Zeneca/"Campus Bay"/UC: TOXIC DUMP in Richmond [ photos ]
If you live in El Cerrito, this affects you. If you live in Richmond, this affects you.
If you live anywhere the wind blows in the East Bay, this affects you.

     Also see - Bay Area Residents for Responsible Development
                    - History of the site

12/29/06: Minutes of CAG Meetings

12/29/06: Graphics of toxic hot-spots

10/17/06 BDP: New Cleanup Orders Issued for UC Field Station, Campus Bay State officials have ordered UC Regents and two chemical manufacturing multinationals to clean up toxic wastes

10/17/06 BDP: Richmond Soil Radiation Levels Debated at Advisory Meeting Just how much radiation is there in southern Richmond, and how dangerous is it to residents and folks who work there?

10/15/06: Photos by a concerned citizen: Hot-spot areas with no warning signs or fences; a variety of totally inadequate warning signs on low, easy-climb fences; fisherman fishing directly in the path of toxic runoff from the "cap," and more.

10/10/06 BDP: Radium Findings Top Advisory Group Agenda

7/18/06 BDP: Making WavesYouth Program Ordered Off Toxic Site

6/3/06: Making Waves: children play in the toxic dirt where contaminated trucks are hosed down.

4/18/06 BDP: Toxic Richmond Sites May Trigger Change in State Law

4/17/06: Levine-Fricke employees work with toxic materials unprotected

3/10/06 BDP: New Radiation Concerns Prompt Orders for More Campus Bay Testing

3/10/06 BDP: State Officials Order Radiation Tests for Campus Bay Site -- [Don't miss this one; much interesting information, read to the end.]

2/21/06: DTSC Comments and questions to Cherokee-Simeon re problems with the site. Do NOT miss this one, it gives some hope that issues are going to be dealt with.

1/6/06 BDP: Toxics Panel Asks Water Board to Enforce Ban The deed restriction that states there will be no schools on the contaminated site remain in force, said water board Executive Director Bruce Wolfe in a telephone interview Thursday. "I have turned the matter over to our attorneys to consider the legal issues involved," he said. "We certainly want to enforce the restriction if we need to ... I would like to get this resolved by the end of the month."

12/05 UPTE Update, Dec. 2005

11/8/5 CCTimes: Claims of radioactive dumping in Richmond

11/2/05 KPFA: Buried metal found at suspected radioactive site (audio, 3 min. 3MB mp3):  Magnetometer tests show metal buried in the landfill, which may be the whistleblower-reported cans of radioactive rock [see 6/23/05 below]. Postscript: However, Barbara Cook of DTSC told the CAG on Oct. 24, 2005 that there is a series of agencies "that must be worked through" before DTSC can go any further with investigating this potentially radioactive buried material (and then it will be the rainy season, which will make it impossible to proceed). Meanwhile, NO warning signs have been posted either at this location (a spit of landfill along the water close to Marina Bay, see photos below] or at any other parts of this entire toxic area that runs open and unobstructed along the Bay Trail.

11/2/05 BDP: Investigation Looks into Dumping at Richmond Site

10/25/05 DHS 2nd Session to collect health concerns of workers at UCRFS and Zeneca sites

10/6/05 CCTimes: Risk to students' health at Richmond site debated

9/30/05 BDP: After-School Program Operates at Toxic Site Postscript: DTSC did some halfway sort of testing and proclaimed the Making Waves program site "safe" (ignoring the fact that UCFieldStation employees nearby are getting nosebleeds, rashes, respiratory problems, and more, on an ongoing basis). Developers Cherokee-Simeon jumped on this opportunity to blast the community with another cutting-edge PR piece, a mailer about "hysterical activists." The developers obviously remain determined to build on that deadly site -- they spend large sums on well-calculated PR, and have sent out slick mailers into the community asking for people who might support them to "get in touch." It is too bad that the public health agencies refuse to take seriously the real every-day experience of employees who are suffering acute effects of toxins on the site (even on days when "nothing dangerous is happening"), let alone the long-term buildup of persistent toxins in the bodies of employees AND those children who spend hours per day on the site, often playing unsupervised outside while they wait to be picked up.

