the former Zeneca site and will continue to provide updates to the RFS Community through this website and by email as new information becomes available.

 
     
 

April 3, 2008

Year 3 Marsh Monitroing Report Available

Following 2004 excavation of contaminated sediments in Western Stege Marsh at the RFS, the campus initiated a marsh restoraiton program designed to restore the marsh as habitat for the endangered California clapper rail and associated flora and fauna. Results of the third year of monitoring variables in the marsh, including marsh channel elevations, water and sediment quality, vegetation, and clapper rail observations are available in the Year 3 Monitoring Report for the Western Stege Marsh Restoration Project. For more information on clapper rail conservation and marsh restoration, visit the Restoration Page of this website.

 
     
 

February 27, 2009

Draft Field Sampling Workplan Submitted to DTSC

On February 27, 2009, a draft Field Sampling Workplan (FSW) for continued investigations was submitted (see cover letter) to the Department of Toxic Substances Control. The FSW is intended to address the general, facility-wid strategy and protocols for field investigations to investigate data gaps identified in the Final Current Condtions Report (November 28, 2008). The FSW includes two appendicies: the Quality Assurance Project Plan (Appendix A) and the Health and Safety Plan (Appendix B).

 
     
 

February 18, 2009

Working at the RFS On-line Training Now Available on blu

All current and new members of the RFS community, including staff, students, faculty and tenants have been required to complete the “Working at the Richmond Field Station” powerpoint training program. New employees should complete the training during the first week of employment.

For UC Berkeley affiliates with a CalNet ID this training is now available for viewing on-line through the UC Berkeley blu portal. For non-UC Berkeley community members, the training ppt. file can be downloaded from the link below Additionally, EH&S is glad to provide this training live, which is particularly useful for classes and other groups.

“Working at the Richmond Field Station” was developed by the campus Office of Environment, Health & Safety to address concerns raised about disturbing soils or environmentally sensitive areas of the RFS and to raise awareness that any facilities usage must be approved by the College of Engineering. The training provides information on the history of the RFS and current regulatory oversight associated with the Remediation and Restoration Project currently underway.

Instruction for viewing the on-line training or downloading the powerpoint presentation can be found on the About RFS page of this website at the following link:

Working at the Richmond Field Station Training Module

 

 
     
 

December 2, 2008

Final Current Conditions Report Available

The Final Current Conditions Report for the RFS is now available electronically from this website on the Technical Documents page at http://rfs-env.berkeley.edu/tech_doc.html. This report, required by the Department of Toxic Substances Contol (DTSC) Site Investigation and Remediation Order, provides a comprehensive summary of current conditions at the RFS. The report includes a site-wide summary of past activities, a description of current site conditions based on historic sampling analytical data, and anticipated data needs to plan further studies and assess whether any additional cleanup actions for the RFS are needed. This report finalizes the draft document which was submitted to DTSC April 5, 2007.

 
     
 

November 21, 2008

Soil Gas Probe Installation at Former Zeneca Site Scheduled for December 1 and 2, 2008

Begining December 1, 2008 consultants working on site remediation activities at the former Zeneca site will install approximately 14 soil gas probes around the perimeter of the Lot 1 soil excavation that was completed in August 2008 (see Current and Future Activities Page for more information). That remediation involved the excavation of approximately 1,400 cubic yards of soil contaminated with volatile organic compounds and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) that were shipped off-site for disposal at Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) approved websites.

DTSC is requiring installation of the soil gas probes as part of the post-excavation confimation of cleanup. The probes collect underground vapor which is then analyzed for chemicals of concern. The current draft installation plan calls for four probes placed along South 46th Street outside of the former Zeneca site fence line a short distance south of the RFS main entrance. It is expected that installation of the probes will be completed in two days.

 
     
 

September 25, 2008

Transition Area Soil Excavation Scheduled for October 1, 2008

On Wednesday October 1, 2008, contractors for the University will hand excavate approximately four cubic yards of soil in a remote location of the Richmond Field Station near the marsh where ash and debris were found in two areas that appear to have been locations where campfires were once built. The soil in these campfires was previously sampled and found to contain metals and polychlorinated biphenyls in concentrations requiring that they be removed to prevent potential exposure to humans, plants and animals. Information on the location of the campfires and sampling analytical results can be found in the July 11, 2008 Memorandum for a Time-Critical Removal Action at Two Campfire Locations in the Western Transition Area University of California, Berkeley Richmond Field Station.

Excavation work will include hand digging of soil and debris into five-gallon buckets. The soil will then be placed into one- cubic yard containers and transported to a State of California approved disposal facility. The State of California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) has approved the work and will be on site to oversee the excavation. It is expected that up to four cubic yards of soil will be excavated and that the work will be completed within one day. For more information, see the DTSC Notice of Public Comment Period Time Critical Removal Action.

 
     
 

September 12, 2008

Supplemental Indoor Air Quality Report Available

Between October 2007 and February 2008, environmental consultants for the University implemented an indoor air monitoring program to supplement available data from past studies of RFS offices. The report "Indoor Air Monitoring University of California Richmond Field Station" completed August 22, 2008 by, Tetra Tech EM Inc. is available on the Air Monitoring Data page of this web site.

This report presents the findings of indoor air quality monitoring performed in eight 24-hour events in a total of twelve locations, including locations in five buildings and in outdoor areas, between October 2007 and February 2008. Indoor air samples were collected for analysis of twelve compounds identified as chemicals of concern in the August 2007 draft Public Health Assessment (PHA) completed by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH).  The intent of the sampling was to collect more data to follow up on statements in the PHA regarding insufficiency of available air monitoring data needed to evaluate some potential public health hazards. In addition, this air monitoring program was completed to provide the RFS community with additional reassurance that indoor air at the RFS is safe. The work plan for the monitoring program was submitted to CDPH for review.

Results of the air monitoring were compared to results of baseline studies performed by state and federal agencies, including the California Department of Health Services, at other sites in California and throughout the United States, to determine if they were values typical of indoor air. 1,192 analyses were performed on 312 samples collected during this monitoring program. RFS sampling results were within or below the ranges found in typical public and commercial office buildings in indoor air quality air studies from California and across the country.

 
     
 

July 30, 2008

ATSDR Zeneca Public Health Assessment Public Comment Version Available

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) has released the public comment draft of the Public Health Assessment (PHA) for the former Zeneca/ current Campus Bay site adjacent to the Richmond Field Station. The PHA is a report that presents the evaluation of potential exposure to contaminants at the former Zeneca site.

The report was prepared by the State of California Department of Public Health (CDPH), under a cooperative agreement with ATSDR.

The PHA will be summarized and discussed at the California Department of Toxic Substances Control, Community Advisory Group meeting on August 14, 2008. The meeting will be held a the Ricmond City Council Chambers, in the Richmond Temporary City Hall- 1401 Marina Way South, Richmond. The meeting begins at 6:30 PM.

Please submit your written comments on the pucli comment PHA to Tracy Barreau of DCPH in any of the following ways:

By Mail: Tracy Barreau, Environmental Health Investigation Branch, California Department of Public Health, 850 Marina Bay Parkway, P-3, Richmond, CA 94804

By Fax: (510) 620-3720

By Email: Tracy.Barreau@cdph.ca.gov

CDPH will address public comments in the final PHA.

 
     
 

July 9, 2008

Campus Bay Excavation to Recommence Friday

Rmediation in the northwestern portion of the Campus Bay (former Zeneca) site (see June 11, 2008 news story below) continues to be temporarily delayed. Work is expected to resume on Friday July 11, 2008 and it expected to be completed during the week of July 14, 2008.

 
     
 

June 11, 2008

Excavation Work at Former Zeneca Site Scheduled to Begin Week of June 16, 2008

Remediation is expected begin, pending agency approval, on a 0.15 acre portion of land located within the 17 acre northwestern portion of the former Zeneca Site, known as Lot 1, during the week of June 16, 2008. The area to be excavated is located along S. 46th St. to the east of B478, near the front entrance to the RFS.

Remediation work will involve the excavation of approximately 1,400 cubic yards of soil contaminated with volatile organic compounds and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). The maximum excavation depth is expected to be approximately 11 feet. Confirmation soil sampling will be completed to assure cleanup levels are met.

All work will be completed under a work plan approved by the State of California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC). DTSC will provide regular oversight of the excavation activities.

As part of these activities, you can expect to see the following:

-Workers wearing appropriate safety gear operating an excavator, backhoe and/or bulldozer.

-Approximately 20 trucks per day will leave the site for approximately 5 to 10 days. Truck traffic will enter the site on South 47th Street and will temporarily stage in the parking lot located southeast of the excavation area. The trucks will approach the Lot 1 area from the south and will cross to the east on a temporary road where soil will be loaded onto the trucks.

-Soil will be placed into trucks for transportation to various permitted landfills. Each truck will carry approximately 15 cubic yards of soil. It is anticipated that 100 truck loads will be required to remove the contaminated soil.

