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EPA Completes Lead Contamination Cleanup in Ford City Neighborhood

Release Date: 5/9/2003
Contact Information: Lisa Fasano (415) 947-4307

     SAN FRANCISCO   The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency this week completed a cleanup of lead contaminated soil from 14 homes in a Ford City neighborhood around the Department of Energy's Drill Site 26.
    Ten homes were originally scheduled for soil removal but after additional testing the agency added four additional homes to the cleanup list.  Fourteen homes received total or partial soil removal depending on the extent of burn ash found in soil.  The cleanup was compiled in seven weeks, three weeks ahead of the original 10-week schedule.

     "This project went very smoothly and quickly thanks to the cooperation of all the residents," said Hedy Ficklin, the EPA's project manager.  "We have eliminated the threat to children in the neighborhood from lead contamination in their yards."
    The EPA estimates the cost of this project was just under $600,000.  The state Department of Toxic Substances Control paid for trucking 3300 tons of lead contaminated soil that was removed from yards, alley ways and unpaved sidewalks.  The contaminated soil was disposed at the Clean Harbors facility in Buttonwillow.
    In most of the neighborhood, the top two feet of lead contaminated soil was removed and replaced with clean fill.  The area was then resampled to ensure all lead contaimiantion above the cleanup level was removed.  Isolated areas required excavation down to three feet.
The EPA's soil cleanup level for residential property is 400 parts-per-million, however soil removal on this project brought lead levels down well below the action level.
    Ash from residential burn barrels and piles was dumped on the nearby National Petroleum Reserve Drill Site 26 in the 1930s to 1950s.  The ash, which contained lead, was distributed throughout the neighborhood when the area was graded and leveled for housing.  In 1997 the DOE cleaned up Drill Site 26 but not the surrounding area.  In 2002, the state sampled roadsides and residential properties surrounding the drill site.  Elevated lead levels were found and the state asked the US EPA's Emergency Response to conduct a time-critical removal action to excavate lead contaminated soil from ten residential properties.

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