After years of investigation, the Navy, along with the federal and state regulators, has come up with a remediation plan for 39 acres, encompassing five sites, called Operating Unit 2A. On Wednesday, August 31, the Navy will spell out its plan for remediation and solicit comments. The meeting will be at City Hall West at Alameda Point, 950 West Mall Square, Room 201 from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm.
Operating Unit 2A is roughly one block away from the soccer fields on the south side of Alameda Point and one block away from the USS Hornet. The Unit has contamination issues that date back to 1879 when the Pacific Coast Oil Works Company began operating an oil refinery near Main Street.
The main two highlights up for discussion are:
Building 410 is where the Navy operated an aircraft paint stripping facility. The soil was found to be clean, but toxic chemicals seeped into the groundwater. The conclusion reached by the Navy and regulators is that no active remediation efforts need to be conducted. Instead, they will rely on “natural attenuation,” which means to let nature take its course through dilution, dispersion, and biodegradation of the contaminants.
Their rationale for not undertaking a vigorous program to clean the groundwater to drinking water safety levels is that no one will ever be using it for drinking water, especially because of high salt content. No wells are permitted and, even if a well was desired for drinking water, there is pure water at the much deeper 100-foot depth. They also claim that vapors will not intrude into structures because it is in the second water-bearing zone and, therefore, the water zone above will act as a barrier. Continue reading “Navy Announces Cleanup Plans – Public Meeting August 31, 2011”