-Trucks entering and leaving the site will be inspected and truck decontamination will be performed. The backhoe, drilling rig, sampling equipment, excavation equipment and transportation vehicles will be cleaned before leaving the site.

-The excavated area will be backfilled with clean imported fill.

-Dust control measures will be in place and dust levels will be monitored.

-Air monitoring will be conducted in accordance with a DTSC approved Perimeter Air Monitoring Plan. Air monitoring will be conducted at the perimeter of the excavation area to ensure that dust control measures areeffective. Temporary air monitoring stations will be established at 4 locations in the northwestern portion of the site.UC Berkeley EH&S staff will be reviewing the air monitoring data.

-The results of air monitoring will be posted on the Campus Bay website at: www.campusbayrichmond.com.The RFS website will provide a link to this data once it becomes available.

The current estimated schedule of activities is the following:

-Wednesday, June 11- Completion of background air monitoring

-Friday, June 13- Abandonment of monitoring well

-Monday, June 16- Contractor mobilization to the site

-Wednesday, June 18- Anticipated beginning of excavation activities

 
     
 

June 26, 2008

Campus Bay Excavation Will Continue Wednesday

Rmediation in the northwestern portion of the Campus Bay (former Zeneca) site (see June 11, 2008 news story below) has been temporarily delayed. Work will resume on Wednesday July 2, 2008 and it expected to be finished on Tuesday July 8, 2008.

 
     
 

May 2, 2008

New Required On-line Training for RFS Staff, Students, and Faculty

A new on-line training program entitled “Working at the Richmond Field Station” is now available for viewing.  This training is required viewing for all current member of the RFS community, including staff, students, faculty and tenants. The training deadline for all current community members is June 30, 2008. New employees should complete the training during the first week of employment.

“Working at the Richmond Field Station” was developed by the campus Office of Environment, Health & Safety to address concerns raised about disturbing soils or environmentally sensitive areas of the RFS and to raise awareness that any facilities usage must be approved by the College of Engineering. The training provides information on the history of the RFS and current regulatory oversight associated with the Remediation and Restoration Project currently underway.

There are two options for completing the required training:

Option 1- Live training sessions

The Working at the Richmond Field Station training module will be presented by EH&S at three training sessions to be held in the Building 445 conference room from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. on the following three dates:

                        May 20, 2008

                        May 27, 2008

                        June 3, 2008

Attending these sessions will satisfy your training requirement.

Option 2- Electronic viewing

The Working at the Richmond Field Station is available for viewing through two mechanisms, one for UC Berkeley associated community members and the other for non-UC Berkeley tenants or members of other campuses.

For UC Berkeley students, faculty and staff:

1. Go to the IS&T etrain website at http://etrain.berkeley.edu

2. Log-in using your Calnet ID

3. Open the training course titled “ Working at the Richmond Field Station” (this is currently 33rd on the list)

4. Complete the training, including passing the short quiz at the end. Completion of the quiz is required to get credit for completing the training.

For non-UC Berkeley affiliated community members (no Calnet ID)

1. Download the Powerpoint of the presentation from the following link: WorkingattheRichmondFieldStationNon-UCBEmployeeVersion

2. Complete the training and report the date of completion to your supervisor.

 
     
 

April 3, 2008

Final Public Health Assessment for RFS Released by ATSDR

The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR)has released the final Public Health Assessment Evaluation of Exposure to Contaminants at the University of California, Berkeley, Richmond Field Station (PHA). This PHA was prepared by the California Department of Public Health (DPH), who released a draft public comment version in August 2007. As with the earlier DPH draft, the final PHA concludes that it is safe for people to walk on RFS grounds and on the Bay Trail. The PHA is available on the technical documents page of this website and can be linked to by selecting the document title above.

 
     
 

February 4, 2008

Clapper Rail Breeding Season Begins February 1

The breeding sesaon for the endangered California clapper rail (Railus longirostris obsoletus) begins on February 1 and continues until August 31 each year. The clapper rail is a medium-sized bird that inhabits salt marshes of the San Francisco Bay. This once abundant bird has become endangered due to loss of salt marsh habitat, hunting, and predation by feral cats, red foxes and rats. The US Fish and Wildlife Service estimates that there are only around 1,000 clapper rails remaining in the San Francisco Bay. Rails prefer the dense cordgrass habitat found in Western Stege Marsh at the RFS. Current restoration activities in the marsh area are designed to create more habitat for this species. During the breeding season it is prohibited to disturb the rail. You may not approach within 200 feet of clapper rail breeding habitat (excluding the Bay Trail and connector trails) without the permission of the Office of Environment, Health & Safety). For more information on the California clapper rail, go to the Restoration page on this website or call EH&S (642-3073).

 
     
 

February 4, 2008

Lark Drive Repaving to Start February 5.

Beginning February 5, 2008 a contractor will repave a 270-foot stretch of Lark Drive. The repaving is necessary to repair the section of roadway and remove sensors used for the Institute of Transporation Studies Heavy Vehicle Simulator studies no longer being conducted at the RFS. Work will include grinding and removal of the existing roadway and laying hot mix asphalt. No disturbance of soils under the existing asphalt and base rock will occur. Work is expected to be finished by Friday February 8, 2008.

 
     
 

February 4, 2008

RFS Facilities Staff Cleanup Storm Trash from Meeker Slough

On January 31, 2008, Facilities Management staff spent an hour and a half collecting debris that had washed and blown on to UC Berkeley Richmond Field Station property along the left bank (east side) of Meeker Slough. Most of the debris was light floatable material such as Styrofoam cups, plastic water bottles and tennis balls. The accumulation was more substantial than during most rainy years due to the January 4, 2008 storm with 50 MPH sustained on-shore winds and a large storm surge associated with a high tide. A volume of approximately 30 bags of waste was removed.

Left Bank Meeker Slough- BEFORE Cleanup

Left Bank Meeker Slough- AFTER Cleanup

Meeker Creek/ Meeker Ditch confluence- BEFORE Cleanup

Meeker Creek/ Meeker Ditch confluence- AFTER Cleanup

 

 

 
     
 

January 24, 2008

January 16 Town Hall Meeting Powerpoint Available Here

On January 16, 2008 the RFS Winter 2008 Town Hall meeting was held in the newly renovated B445 conference building. The EH&S powerpoint presentation describing the Remediation and Restoration Project history and current activities is availabe on the Construction Schedule page of this website at the following link:

http://rfs-test.berkeley.edu/documents/TownHall2008.01.16FIN.ppt

 
     
 

January 11, 2008

Clean Soil Backfill of TCRA Excavation Scheduled for Week of January 14, 2008

Beginning on January 15, 2008 the RFS Facility Team will backfill the excavation pit of the former Forest Products Laboratory Wood Treatment Laboratory. The soil in this area was removed in October 2007 under a Department of Toxic Substances Control Time Critical Removal Action and shipped for off-site disposal. The clean backfill material is currently stored at the RFS between Buildings 149 and 128. DTSC has approved use of this soil for backfill. It is expected that it will take two days to complete the backfill activity. Dust control measures will be implemented during the backfill. For more information, go to the Construction Schedule page of this website.

 
     
 

January 11, 2008

Response to DTSC Comments on Draft Current Conditions Report Issued.

In October 2007 the Department of Toxic Substances Control issued a letter presenting comments to the April 2, 2007 Draft Current Conditions Report for the Richmond Field Station (see October 25, 2007 news item). UC Berkeley's Draft Response to Comments is available on the Technical Documents page of this website.

 
     
 

December 5, 2007

DTSC Work Notice for Zeneca Investigation December 6 and 7, 2007

The State of California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) has issued the following work notice for site investigation activities at the Zeneca site:

WORK NOTICE FOR FORMER ZENECA/ FORMER STAUFFER CHEMICAL SITE, RICHMOND, CALIFORNIA (December 5, 2007)

Beginning Thursday December 6, 2007 through Friday December 7, 2007 the Zeneca/Former Stauffer Chemical Site Responsible Parties (Cherokee Simeon Venture I, LLC, Zeneca Inc. and Bayer CropScience Inc.) will conduct field work to collect additional information needed to evaluate potential cleanup alternatives for Lot 3. Work will take place between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m.

The following activities will be conducted as outlined in the “Field Sampling Activities, Additional Sample Locations, Lot 3, Campus Bay, Former Zeneca Facility, Richmond, California”, dated October 31, 2007.
Activities will be completed using direct push drilling technology:

- The field work will take place predominantly on the Lot 3 Temporary Cap.

- Men wearing protective gear will be operating a CPT rig (similar to a large box truck) and one or two support vehicles at the site.

- Two Cone Penetrometer Test (CPT) borings will be pushed
approximately 50 feet below ground surface. A grab groundwater
sample will be collected from each CPT boring.

- Two CPT borings will be coupled with a membrane interface probe
(MIP) and pushed to approximately 50 feet below ground surface. The MIP will give qualitative information about the groundwater as it is pushed into the groundwater. A Grab groundwater sample will be collected from each CPT/MIP boring.

