Mercury Fulminate Area Removal Excavation Starts January 7, 2020

January 2, 2020

This is a work notice for upcoming environmental remediation work at the RFS Mercury Fulminate Area (MFA) beginning on Tuesday January 7, 2020. 

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 work is to remove soil contaminated with mercury from historical California Cap Company operations in the Mercury Fulminate Area (MFA). The MFA is located south of Building 112 and is within a secure, fenced area. This action will lead to the removal and disposal of approximately 2,000 cubic yards of soil to an appropriately permitted landfill. DTSC-approved clean soil currently stockpiled at the RFS will be placed and compacted as backfill in the excavation areas. UC Berkeley will conduct perimeter fenceline monitoring for dust and mercury vapor emissions.

Beginning Tuesday January 7, 2020 a hazardous materials contractor working for UC Berkeley will dig soil in one large excavation area using two to three excavators. Soil will be directly loaded into trucks for disposal. A water truck and hoses will be used to control dust from leaving the excavation boundaries and where soil is loaded. You will also see a job trailer, truck, forklift, and dozer to support the removal action. It is anticipated that the work will be completed by the end of January (estimated completion date Jan 29, 2020). Work will take place Monday through Friday between 7 am and 6 pm. Air monitoring data will be made available on the Air Monitoring page of this website within in two working days of site activities.

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