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State Toxics Experts Analyzing Report on LBNL Contamination By RICHARD BRENNEMAN

Friday August 06, 2004

The California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) has launched a six-to-nine-month study of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s (LBNL) report on hazardous materials in the soils and groundwater near the lab. 

LBNL’s Corrective Measures Study, the basis of the state review, is currently on file for public inspection at the Berkeley Public Library and at the DTSC’s file room at 700 Heinz Ave. in Berkeley. 

Initial studies in 1991 and 92 found 174 containers, tanks and locations where releases of hazardous substances may have occurred. Eight involved radioactivity and the others involved non-radiological hazardous materials. 

Further studies, released nine years later, determined that only 45 of the sites required further action—concentrations at the other 121 sites being deemed so low as to not require remediation. 

The Corrective Measures Study was launched in June, 2002.  

While public comment won’t be formally solicited until after the agency completes its report, DTSC spokesperson Angela Blanchette said the department will accept public input during their review, and may address issues raised during the process. 

Lora Barrett, the agency’s public participation specialist, can be reached at or on a tolll-free line at 866-495-5651. 

The DTSC review will determine if the lab’s report is complete and technically accurate. During the next phase, state toxics experts will: 

• Prepare a statement describing the basis of its preferences for site remediation;  

• Prepare an environmental impact document as required by the California Environmental Quality Act; 

• Revise the Corrective Action Section of LBNL’s Hazardous Waste Handling Facility Permit originally issued in 1993. 

When all three documents have been prepared, DTSC will formally solicit public comment, which may be lodged during the following 45 days.