- One grab groundwater sample will be collected from 20 feet below ground surface.

- Two soil gas samples will be collected at a later date pending favorable weather conditions. Specifics on this portion of the field work will be explained in future Site Updates.

Additional site information can be accessed from DTSC's web page at the following address: http://www.dtsc.ca.gov/ and searching the EnviroStor Data base.

For information regarding the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) cleanup activities at this and other South Richmond Sites, please contact the following DTSC staff:

Lynn Nakashima, Project Scientist
700 Heinz Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94710
(510) 540 3839
Lnakashi@dtsc.ca.gov

Diane Fowler, Public Participation Supervisor 8800 Cal Center Drive Sacramento, CA 95826
(916) 255-6682
dfowler@dtsc.ca.gov

Nancy Cook, Public Participation Specialist 700 Heinz Avenue Berkeley, CA 94710
(510) 540-3923
ncook@dtsc.ca.gov

Members of the media should contact:
Angela Blanchette, Public Information Officer 700 Heinz Avenue Berkeley, CA 94710
(510) 540-3732
ablanche@dtsc.ca.gov

 
     
 

November 27, 2007

Stockpiled Soil Shipping Scheduled for 11/28 and 11/29

Beginning Wednesday morning, November 28, 2007, trucks will be loaded with soils currently stored in the stockpile area of the RFS Remediation and Restoration Project (between buildings 112 and 128) for off-site disposal at a State approved landfill. These stockpiled soils originated from the Building 445 renovation and Jay Way repaving projects. The soils have been tested for chemicals of concern and are non-hazardous. Dust control measures will be implemented during loading activities. It is expected that the work will take two days to complete.

 
     
 

November 19, 2007

UC comments to Department of Public Health Draft Public Health Statement available

On July 15, 2007, the state Department of Public Health (DPH) released a draft "Public Health Assessment" (PHA) regarding the University's Richmond Field Station (RFS). The draft PHA evaluates existing RFS environmental data, makes conservative assumptions regarding possible exposures to contaminants found at the site, estimates potential health impacts, and evaluates health concerns raised by some RFS employees.

UC Berkeley's comment letter on the draft PHA is available on the Technical Documents page of this website.

 
     
 

November 19, 2007

TCRA soil disposal complete

As part of the ongoing efforts to remove legacy contamination from the Richmond Field Station, a small area of soil in the vicinity of the former Forest Products Laboratory Wood Treatment Laboratory (WTL) was excavated for off-site disposal in early October 2007. Work completed under the Time Critical Removal Action (TCRA) is described in a public notice from the State of California Department of Toxic Substances Control. The final extent of the excavation has been approved by DTSC and the area will be backfilled with clean soil approved by DTSC.

Excavated soil, asphalt and concrete has been removed from the RFS to a DTSC approved disposal site. An implementation report on the TCRA is being written and will be made available at this site when complete.

 
     
 

October 25 , 2007

DTSC comments on Draft Current Condtions Report (CCR) issued

The State of California Department of Toxic Substances Control has issued a letter presenting comments on the April 2, 2007 Draft Current Conditions Report (CCR) for the Richmond Field Station. Please go to this link to view this letter.

 
     
 

October 4, 2007 TCRA soil excavation completed, Jay Way Soil to be sent off-site October 5, 2007

Excavation of soils at former Forest Products Laboratory Wood Treatment Laboratory (WTL), performed under a clean-up plan approved by the State of California Department of Toxic Substances Control (see September 20, 2007 new story), was completed on October 4, 2007. Samples will be taken to determine if any additional excavation is needed. If no additional digging is needed, the excavation will be backfilled with clean soil.

Air monitoring and visual observations completed during the work showed that the dust control measures we implemented were fully effective in controlling dust from the excavation site. Air monitoring results, including maps showing the locations of the air monitors, will be available on this website early next week.

On Friday October 5, 2007, approximately 75 cubic yards of soil that was previously excavated during repair of Jay Way will be removed for off-site disposal. The soil was stockpiled for testing by the campus Office of Environment, Health & Safety. Analytical results show that the soil is clean and is not hazardous. We anticipate that six loads will be trucked from the soil stockpile area east of Building 112 to a sanitary landfill.

 
     
 

September 20, 2007

Soil Excavation at the Former Wood Treatment Laboratory Scheduled for the Week of October 1, 2007

As part of the ongoing efforts to remove legacy contamination from the Richmond Field Station, a small area of soil in the vicinity of the former Forest Products Laboratory Wood Treatment Laboratory (WTL) will be excavated for off-site disposal beginning on October 1, 2007. A public notice from the State of California Department of Toxic Substances Control, the regulatory agency that has approved this action. This notice describes the work that will occur in this area.

The soil being removed was contaminated by wood treatment chemicals used in research at the WTL.  The primary chemical of concern is arsenic, which is a constituent of commercial pressure treated wood pre-dating the EPA’s ban of arsenic-containing wood treatment compounds in 2004. The former WTL is located in the northeast corner of the RFS near Building 476. The contaminated soil was found during final clearance inspections after the WTL equipment was removed for off-site disposal to a DTSC approved landfill in 2006. Two small areas of elevated concentrations of arsenic were found in soils near the old equipment.

The soils are being removed because the arsenic contamination poses a risk to construction workers who might dig in this soil. After the soil is removed, a new facilities maintenance storage building will be placed in this area as part of the relocation of the corporation yard.

Summary of Cleanup Activities

Following is a description of the activities that will take place during the week of October 1, 2007:

Approximately 100 cubic yards of soil will be removed using a backhoe.  The soil will be placed into 20-cubic yard roll-off bins for off-site disposal at licensed off-site landfill facility. The expected excavation depth is two feet in most areas and four feet in a smaller area.  The excavated areas will be backfilled with clean soil that has been approved by DTSC.

Activities will occur during weekdays, Monday through Friday, between 8 A.M and 6 P.M.  Soil excavation likely will take no more than three days to complete.  The following activities will occur:

  • Trained workers wearing personal protective equipment will use a concrete-asphalt cutter and a concrete-breaker attachment on a backhoe to cut and break up asphalt and concrete covering soil in portions of the excavation area.
  • The concrete and asphalt will be stockpiled on site for future disposal at an appropriate off-site disposal or recycling facility. The stockpile will be covered to prevent dust.
  • The workers will use a backhoe to excavate soil and placed it directly into roll-off bins.
  • Upon completion of excavation, environmental consultants will collect soil samples to confirm that the DTSC-approved cleanup goal has been achieved. All samples will be submitted to a state-certified analytical laboratory for analysis. DTSC will oversee the sample collection and review the analytical results
  • Excavated soil, asphalt, and concrete will be sampled for off-site disposal, and then trucked to an appropriately permitted disposal facility.
  • After cleanup,  the area will remain fenced until construction activities are completed to protect the RFS community from construction site equipment and hazards.

The excavation procedure approved by DTSC includes dust control measures, such as spraying water during soil excavation and loading, which will reduce dust generation during the work to levels that are safe.  Dust monitoring will be performed at upwind and downwind locations to monitor the effectiveness of the dust control measures.  If excessive dust is detected, modifications to the dust control measures will be made or work will be stopped until adequate control measures are in place.

An estimated five roll-off bins, equivalent to five truckloads, will be removed from the site. Trucks hauling soil will exit the Richmond Field Station and travel west on Meade Street for approximately 1/3 miles and then take the Regatta on-ramp to Interstate 580.

 
     
 

September 10, 2007

September 5, 2007 Department of Public Health meeting- message from the Director of EH&S

On September 5, 2007, the State of California Department of Public Health convened a meeting at the Richmond Field Station to present the findings of and answer questions about the draft Public Health Assessment of the Richmond Field Station (see August 17, 2007 news item). The following is a message from Mark Freiberg , the Director of the campus Office of Environment, Health & Safety, to the RFS Community regarding the meeting.

Dear RFS Community:

On behalf of UC Berkeley's Office of Environment, Health & Safety (EH&S), I'd like to thank all who were able to attend Wednesday's staff meeting to hear representatives from the state Department of Public Health (DPH), Contra Costa County Health Services Department (CCCHSD), and EH&S discuss DPH's draft Public Health Assessment for RFS. We appreciate the time and effort you took to come out and share your comments and questions.

For those who were not able to attend, we encourage you to read the two-page summary (http://rfs-env.berkeley.edu/documents/UCRFS-publichealthassessmentflyer.pdf) the county health officials developed to explain in plain language the preliminary findings from the draft report (http://rfs-env.berkeley.edu/documents/UCRFS-PHAPublicComment.pdf). Following is a very brief summary of DPH's points:

- It is safe to work at RFS and to use the Bay Trail.

- With reasonable precautions, such as training and proper work procedures, workers digging in RFS soils are quite safe.

- There is no evidence that indoor air quality at RFS poses any health hazard, although more sampling would be helpful.

