Mercury Fulminate Area Excavation Pilot Study December 11- 14, 2018

May 6, 2019

This is a work notice for upcoming remediation work at the RFS Mercury Fulminate Area. 

Based on environmental investigations at the RFS being conducted under a State of California Department of Toxic Substances Control Order, a Final Removal Action Workplan (RAW) was completed in 2014 describing soil and groundwater remediation that needs to be conducted in three portions of the RFS. The purpose of this pilot study excavation is to determine which conditions or applied methods will minimize or eliminate mercury vapors as measured along the perimeter fenceline locations. The contamination is believed to have been caused by former owner's, California Cap Company, manufacturing of mercury fulminate for blasting caps.

Beginning Tuesday December 11, 2018 a hazardous materials contractor working for UC Berkeley dug soil from eight small locations using a small excavator. The excavation areas range in volume from three to approximately 20 cubic yards and ranged in depth from one to eight feet below the existing surface. Soil from the excavation pits was placed directly into cubic yard boxes and sampled for waste profiling as the soil was excavated. Work was completed on December 14, 2018.

summary letter of the pilot study activities and results of applied methods and conditions to minimize or eliminate mercury vaports at the perimeter fenceline locations was submitted to DTSC on May 6, 2019.

All activities of this pilot study will be consistent with the 2014 RAW, and are detailed in a DTSC approved workplan. All work will be conducted under oversight by DTSC, and by the campus Office of Environment, Health & Safety (EH&S). For updates and current environmental news at the RFS, please go to the RFS Environmental Website at For any questions or more information, please contact EH&S at 510-6442-3073 or