Since 2004, community volunteers have worked diligently with the Cal EPA Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) to ensure a robust clean-up was the final result. However we have lost confidence that the DTSC is adequate to the job of holding AstraZeneca (the primary Responsible Party) to a standard of clean-up that is protective of human and environmental health.
Currently over 98% of the hazardous waste, much of it cancer-causing and/or linked to other health risks such as reproductive and developmental disorders, is proposed to be left in place and 4,000 residential units built densely across the site. The approvals are rapidly moving forward with the Richmond City Council trapped in a Development Agreement the majority of current Council members, residents and widespread community oppose.
The DTSC ignored updated science of sea level rise and its impacts such as groundwater and saltwater intrusion; they also ignored new more protective health risk levels for tetrachloroethene (TCE), which is predominant throughout the site. The 550,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil proposed to be left on site contains high levels of heavy metals (predominantly arsenic), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), herbicides, fungicides, pesticides (many banned worldwide) and more. Many independent experts have weighed-in on the dangers of allowing the hazards to remain on the shoreline and especially underlying development.
Deed restrictions prevent on-site day care, schools, hospitals, or other facilities for seniors or anyone under 21 years old, yet the DTSC-approved remedy to cover 65-acres with a concrete cap will allow families with children, seniors, and other vulnerable populations to live there.