DPH officials also stated that additional data is needed in some areas to provide additional reassurance that contamination remains below health concern levels. To address this need, our office will be collecting additional indoor quality air samples in coordination with DPH, and we will continue to work with the Department of Toxics Substances Control (DTSC), the agency charged with cleanup oversight at the RFS, to perform additional monitoring and sampling over the coming months.

At the Wednesday meeting, some employees expressed concern about RFS staff and students who may dig in the soils for purposes such as installation of research instrumentation and environmental sample collection. This is a reminder that any disturbance of soil at RFS must first be authorized through RFS Manager John Felling's office (665-3402 or jfelling@berkeley.edu). While there is no evidence that digging in unfenced areas at the RFS poses a health risk, such activity can potentially damage underground utilities or sensitive plant or animal species.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have questions about information contained in the DPH assessment. You may also contact DPH staff at the number listed on the summary.

Thanks,
Mark Freiberg
Director, EH&S

 
     
 

August 17 , 2007

Draft Public Health Assessment of Richmond Field Station Released by Department of Public Health

On July 15, 2007, the state Department of Public Health (DPH) released a draft "Public Health Assessment" (PHA) regarding the University's Richmond Field Station (RFS). The draft PHA evaluates existing RFS environmental data, makes conservative assumptions regarding possible exposures to contaminants found at the site, estimates potential health impacts, and evaluates health concerns raised by some RFS employees.

UC Berkeley is currently performing an extensive review of this draft document and will provide comments to DPH on or before the comment deadline of September 24, 2007.

The University's preliminary review of the draft indicates that many of the assumptions regarding human exposures to soils and the marsh do not reflect realistic scenarios, and UC plans to provide input to correct those assumptions.

Even with the draft's current assumptions, the conclusions are reassuring on many fronts. For example, DPH determined that it is indeed safe for people to walk on RFS grounds and to use the adjacent Bay Trail. Further, DPH concluded that there is to date no evidence of radioactive contamination at the RFS.

However, UC believes that some of the draft's unrealistic assumptions have led to some erroneous and troubling conclusions, including identifying potential health impacts for the small group of RFS workers who occasionally dig in soils at RFS, and to children or teenagers who may have played extensively in West Stege Marsh. UC will be providing comments on the draft PHA to allow for more realistic assumptions that we believe will indicate no health risk to these groups when the report is finalized.

The draft PHA lists nine specific recommended practices, many of which UC Berkeley agrees with and has already implemented. For example, DPH recommends that UC provide RFS staff access to up-to-date maps of structures, soil sampling locations, and contamination levels. These maps were included in the Current Conditions Report (CCR Text and Appendixes) prepared on April 5, 2007. Hard copies of the CCR are also available at various locations at the RFS.

DPH also recommends that UC train workers annually on how to identify cinders and actions to take if cinders are identified. UC has provided this training to its workers, and has developed job safety procedures and a soils management plan, which has been approved by the state Department of Toxics Substances Control, the lead agency in charge of overseeing the remediation and restoration of the RFS.

A meeting for RFS staff is being planned for early September in which DPH representatives will discuss and hear comments on the draft's assumptions, conclusions and recommendations. The PHA is available on the Technical Documents page of this website. A link to the draft assessment available on the DPH website iis found here: http://www.ehib.org/project.jsp?project_key=UCFS01

 
     
 

July 16 , 2007

UC Letter to the Community Advisory Group on DTSC Alleged Violations

At the July 12, 2007 Richmond Southeast Shoreline Area Community Advisory Group meeting the University presented a letter regarding the June 29, 2007 Summary of Violations letter issued by the Department of Toxics Substances Control (see July 3, 2007 news item).

 
     
 

July 3 , 2007

UC Receives Violation Letter Over Its Remediation Work at RFS

In a letter dated June 29, 2007, the University of California, Berkeley, was notified by the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC), a branch of the California Environmental Protection Agency (Cal EPA), of allegations that  it acted improperly by performing remediation work at its Richmond Field Station without hazardous waste permits or authorization from the DTSC.

The cleanup and wetlands restoration work at the field station, located in Richmond about five miles from the UC Berkeley campus, was initiated by a 2001 order from the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board, another branch of Cal EPA. The order followed voluntary site assessment work that UC Berkeley began in 1999.

UC Berkeley proceeded with the remediation project with the close oversight and approval of the regional board, as well as with regulatory approvals from the Army Corps of Engineers, the Bay Conservation and Development Commission, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. UC Berkeley also consulted with the East Bay Regional Parks District and the city of Richmond, and prepared documents under the California Environmental Quality Act that then were distributed to state agencies through the Governor's Office of Planning and Research.

The environmental cleanup work was required to address contamination resulting from industrial activities at the field station and its neighboring properties that dated back to the late 1800s and before the University of California purchased the property in 1950. The contaminants included mercury and other heavy metals – including arsenic, lead, zinc, selenium, cadmium and copper – that are associated with pyrite cinder waste.

In the letter to UC Berkeley, the DTSC primarily referred to the treatment and transport from October 2002 to November 2004 of contaminated soil between the field station and an adjacent property owned at the time by Zeneca, the corporate successor to Stauffer Chemical Co.

UC Berkeley began working with the DTSC after May 12, 2005, when Cal EPA announced it was assigning the DTSC as lead regulatory agency in place of the regional water quality control board for the remaining cleanup and restoration at the field station.

Campus officials are currently reviewing the letter and plan to meet with the DTSC within the next few weeks.

"We believe we have a strong track record of cooperating with regulatory agencies on the Richmond Field Station remediation project, which is why we are taking this notification from the DTSC very seriously," said Mark Freiberg, director of UC Berkeley Environment, Health & Safety, which has helped manage the project. "We are eager to meet with the DTSC in the near future so we can better understand the agency's letter."

A copy of the June 29, 2007, Summary of Violation from the DTSC is available here.

For background about the Richmond Field Station remediation project, an online fact sheet is available at http://rfs-env.berkeley.edu/factsheet.html.

 
     
     
     
 

June 18 , 2007

Ficha Descriptiva en Español (Spanish Version of RFS Fact Sheet Now Available)

Ahora también está disponible la ficha descriptiva del proyecto en español.

 
     
  May, 2007
May CAG Meeting Closed to Public
The Richmond Southeast Shoreline Area Community Advisory Group (CAG) meets the second Thursday of each month from , 6:30- 9:00 p.m. Unless otherwise noted, meetings are held at the Richmond Convention Center Bermuda Room (address below). The California Department of Toxics Substances Control has scheduled the 2007 meetings of the Community Advisory Group for the following dates:
 
 

May 10, 2007- Closed to the public.

The 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m., Thursday, May 10, 2007, regular CAG meeting is closed to the public and DTSC.  The CAG will be focused on organizational issues. 

The public is invited to attend the CAG Toxics Committee meeting the following week:

May 17, 2007 (Thursday) 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.

 
     
 

April 5, 2007

Draft Current Conditions Report Completed.

The Draft Current Conditions Report (CCR) for the Richmond Field Station is now available. This report, required by the Department of Toxic Substances Contol (DTSC) Site Investigation and Remediation Order, provides a comprehensive summary of current conditions at the RFS. The report includes a site-wide summary of past activities, a description of current site conditions based on historic sampling analytical data, and anticipated data needs to plan further studies and assess whether any additional cleanup actions for the RFS are needed.

 
     
 

April 5, 2007

Groundwater Monitoring Equipment to be Installed April 12 and 13, 2007.

Zeneca, through its environmental consultant LFR, plans to sample groundwater and install two piezometers (temporary groundwater monitoring wells) at the RFS in two locations near the property boundary between the former Zeneca site and the RFS. These activities are planned for April12 and 13, 2007. The work is being done according to the March 30, 2007 Work Plan for Additional Grab Groundwater Investigatino and Piezometer Installatoin, Campus Bay, Former Zeneca Facility, Zeneca has submitted to the Department of Toxics Substances Contro and to an April 5, 2007 Amendment to the Work Plan. This Work Plan and Amendment include a Table showing samping rationale and a Map showing the sampling locations. This plan summarizes activities to collect groundwater samples to determine the extent to which chemicals detected in groundwater at the Zeneca site may have entered the groundwater beneath the RFS. The piezometers are being installed to better understand grounwater flow directions in the northern part of the property boundary. Equipment to perform sampling and install the piezomenters will be on the RFS for approximately two days. Air monitoring will be conducted continuously during these activities.

 
     
 

November 17, 2006
New "Keep Out" Signs Posted

The new Site Investigation and Remediation Order recently issued by the Department of Toxic Substances Control requires that the University post signs stating "Caution Hazardous Substances Area Unauthorized Persons Keep Out" in areas where future remediation is going to occur. These signs have been posted in the area of the former mercury fulminate plant (also called Area of Concern 7) that was located to the west of Building 102 at the south end of the RFS site. Additional signs may be placed in other locations in the future. East Bay Regional Park District "Resource Protection Area Keep Out" signs required on the Bay Trail traversing Western Stege Marsh at the south end of the RFS have also been posted.

