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Volume 35, September 2000

Table of Contents

City Fined $21,400 for Polluting Public Park
Clearwater Revival Company Reported Violations

The City of Alameda was fined $21,400 at the Regional Water Quality Control Board's September 20, 2000 meeting for violating the State Water Code. The Board Order indicates that the City illegally disposed of 17,000 gallons of contaminated water in a City park, jurisdictional wetlands, and a storm drain during the removal of a leaking underground storage tank. The fine is a result of a complaint by Clearwater Revival Company to the County of Alameda, Regional Water Quality Control Board, California Fish and Game Department, and the Office of Emergency Services.

The fine is the result of the City's purchase of Dale's Bar, a former gasoline station, and the adjacent Union Pacific Railroad corridor on Main Street for a construction of a linear park and flood control project. The City discovered the underground fuel storage tanks and had to pay for their removal. The shallow groundwater that collected in the tank excavation contained floating oil and was transferred to a large storage tank. The city apparently decided to discharge this contaminated water illegally to avoid disposal charges.

Clearwater Revival Company observed the City contractor discharging the contaminated water. The County of Alameda investigated Clearwater's complaint. The county agreed that the complaint had merit because the City acted in complete disregard for the County directive to ship the contaminated water to an off-site treatment facility. The County recommended to the Water Board that the City be fined and nine months later the fine has been imposed.

Negative Declaration not Available during Public Review
Did Cal-EPA violate CEQA during Marsh Crust RAP/ROD Comment Period?

The California Environmental Act (CEQA) requires a lead agency to publish a notice of the availability of an Initial Study and Negative Declaration, and make the documents available for public review during a 30 day public comment period.

In June, 2000, Cal-EPA published such a public notice in the Alameda Times Star for the Marsh Crust Remedial Action Plan/Record of Decision. Cal-EPA provided copies of the Initial Study and Negative Declaration to the US Navy for placement in the information repositories, two at Alameda Point, and two at the Alameda Main Library.

The problem is the Navy did not place the Negative Declaration and Initial Study into the information repositories until after the 30 day public review period had ended. Cal-EPA however is the lead agency for CEQA and it is therefore Cal-EPA that will violate the law if it approves the Negative Declaration for the Marsh Crust RAP/ROD.

A new public notice must be published, and a 30 day public comment period completed before Cal-EPA can approve the Marsh Crust RAP/ROD.

Quotes of the Month

"The DTSC School Unit's concern is the risk assessment for the proposed school site did not follow the procedures for performing a preliminary endangerment assessment (PEA)."

DTSC explaining to the FISC/Annex RAB members what EJPP has been saying for the past nine months. If a risk assessment for a school site shows the teachers are at greater risk then their students then their is something wrong with the risk assessment protocols. That California needs laws to specifically protect schoolchildren from Cal-EPA approved pollution, speaks poorly to Cal-EPA's role in protecting public health.

Four new Toxic Waste Sites "discovered" at Alameda Point
After 17 years of Investigations, Site Discoveries still out-pace Cleanup

The US Navy noted four new IR Sites at the September RAB meeting. IR Site 28, the Todd Shipyard, includes a portion of the Alameda Ferry Terminal Parking Lot. IR Site 26 includes the entire Western Hanger Zone. This area is extensively leased and immediately adjacent to the recently constructed Skate Park.

Question Authority - "What is the future of environmental enforcement in the West End?"

Is public health and environmental protection dependent on Clearwater Revival Company's ability to inspect City of Alameda work sites? The US EPA and Cal-EPA, both agencies with a mission to protect public health and the environment, are facilitating the transfer of hundreds of acres contaminated property to the City of Alameda. No enforcement staff from either agency is assigned to Alameda Point.

The City of Alameda has established itself as a flagrant violator of pollution prevention regulations. The City of Alameda has continued to demonstrate an inability to manage environmental liabilities. Since US EPA and Cal-EPA are to allow the City of Alameda to take control of the Alameda Point Superfund Site, ask them: "What is the future of environmental enforcement in the West End?"

The Environmental Justice Progress Report is the newsletter of West End Concerned Citizens (WECC). WECC has been monitoring the toxic cleanup planning process at the Alameda Point Naval Air Station (NAS) since 1995. Our community members have become increasingly frustrated at the lack of response to the public's concerns, the inadequate information provided to the public, and the lack of opportunities for the public to participate in the decision making process.

To receive a free copy of the this monthly report of for more information, please contact us at ejpp@toxicspot.com.

August 2000 Edition
September 28, 2000