Discovery of radium in the soil at Richmond’s Booker T. Anderson Park and the results of other radiation testing along the city’s southeastern shoreline will lead off a Thursday night meeting at the Richmond Civic Center.
The gathering is one of the ongoing monthly meetings of the Community Advisory Group (CAG) created by the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) to advise on ongoing cleanup of contaminated sites, most notably Campus Bay and the UC Berkeley Richmond Field Station.
Those two adjoining properties were contaminated with a variety of lethal and cancer-causing chemicals in the course of a century of manufacturing.
DTSC was given jurisdiction over the properties after many of the same citizens later named to the CAG organized in protest of the state Regional Water Quality Control Board’s jurisdiction.
Thursday’s meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. in the Richmond Civic Center, 403 Civic Center Plaza.
The first agenda item is a report by the CAG’s Toxic Committee, which will feature discussion of the discovery of radioactive compounds at the site.
According to tests conducted by a consultant hired by DTSC, radium levels found at the park are more than 40 times the allowable limit for residential areas. Higher levels are allowed for non-residential areas, where people are not present for extended periods.
Dr. Michael S. Esposito, a retired researcher from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory who reviewed the findings for the CAG, has criticized the testing methods used.
“We would like to see more extensive testing done because Dr. Esposito has told us that the results indicate that more refined tests are needed,” said Sherry Padgett, who works in a business next to the Campus Bay site.
Dr. Jean Rabovsky, a retired toxicologist who heads the CAG Toxic Committee, will lead the discussion.
Barbara Cook, chief of DTSC’s Site Mitigation and Brownfields Reuse Program, will report on the latest developments at several sites under the CAG’s purview.