These signs do not indicate any changes to site conditions or potential risks to employees . They are being posted to comply with the new Order requirement which will prevent the general public from entering investigation and resource protection areas. As indicated by the signs, only persons authorized to enter these areas may do so. Authorized persons include RFS facilities maintenance staff performing routine grounds maintenance activities and persons traveling through the area to the Building 128 storage facility that have been authorized to access this building. All other activities, must be approved by EH&S and the RFS Superintendent. In order to obtain authorization, please contact RFS Superintendent John Felling (510-665-3402) or Karl Hans at the Office of Environment, Health & Safety (510-643-9574 or 510-665-3603).

 
     
 

November 1, 2006
Site Sampling Along RFS/Zeneca Property Boundary Air Monitoring Results

Zeneca, through its environmental consultant LFR, completed groundwater along the property boundary between the former Zeneca site and the RFS during the week of October 9 (see October 5, 2006 Archived News). The work was being done according to a Field Sampling Activities Plan and Revision Letter Zeneca submitted to the Department of Toxic Substances Control to determine the extent to which chemicals detected in groundwater at the Zeneca site may have entered the groundwater beneath the RFS. Air monitoring (Analytical Report and Map) conducted during the sampling activities found no presence of perchloroethylene or trichloroethylene, the chemicals of concern.

 
     
 

October 9 , 2006
The Watershed Project Open House is October 15, 2006

The Watershed Project, a non-profit eductional organization and partner with UC Berkeley on marsh and grassland restoration at the RFS is holding its second annual open house on Sunday Octoer 15, 2006, from 12:00 noon to 3:00 PM. The Celebration by the Bay includes guided tours of the nursery and demonstration garden and of the marsh restoration project as well as many other events for children adults. For more information and the schedule of activities see: http://www.thewatershedproject.org/specialevents/openhouse06.html.

 
     
 

October 9 , 2006
Restoration Rototilling Scheduled for October 12-13, 2006

On Thursday October 12, 2006 and Friday October 13, 2006, The Watershed Project (TWP) will be working in the upland along the edge of Western Stege Marsh at the RFS to condition soil for planting in the upcoming rainy season. Activities will include removing weed block fabric, spreading rice straw and rototiling to mix the straw into the soil and reduce rutting. The area will then be watered to promote weed sprouting. After the intial flush of weeds is removed, the area will be planted with native coastal scrub and prairie plants being grown in the TWP nursery at the RFS. Planting is expected to begin in November. All work is taking place in clean soils imported for coastal prairie restoration.

 
     
 

October 5 , 2006
Zeneca Marsh Grading Scheduled for October 6-9, 2006

Beginning October 6, 2006, grading work will be taking place in clean soils in a small portion of Eastern Stege Marsh on the Zeneca Site. The grading is necessary to smooth ruts and to lower marsh elevations to target levels designed to create additional wildlife habitat as required by the permit issued by the Army Corps of Engineers and by the Bay Conservation and Development Commission. Work will occur at the southwestern corner of the Zeneca site, whcih is next to the RFS connector trail at the intersection of the Bay Trail. The State of California Department of Toxics Substances Control is requiring that real time air monitoring for dust and hydrogen sulfide be conducted during grading activities. For more information, see the September 28, 2005 DTSC Special Update.

 
     
 

October 5, 2006
Site Sampling Along RFS/Zeneca Property Boundary Scheduled fo the Week of October 9, 2006

Zeneca, through its environmental consultant LFR, plans to sample groundwater along the property boundary between the former Zeneca site and the RFS during the week of October 9. The work is being done according to a Field Sampling Activities Plan and Revision Letter Zeneca has submitted to the Department of Toxics Substances Control. This plan summarizes activities to collect groundwater samples to determine the extent to which chemicals detected in groundwater at the Zeneca site may have entered the groundwater beneath the RFS. LFR plans to collect samples from twelve locations on the RFS side of the fenceline. Equipment will be on the RFS for approximately three days. Air monitoring will be conducted continuously during these activities with results posted on this website as they become available from LFR. Previous air sampling by EH&S for the compounds of concern in Building 478 has not shown that contaminants are moving from groundwater into the air in Building 478.

 
     
 

September 18, 2006
DTSC Issues Site Investigation and Remediation Orders for RFS and Zeneca Properties

On September 15, 2006 the California Department of Toxics Substances Control (DTSC) issued two new Site Investigation and Remediation Orders: one applying to the University of California, Richmond Field Station (RFS) and the other to the Zeneca Site, formerly owned by Stauffer Chemical and neighboring the RFS. These orders establish a timeline of tasks to further investigate and remediate both sites. The process to develop these orders was initiated in 2005, when regulatory oversight for both sites was transferred by the California Environmental Protection Agency from the Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB) to DTSC ( see http://www.berkeley.edu/news/media/releases/2005/05/18_rfs.shtml for more information.) For the RFS, the order will allow the University to proceed with tasks that were being planned at the time of the agency transfer. Return to this website in the upcoming weeks for updates on activities associated with these orders.

 
     
  June 20, 2006
Mowing in Native Prairie to Control Invasive Weed to Start Late June
Beginning in late June or early July 2006 mowing will commence in the RFS prairie reserve as part of an effort aimed at elminating invasion of Harding grass (Philaris aquatica). The mowing is intended to reduce seed spread and to reduce the vigor of the plant. Mowing will not harm the native coastal prairie habitat as is being completed at the recommendation of campus biology faculty. A qualified biologist will oversee the work to insure that sensitive areas are not harmed. For more information see the attached Harding Grass Mowing Notice.
 
     
  June 01, 2006
Next Community Advisory Group (CAG) Meeting Thursday,June 8, 2006, 6:30- 9:00 p.m
Next Community Advisory Group (CAG) Meeting Thursday, June 8, 2006, 6:30- 9:00 p.m The State of California Department of Toxics Substances Control has scheduled the next meeting of the Community Advisory Group for Zeneca/Former Stauffer Chemical Company Site (that includes the Richmond Field Station and other nearby sites within its scope) for the following time and location:
 
     
 
Thursday, June 8, 2006, 6:30- 9:00 p.m. .

Richmond Convention Center - Bermuda Room
403 Civic Center Plaza at Nevin and 25th Streets
Richmond, California.
 
     
  The RFS CAG staff representative is David Kim. David can be reached by email at dongja@berkeley.edu or by telephone at (510) 665-3502.  
     
  May 3, 2006
Next Community Advisory Group (CAG) Meeting Thursday,May 11, 2006, 6:30- 9:00 p.m
Next Community Advisory Group (CAG) Meeting Thursday, May 11, 2006, 6:30- 9:00 p.m The State of California Department of Toxics Substances Control has scheduled the next meeting of the Community Advisory Group for Zeneca/Former Stauffer Chemical Company Site (that includes the Richmond Field Station and other nearby sites within its scope) for the following time and location:
 
 
Thursday, May 11, 2006, 6:30- 9:00 p.m. .

Richmond Convention Center - Bermuda Room
403 Civic Center Plaza at Nevin and 25th Streets
Richmond, California.
 
     
  The RFS CAG staff representative is David Kim. David can be reached by email at dongja@berkeley.edu or by telephone at (510) 665-3502.  
     
  March 21 , 2006
Next Community Advisory Group (CAG) Meeting Thursday, April 13, 2006, 6:30- 9:00 p.m
The State of California Department of Toxics Substances Control has scheduled the next meeting of the Community Advisory Group for Zeneca/Former Stauffer Chemical Company Site (that includes the Richmond Field Station and other nearby sites within its scope) for the following time and location:
 
 
Thursday, April 13, 2006, 6:30- 9:00 p.m.

Richmond Convention Center - Bermuda Room
403 Civic Center Plaza at Nevin and 25th Streets
Richmond, California.
 
     
  March 21 , 2006
Historic Research Well Field Closure Complete
In February 2006 the historic research well field located at the RFS was closed by campus contractors who filled the wells with grout as required by state regulations with oversight by Contra Costa County Health Services Department. As described in the January 31, 2006 news item, the purpose of the project was to decommission the historic research monitoring well field that is no longer in use. The well field was installed in the 1950's by the College of Engineering as part of a State Water Resources Control Board funded project to study deep-well injection and transport of materials such as sewage. The March "Well Closure Document Report" can be found in the Technical Documentation page (see Resources bar on the left of this page).
 
     
  The RFS CAG staff representative is David Kim. David can be reached by email at dongja@berkeley.edu or by telephone at (510) 665-3502.  
     
  February 16, 2006
Next Community Advisory Group (CAG) Meeting Thursday, March 9, 2006, 6:30- 9:00 p.m
The State of California Department of Toxics Substances Control has scheduled the next meeting of the Community Advisory Group for Zeneca/Former Stauffer Chemical Company Site (that includes the Richmond Field Station and other nearby sites within its scope) for the following time and location:
 
 
Thursday, March 9, 2006, 6:30- 9:00 p.m.

