| State to oversee cleanup of former
By Rebecca Rosen Lum
CONTRA COSTA TIMES
Critics of the cleanup at the former Stauffer Chemical plant in Richmond
are cheering a state decision to place full authority for the project
with the Department of Toxic Substances Control.
The department, whose mission it is to regulate hazardous waste,
oversee cleanups and prevent pollution, will assume the role of
lead agency for the Stauffer/Zeneca site, and the UC Richmond Field
Station, CalEPA Secretary Alan Lloyd said in a prepared statement
The Richmond City Council and the Contra Costa County Board of
Supervisors had each voted to support a request by Assemblywoman
Loni Hancock, D-Berkeley, to give the toxics department ultimate
oversight for the project.
"The challenges presented by these sites, as well as their close
proximity to one another and nearby residences and businesses, warrant
a single regulatory oversight agency," Lloyd's statement says.
Until now, the toxics department shared oversight with the San
Francisco Water Quality Control Board. While the board regulates
cleanup of sites posing a threat to water quality, critics complained
that the agency did not have the toxicologic expertise to manage
such a complex project.
"It's a wonderful sense of accomplishment to know that we, as a
community, have achieved this success," said Richmond Councilwoman
Gayle McLaughlin, who introduced the local resolution.
She also said the community must continue to aggressively monitor
progress at the site.
Developer Cherokee Simeon is prepping the waterfront property off
Interstate 580 in south Richmond, formerly Stauffer Chemical, then
Zeneca, for possible development as a business park and housing
to be called Campus Bay.
Years after the pesticide manufacturing operation shut down, tests
revealed heavy metals, PCBs and volatile compounds in the soil and