Two Richmond waste cleanup sites approved for development

Thursday September 12, 2002

RICHMOND – State officials have announced the completion of two waste cleanups in Richmond, laying the foundation for future development. 

Varying levels of asbestos and lead laden soil, debris and other materials have now been disposed of at both the Seacliff Marina and the Richmond Townhouse Apartment sites, allowing for future commercial and industrial development, a spokesperson for the California Environmental Protection Agency said this week. 

“We are committed to working with communities and other governmental agencies as we continue the state's efforts to restore contaminated sites to productive use,” said Ed Lowry, director of the Department of Toxic Substances Control, which is part of the state EPA. 

A 1986 soil investigation of the Seacliff Marina site, formerly a repair and maintenance ship yard, unearthed elevated concentrations of metals and asbestos, triggering a clean-up plan that was completed in 1998. A residential request in June 2001 prompted further cleanup activities as an elevated, encapsulated mound of soil and debris containing asbestos was removed from the site. 

In the end, roughly 119,000 cubic yards of material was removed onto the adjacent Port of Richmond Shipyard No. 3 site, capped with compacted materials to prevent exposure and ultimately disposed of offsite, paving the way for approximately 11.6 acres of unrestricted land use. 

In late 1998, the Contra Costa County Health Department alerted the Department of Toxic Substances Control of high levels of lead in the soil at the Richmond Townhouse Apartments site. Once owned by the Pullman railroad manufacturing company, the 10-acre Richmond Townhouse site went through initial cleanup efforts from April to August 2000 due to years of exposure to lead-based paints. 

About 11,000 cubic yards of lead-contaminated soil surrounding the five apartment buildings at the site were removed and the area was later re-landscaped and backfilled with clean soil. All lead-contaminated soils were disposed of offsite.