Richmond Convention Center - Bermuda Room
403 Civic Center Plaza at Nevin and 25th Streets
Richmond, California.
 
     
  The RFS CAG staff representative is David Kim. David can be reached by email at dongja@berkeley.edu or by telephone at (510) 665-3502.  
     
     
 

February 16, 2006
Building 478 Supplemental Air Monitoring Report Available
The campus Office of Environment, Health & Safety recently completed supplemental air monitoring in the interior of Building 478 (former Forest Products Laboratory) to assess the potential for soil vapor intrusion from groundwater contamination at the neighboring former Zeneca site (now a private development not affiliated with UC Berkeley). During the sampling event, none of the contaminants of concern (arsenic, PCE, TCE and vinyl chloride) were found in Building 478.

The report and attachments can be found on the Air Monitoring Data page in the Resources section of this website.

 
     
 

February 2, 2006
DHS CCCHSD Health Statement Update
In June 2005, officials from the California Department of Health Services and the Contra Costa County Health Services Department released a "Provisional Joint Health Statement Summary" concerning remediation activities at the RFS and adjacent Zeneca site (formerly Stauffer Chemical Company).  The agencies have recently updated this health statement.

Both the original June 23, 2005 and the January 18, 2006 revised Provisional Joint Health Statement Full Statement and a summary Short Statement can be found on the RFS Environmental Website Technical Documentation page at http://rfs-env.berkeley.edu/tech_doc.html, in the Human Health and Ecological Risk Assessment Reports.

The full and short statements can also be found at the Department of Health Services website at:


http://www.ehib.org/cma/project.jsp?project_key=UCFS01

 
     
 

January 10, 2006
DTSC Investigation of Fill Area Finds Scrap Metal, No Drums
On Monday January 9, 2006 the Department of Toxics Substances Control (DTSC) conducted an exploratory investigation of a fill area along Meeker Beach where a former RFS employee claimed to have buried metal drums in the late 1960s.

DTSC found no metal drums. DTSC surveys of excavated areas detected no radiation or volatile chemical contamination.

For more information see the January 10, 2006 DTSC Special Update.

 
     
     
 

Update January 31, 2006
Monitoring Well Field Closure Project Starts 1/31/2006
Beginning on Tuesday January 31, 2006 and continuing until approximately February 17, 2006, drill rigs and support equipment will complete a monitoring well closure project. The main area of work is in the field north of Crow Drive to the west of Building 167 (see Well Field Map).

The purpose of this project is to decommission an historic research monitoring well field that is no longer in use. The well field was installed in the 1950's by the College of Engineering as part of a State Water Resources Control Board funded project to study deep-well injection and transport of materials such as sewage. Over twenty wells were installed to a depth of ninety feet.  State and county regulations require that the wells are destroyed by filling them with grout (cement) to prevent accidental contamination of the groundwater aquifer. A full account of the well field history, investigation and decommissioning methods can be found in the attached December 8, 2005 Stellar Environmental Solutions' report Revised Technical Specifications for Well Destructions.

During the two to three weeks of activities, drill rigs will pump grout into the wells in two phases. The first phase will take one hour per well for grouting the lower segment. The second and final phase of closure will take approximately one- half day per well. Prior to the final grout injection during the second phase, well casings will be cut throughout the length of the wells. During these activities you may expect some truck engine noise. Additionally, in three locations (see Piezometer Map), temporary groundwater monitoring equipment, known as piezometers, installed as part of the remediation and restoration project, will be removed by a drill rig.

In addition to the field north of Crow Drive, activity will take place near Buildings 164, 180 and 183. Following is the current schedule for work in these locations:

  • Thursday February 2, 2006- two wells (225S and 224SE) between Buildings 164 and 180. Approximately two hours first phase well closure activity.

  • Tuesday February 7, 2006- one well in the southwest corner of the Building 183 parking lot. Approximately two hours activity to remove with a drill rig.

  • Thursday February 7, 2006- second phase to finish closure of two wells between Buildings 164 and 180. Approximately eight hours activity (four hours per well).
 
     
 

All wells have been sampled extensively by the campus Office of Environment, Health & Safety. There are no hazardous constituents present in the wells and there will be no soil disturbance that will create any dust emissions.


All work has been reviewed and approved by Contra Costa County Health Services and State of California Department of Toxics Substances Control.

 
     
  Update January 5, 2006
Updated FAQs Address Questions about Arsenic and Exposure to Pollutants in the Marsh
In recent months there have been questions about potential exposure to hazardous chemicals of Richmond Field Station employees and members of the general public. The Frequently Asked Questions page has been updated to address some of these concerns.
 
     
  Update January 5, 2006  
  Activity Update
1.   Surrounding sites activities: Zeneca, a private development adjacent to the RFS but not affiliated with UC Berkeley, has completed marsh remediation and earth moving work for this construction season (remediation in the marsh is limited to September 1 to January 31 outside of the clapper rail breeding season). In January, the following activities will occur:

  • contractors will be removing earth moving equipment and debris
  • vegetation will be cleared at the edge of the lagoons for fence installation
  • a fence will be installed near the lagoons
  • contractors will complete hand shoveling in the marsh to improve drainage

For more information on Zeneca and other neighboring site activities, please see the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) South Richmond Shoreline Sites Status Report Revised Update January 4, 2006.

2.   Fill area excavation: DTSC has scheduled excavation activities in the fill area at the end of Meeker Beach to begin on January 9, 2006. As previously reported (see October 21, 2005 Archived News), this fill area is where a former UC employee claims to have buried drums in the late 1960s. The purpose of the current work is to uncover buried metal in this area and collect samples for chemical and radiological analysis. DTSC expects the work to be completed by the end of the week of January 9, 2006.

For more information and a map of the fill area location, please see the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) Work Notice.

3.   Richmond Field Station: There are no remediation activities planned at the RFS in January. Restoration is continuing with The Watershed Project transplanting starts in the marsh and upland coastal terrace prairie.

 
     
  December 21, 2005
Next Community Advisory Group (CAG) Meeting Wednesday January 4, 2006, 6:30- 9:00 p.m
The State of California Department of Toxics Substances Control has scheduled the next meeting of the Community Advisory Group for Zeneca/Former Stauffer Chemical Company Site (that includes the Richmond Field Station and other nearby sites within its scope) for the following time and location:
 
 
Wednesday January 4, 2006, 6:30- 9:00 p.m.

Richmond Convention Center - Bermuda Room
403 Civic Center Plaza at Nevin and 25th Streets
Richmond, California.
 
     
  The RFS CAG staff representative is David Kim. David can be reached by email at dongja@berkeley.edu or by telephone at (510) 665-3502.  
     
  Update December 8, 2005
Activity Update
This is an update of this and next week's activities around the RFS and at the neighboring Zeneca site.

1.   Zeneca remediation activities:     As described in the December 2, 2005 Archived News item, Zeneca, a private development adjacent to the RFS but not affiliated with UC Berkeley, has commenced the remediation work at their site. The work being completed was presented in the Draft Removal Action Workplan in October 2005 (see October 19, 2005 Archived News) and approved by the State Department of Toxics Substances Control in late November 2005. This work includes sediment excavation, mixing and truck activity. Work will continue through the week of December 12 and possibly beyond, depending on weather conditions. Zeneca is approved to work in the marsh through December 31,2005. Continuous air monitoring and dust control measures will be in place during the removal activities. The site will be monitored by DTSC with supplemental monitoring to be completed by the campus Office of Environment, Health & Safety.

2.   Zeneca Lot 1 monitoring well installation. Three monitoring wells are being installed in the northwest portion of the Zeneca near the entrance to the RFS site in an area known as Lot 1 on Thursday and Friday December 8 and 9, 2005. The purpose of these wells is to further assess the extent of residual groundwater contamination, particularly perchloroethylene, in a previously cleaned area.

3.   RFS AOC7 fencing. A construction fence was erected this week around RFS Area of Concern 7, the former California Cap Company mercury fulminate plant to the west and south of building 102, to begin preparation of the site for remediation activities in 2006. A Removal Action Workplan is expected to be completed in spring 2006 and will be available for public review and comment electronically and at public workshops.

4.    RFS Environmental Bulletin Board. The RFS Environmental Bulletin Board has been erected. It is located at the intersection of Robin and Egret Ways, to the southeast of Building 451. The Bulletin Board will be used to post current news on environmental activities in the RFS area, including notices and information on the Richmond South Shoreline Community Advisory Group (CAG) meetings. For further information on the bulletin board, including posting, please contact the RFS CAG member David Kim at dongja@berkeley.edu or by telephone at (510) 665-3502.

