News

March 21, 2006

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.

he 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

February 16, 2006

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 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

February 2, 2006

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.

January 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 (Figure 3 of Report).

January 10, 2006

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.

January 5, 2006

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:

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.

December 21, 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:

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.

December 8, 2005

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.

This is an update of this and next week's activities around the RFS and at the neighboring Zeneca site.

December 2, 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.

October 26, 2005

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.

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.

October 24, 2005

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:

October 21, 2005

We previously reported 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.

October 19, 2005

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 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.

The Department of Toxics Substances Control (DTSC) has issued a proposed Draft Removal Action Workplan (Draft RAW) 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.