(Open Forum, ~225 words) Good Evening. My name is ______ [and I am a Richmond resident.]
The Department of Toxic Substances Control’s
remedy for the AstraZeneca site includes pouring a concrete cap (with no sides
or bottom) over 60 acres of contaminated soil.
But according to Grant Cope, DTSC's deputy
director for site remediation, rising groundwater is “a whole new game-changer,
particularly when you’re talking about sites that are contaminated with industrial
solvents… It remains unclear whether caps meant to keep pollutants buried—a
strategy used at remediated sites in recent decades—would continue to work if
groundwater rises.The caps were not designed for this purpose.
The DTSC recently released a
statement that said it will not reconsider the FS/RAP (the planned
remediation). It said, "There have not been any substantial changes with
respect to the circumstances under which the project is undertaken that require
major revisions of the EIR due to the involvement of new significant
environmental effects or a substantial increase in the severity of previously
identified significant effects."
However, sea level rise IS a
substantial change in circumstances. Rising seas will affect the mobilization
of arsenic currently buried in dry ground, the efficiency of soil vapor
extraction wells that vent toxic gases away from residential buildings, and
will undermine the stability of the un-engineered fill under the cap in the
case of an earthquake. Why is the DTSC denying that rising seas and groundwater
constitute a substantial change?