 
     
  Update December 8, 2005
DTSC Finds No Health Risk to Making Waves Students and Staff at Zeneca Building 240
Making Waves is an after-school program for Richmond children that is housed in Building 240 of the former Zeneca site, a private development adjacent to the RFS but not affiliated with UC Berkeley. In response to concerns raised by the public about possible health risks posed to students and staff using Building 240, the State of California Department of Toxics Substances Control (DTSC) recently completed a soil vapor assessment of the facility. The results of the survey are presented in a November 30, 2005 report with the following attachments: a map of the survey area, sample analytical results (Table 1), exposure input parameters (Table 2), and risk assessment results (Table 3).

THE DTSC REPORT SUMMARIZED THE FINDINGS WITH THE FOLLOWING:

"Based on DTSC's evaluation of the data collected during the August 2005 sampling activities, DTSC has determined that the levels of soil vapors present around Building 240 do not pose a health risk to the students and staff of the Making Waves after-school program."

For more information on DTSC activities, visit their website at http://www.dtsc.ca.gov.
 
     
  News Alert! December 2, 2005
Zeneca Remediation to begin December 5, 2005
The Department of Toxics Substances Control (DTSC) has just released the Work Notice for remediation activities at the Zeneca property adjacent to the Richmond Field Station. As described in the notice, remediation activities, including sediment excavation, mixing and truck activity, will occur from December 5, 2005 to December 31,2005. Continuous air monitoring and dust control measures will be in place during the removal activities. The site will be monitored by DTSC with supplemental monitoring to be completed by the campus Office of Environment, Health & Safety.

Plesae note that unlike previous years, South 46th Street will not be used as a haul road. As shown on the Work Notice Map trucks will be routed through the center of the Zeneca facility, which will reduce the potential for dust, noise and vibration nuisances at the RFS.
 
     
  October 26, 2005
Next Community Advisory Group (CAG) Meetings November 17, 2005 and December 13, 2005, 6:30- 9:00 p.m
The State of California Department of Toxics Substances Control has scheduled the next two meetings of the Community Advisory Group for Zeneca/Former Stauffer Chemical Company Site (that includes the Richmond Field Station and other nearby sites within its scope) for the following time and location:
 
 
Thursday, November 17, 2005 - 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Tuesday, December 13, 2005 - 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Richmond Convention Center - Bermuda Room
403 Civic Center Plaza at Nevin and 25th Streets
Richmond, California.
 
     
  The RFS CAG staff representative is David Kim. David can be reached by email at dongja@berkeley.edu or by telephone at (510) 665-3502.  
     
  October 26, 2005
Clapper Rail Protection Program Feral Animal Trapping Resumes
Beginning mid-October 2005, UC Berkeley resumed trapping at the Richmond Field Station (RFS) for predators of the California clapper rail, a federally listed endangered species known to inhabit Stege Marsh. This trapping is required by the US Fish and Wildlife Service to compensate for reduction in habitat during remediation and restoration activities being undertaken in Stege Marsh.

Trapping will occur on a regular basis throughout the year with a frequency established to maximize protection of the clapper rail and other species whose habitat has been disrupted. Predator species that will be trapped and removed from the site include: rats, raccoons, skunks, red foxes and feral cats.

Trapping is not being done in areas frequented by domestic house cats. In the unlikely event that a tame cat is trapped, the University will make every effort to return the cat to its owner. We recommend that Marina Bay residents who choose to let their cats run loose place a collar with identification on the cat.

For more information on clapper rail protection and habitat restoration at the RFS, go to the Restoration page on the RFS Environmental Website at http://rfs-env.berkeley.edu.
 
     
  News Alert! October 24, 2005
Tonight's CAG Starts at 6:30 p.m.
The State of California Department of Toxics Substances Control has rescheduled the next meeting of the Community Advisory Group for Zeneca/Former Stauffer Chemical Company Site (that includes the Richmond Field Station and other nearby sites within its scope) to start half an hour earlier than previous meeting. It will meet at the following time and location:

Monday , October 24, 2005 - 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Richmond Convention Center - Bermuda Room
403 Civic Center Plaza at Nevin and 25th Streets
Richmond, California.
 
     
  October 21, 2005
Fill Area Magnetometer Survey Complete
We previously reported (see Sept. 6, 2005 Current News) that a radiation survey of an area of land along Meeker Slough, adjacent to the RFS, revealed no evidence of radioactive contamination. . This is an area where a former UC employee claims to have buried metal drums in the late 1960s.

Assessment of this area continued on Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2005, with the completion of a magnetometer survey under the oversight of the state Department of Toxics Substances Control (DTSC). The survey located an area with buried material containing ferrous metal at a depth greater than five feet below the ground surface. The survey method was unable to determine the specific identity of the fill material.

Because the fill area is not on UC Berkeley property (it is owned by the City of Richmond Community Redevelopment Agency) and due to uncertainties about the origin of the fill material, DTSC will lead the continued investigation of the presence and content of any material buried in the fill area with cooperation from UC Berkeley's EH&S staff. DTSC staff and contractors are expected to be working in the area late October and into November. DTSC's work will primarily include excavation to uncover and identify the buried material.

As reported on September 6, no radioactive contamination was detected in this area. This area is safe and does not present a health hazard. As DTSC begins excavation work, however, it is expected that fencing will be erected as a precaution to prevent injuries from accidental falls.

We will continue to update you on these activities and DTSC's findings on this website.

What is a magnetometer survey?
Magnetometers are scientific survey instruments designed to measure small variations in local magnetic fields, known as anomalies. Magnetometers have been widely used for locating buried objects. Unlike metal detectors, which can detect a variety of metals, magnetometers only detect ferrous metals (iron, cobalt nickel, steel and other alloys) and are therefore useful for finding common objects such as iron pipes, drums and well casings. A magnetometer survey is completed by walking transects across a survey area with the magnetometer and mapping the magnitude of the magnetic field. Buried objects will cause anomalies in the magnetic field that can be identified on the survey map. Surveys are not always successful due to interferences. For example, if an area has an extensive quantity of buried iron objects, anomalies may be difficult to detect.

 
     
  October 19, 2005
RWQCB Rescinds Zeneca and RFS Cleanup Orders
As part of the process to transfer regulatory oversight of both the Zeneca and Richmond Field Station (RFS) remediation and restoration projects to the Department of Toxics Substances Control (DTSC), at today's Board meeting, the Regional Water Quality Control Board unanimously approved uncontested orders to rescind the 2001 Site Cleanup Requirements (Orders). The 2001 Orders required a number of tasks, including site investigation, cleanup, monitoring and recording of deed restrictions. Three phases of cleanup activity were completed at the RFS under these Orders. DTSC expects to issue a new order to UC Berkeley by the end of 2005. The Board documentation includes the staff report and approved order.

In response to public concerns about continuity of deed restrictions at the Zeneca site, DTSC issued a 9/29/05 letter, included as part of the Board agenda item package for the Zeneca site that responds to these concerns. The letter also presents DTSC's anticipated deadline for issuing a new order as the end of 2005.

 
     
  October 19, 2005
DTSC Issues Zeneca Draft RAW, Public Comment Period 10/10/05 to 11/8/05
The Department of Toxics Substances Control (DTSC) has issued a proposed Draft Removal Action Workplan (Draft RAW) [71MB pdf file] for cleanup of a portion of East Stege Marsh at the neighboring Zeneca site. They have opened a 30-day public comment period. All emailed comments must be sent to DTSC no later thatn 5 p.m. on November 8, 2005. Please mail comments to Lynn Nakashima, Project Scientist, DTSC, 700 Heinz Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94710 or email her at: lnakashima@dtsc.ca.gov.

If approved DTSC expects the RAW to be implemented starting late November or early December. Work will include excavation of sediments from the marsh, treatment with cement to dry the sediments, trucking of treated sediments off-site and trucking clean fill onto the site.

DTSC has issued at Fact Sheet with a proposed project Work Area Traffic Access Plan map. At the request of the campus Office of Environment, Health & Safety, the route of import of clean fill will be moved from 46th Street at the RFS fence-line to the center of the Zeneca site, which will reduce the potential for nuisance dust, noise, vibration and diesel exhaust.

The Draft RAW is available for viewing at Information Repositories at the following locations:

1) DTSC File Room, 700 Heinz Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94710, hours 8-5 M-F by appointment only- call (510) 540-3800.
2) The Richmond Main Library, 325 Civic Center Plaza, Richmond, CA 94801 Reference desk (510) 620-6561. Hours 3-7 Mon. & Tues., 2-6 Wed. & Thurs., 1-5 Fri. & Sat.

 
     
  News Alert! October 19, 2005
DTSC Public Meeting on Draft Zeneca RAW 10/25/05
DTSC will be considering public comments to the recently released Zeneca Draft Removal Action Workplan (see 10/19/05 news item) during a public meeting to be held on October 25, 2005 at 7:00 p.m.. The meeting will be held at the Richmond Convention Center, Bermuda Room, 203 Civic Center Plaza at Nevin and 25th Streets, Richmond, CA.
 
     
 

News Alert!  October 17, 2005
DHS Health Concerns Drop-In Next Monday 10/24/05 and Tuesday 10/25/05.
Staff from the California Department of Health Services Environmental Health Investigation Branch (DHS) will be holding two drop-in sessions to meet with anyone from the RFS community to discuss health concerns:

1) An on-site session at the RFS wil be held on Monday October 24, 2005, 11am to 2pm, Building 445.

2) An off-site session will be held on Tuesday October 25, 2005 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at the following location:

California Department of Health Services
Richmond Campus, Room RC C-160
850 Marina Bay Parkway, Richmond, CA 94804

DHS has provided a flyer for both the on-site and off-site sessions. The on-site flyer provides description of this visit to the RFS:

"We invite you to share any exposure and health-related concerns you may have about the chemicals found at the Zeneca and UC Richmond Field Station property with staff from the California Department of Health Services. By participating, you will help us understand your worries and how they fit in with what we find in our review of the chemicals in the environment.

We will be available to meet individually with Richmond Field Station workers to discuss your concerns in a safe and confidential setting. We will summarize these concerns in a final report in a general manner, without mentioning any names or personal information.

Your participation is completely voluntary and will not affect your work status in any way.

If you feel more comfortable speaking with us by telephone, or if you cannot attend the session and would like to share your concerns, you may contact Ms. Rubi Orozco, Public Health Educator, at (510) 620-3671. You may also email her at rorozco1@dhs.ca.gov."

 
     
  October 10, 2005
Next Community Advisory Group Meeting October24, 2005
The State of California Department of Toxics Substances Control has scheduled the next meeting of the Community Advisory Group for Zeneca/Former Stauffer Chemical Company Site (that includes the Richmond Field Station and other nearby sites within its scope) for the following time and location:
 
 
Monday , October 24, 2005 - 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Richmond Convention Center - Bermuda Room
403 Civic Center Plaza at Nevin and 25th Streets
Richmond, California.
 
     
  October 7, 2005
SUPPLEMENTAL AIR MONITORING PROGRAM UPDATE
The campus Office of Environment, Health & Safety (EH&S) has implemented a supplemental air monitoring program to further ensure that the environment at the Richmond Field Station (RFS) is healthful and safe for workers and visitors. This air monitoring is in addition to the sampling required by the state Department of Toxics Substances Control (DTSC) related to the RFS site remediation project. EH&S consulted with, and received the endorsement of, the state Department of Health Services (DHS) on this supplemental air monitoring plan and the sampling methods used.

The supplemental air monitoring program commenced in early September with the collection of samples taken during non-remediation periods in order to establish a "baseline" assessment of the quality of air during periods when no site remediation was underway at either RFS or the adjacent "Zeneca" site. EH&S has received the analytical results of this sampling and this message summarizes the findings.

Samples collected from indoor and outdoor locations over the last month were analyzed for dust levels and for a variety of chemicals of concern including metals (arsenic, copper, mercury, nickel, and zinc), pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), volatile organic compounds, and hydrogen sulfide. The results show that each of these substances was either not detected, or detected only at concentrations below the regulatory workplace health limits.

EH&S is providing this data to the state Department of Health Services, who will provide a detailed review and assessment. Once available, the DHS review will be posted on this website.

EH&S will continue to collect air samples at various locations across the RFS throughout the year, including during remediation activities. All air monitoring results will be made available on this website. A final written report on the sampling will be completed at the end of the remediation season and posted on this same website.

If you have any questions or need more information, please contact Karl Hans (643-9574, khans@berkeley.edu) or Greg Haet (642-4848, gjhaet@berkeley.edu).

 
     
  September 6, 2005
No Radioactive Contamination Found During Drum Survey
On Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2005, the campus Office of Environment, Health & Safety (EH&S) assessed an area of land along Meeker Slough, adjacent to the RFS, for radiation. The assessment, conducted after EH&S notified the Department of Toxics Substances Control (DTSC), covers an area where a former RFS employee claims to have buried metal drums in the late 1960s. No radioactive contamination was found. EH&S will continue to work with DTSC to determine the presence and content of any buried material in this area.
 
     
 

September 2, 2005
"Purple Ooze" Report Received
On June 23, 2005, the Department of Toxics Substances Control was informed by a community member that a "purple ooze" was observed in front of a grassy area in front of the Building 484 Earthquake Engineering Laboratory. See attached photos.

In late June 2005 the material was sampled by staff from DTSC and the campus Office of Environment, Health & Safety (EH&S). DTSC's August 19, 2005 letter report summarizing the results of chemical analyses is attached..

The agency has concluded that concentrations of analyzed chemicals are consistent with typical background concentrations and are not harmful to human health. EH&S analytical results for metals and pH were consistent with the DTSC findings. EH&S also analyzed the samples for semi-volatile organics and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). No semi-volatile organics or PCBs were detected in the samples.

The cause for the purple coloration has yet to be determined. DTSC is not planning any further investigation unless new information becomes available that warrants additional investigation.

 
     
  September 2, 2005
Two  RFS Representatives Appointed to CAG
The Community Advisory Group (CAG) established for the Zeneca/former Stauffer Chemical Company site (Zeneca Site) and surrounding sites, including the Richmond Field Station appointed two RFS representatives at the September 1, 2005 meeting. They are: David Kim, a current RFS employee and Rick Alcaraz, a former RFS employee. Both representatives were present at the September 1 meeting. David Kim can be reached by email at dongja@berkeley.edu.  or by telephone at (510) 665-3502.
 
   
  September2, 2005
Community Advisory Group Meeting Scheduled for September 29
The State of California Department of Toxics Substances Control has scheduled the next meeting of the Community Advisory Group for Zeneca/Former Stauffer Chemical Company Site (that includes the Richmond Field Station and other nearby sites within its scope) for the following time and location:
 
 
Thursday , September 29, 2005 - 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Richmond Convention Center - Bermuda Room
403 Civic Center Plaza at Nevin and 25th Streets
Richmond, California
 
   
     
  August 23, 2005
CAG RFS Staff Membership Application Deadline August 25, 2005
The Community Advisory Group (CAG) established for the Zeneca/former Stauffer Chemical Company site (Zeneca Site) and surrounding sites, including the Richmond Field Station,  is now seeking to fill two positions specifically for Richmond Field Station employees. Membership applications are due Thursday, August 25, 2005. To apply, complete the application form. Instructions for submission of the form to DTSC are included at the end of the form.

Additional background information on the CAG can be found in the DTSC Public Notice.
 
     
 

August 22, 2005
RWQCB Issues Tentative Order to Rescind Site Cleanup Requirements
The State of California Regional Water Quality Control Board has issued two tentative orders for rescission of Orders of Site Cleanup Requirements for the Zeneca site (Order No. 01-101) and for the Richmond Field Station (Order No. 01-102). This action is being taken because lead agency oversight has been transferred from the Board to the Department of Toxics Substances Control. The tentative rescission orders for the Zeneca site and for the Richmond Field Station provide  more information on this Board action.

Approval of these orders will be considered at the Board hearing on October 19, 2005 at the Elihu Harris State Building Auditorium, 1515 Clay St., Oakland starting at 9:00 AM. Comments to the tentative orders are due to the Board by September 16, 2005. See the cover letter for instructions.

 
     
  July 28, 2005
Colored flags mark sensors for EECS Research
Facilities staff have received some questions about small flags that have been placed in the ground in parts of the field station. Flags are being used for a variety of purposes, including campus Environment, Health and Safety surveys and expansion of the Institute for Transportation Studies bus test track. Many of the new flags are part of a research project known as NEST (Networked Embedded Systems Technology) that is led by faculty in EECS.  The research project team is preparing to place 600-1000 sensor nodes in a specific area at the RFS for a demonstration planned at the end of August. (A photo of the project "deployment area" is online at http://today.cs.berkeley.edu/nestfe/index.php/RFS_Area  
The solar powered nodes, the locations of which are marked by the small flags, will make up a large wireless network on which the NEST team will run a variety of tests.)
 
     
  July 28, 2005
Community Advisory Group (CAG) votes to include RFS member
The second meeting of the Zeneca Community Advisory Group (CAG) was held on July 28, 2005. Members voted to include one or two RFS staff, at least one current employee and possibly a former employee. A subcommittee was established to develop a process to select members. It will report back on the process at the next Community Advisory Group (CAG) meeting on September 1, 2005.
 
     
  Clapper Breeding season finished until next February  
  Western Stege Marsh of the RFS is home to a rare federally listed endangered species, the California clapper rail (Railis longirostris obsoletus). Once common in the Bay Area, rail populations plummeted to around 1000 by the end of the 20th century. The clapper rail breeding season officially designated by the US Fish and Wildlife Service extends from February 1 to August 31. No disturbance is allowed within 200 feet of breeding habitat during that period, which is the reason why marsh remediation work only occurs in the Fall, after September 1. Please avoid disturbing the rail during breeding season by keeping to the Bay Trail and connecting trails  
   
 
       
   
 
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