9/29/05 official update from DTSC

9/17/05 Water Board moves to leave public unprotected by rescinding its Cleanup Restrictions for the site. See: 9/15/05 Letter from BARRD | undated cover letter from Water Board | Rescission Order for Zeneca site | Rescission Order for UC-RFS site

9/10/05 SFChron: The Jefferson Award: Sherry Padgett, toxics sleuth   Jefferson award info

9/7/05 CBS:Richmond Woman Brings Attention To A Toxic Threat

9/6/05 BDP: UC Halts Field Station Talks; Radioactivity Fears Raised

8/28/05 CCTimes: Activist takes her cause personally

8/23/05 BDP: Dead Trees at Campus Bay Raise Alarm

8/20/05 Beware the Watershed Project "nature outings" in toxic marsh

8/20/05 Re Richmond Chamber of Commerce disregarding public good  (Letter from Jess Kray, local business owner.)

8/17/05 Plant expert reports on toxic/dying trees

7/29/05 BDP: Regulatory Change At Field Station Will Cost $20 Million, Says UC

7/5/05 BDP: Campus Bay Toxics Advisory Panel To Cover Field Station, Other Sites

7/05: RFS Update from UPTE

6/30/05 CAG meeting: Minutes, prepared by DTSC

6/24/05 BDP: Health Officials Urge Changes at Field Station, Campus Bay

6/23/05: Shocking KPFA news report (audio, 7.5 min. 7MB mp3):  UC Field Station employees suffering nosebleeds, headaches, burning eyes, painful skin, respiratory and throat symptoms. UC trying to silence them. Whistleblower warns of toxic substances and even radioactive waste buried during the '60s in the landfill area of the marsh.

6/22/05: Dying trees at "Campus Bay" New PHOTOS - 7/28/05

6/21/05: "Purple Ooze" at Richmond Field Station

6/21/05 BDP: Meetings Target Concerns at Toxic Richmond Sites

6/14/05 BDP: UC Staff Walk Out; Toxic Inquiry at Field Station

6/13/05: Pile of dirt uncovered and blowing around

6/13/05: Notice: 1st DTSC CAG (Community Advisory Group) meeting: June 30th

6/13/05: DTSC's updates webpage (cap has been restored as of 5/24/05)

5/05: RFS Update from UPTE

5/29/05: 5/31/05 BARRD meeting

5/29/05: Site Toxins and Health Effects

5/19/05: 5/19/05 Public meeting   Notes on the meeting (Word doc.)

5/17/05: Dr. Jeffrey Ritterman: Campus Bay and the UC Field Station; Let's All Work Together to Clean It Up

5/17/05 CCTimes: State to oversee cleanup of former Stauffer site

5/13/05 BDP: Corporate Barbarism
5/13/05 BDP: Activists Win DTSC Oversight At Campus Bay, UC Field Station
KPFA news story audio 2.3 min. (2.5MB mp3)

5/10/05 Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors resolution in favor of DTSC oversight was approved.

5/6/05 BDP: Doctor's Presence at Protest Questioned. Richmond Chamber of Commerce tries to stir up trouble for concerned doctor. Also reliance on DTSC is questioned.

5/6/05 BDP: State Calls for Public Input On UC's LBNL Cleanup Proposal

5/4/05: Developer response to the 4/29/05 demo, with notations

4/29/05 Action to Wake Up the Bureaucrats
KPFA news story audio, 6 min. (6MB mp3)
flyer          press release         




Richmond Progressive Alliance story
Gayle McLaughlin.net story w/photos

4/29/05 BDP: Campus Bay-Inspired Bills Clear Assembly Committee

Spring issue: Terrain magazine,"Ravaged Roost" ["The local regulatory agencies don't care about human health and the environment, only the tax base. From the developers' perspective, the main issue is profit generation." ... "a classic example of development disguised as restoration."]

4/27/05: Your Comments needed now on Environmental Toxics Legislation

4/19/05: Fact Sheet from Loni Hancock [Word doc.]

4/15/05 BDP: Hancock Waste Site Bill Set for Assembly Hearing

3/9/5 CCTimes: City asked to review, then raze

3/1/5: Richmond City Council passed resolution favoring DTSC:
BDP 3/4/05: Richmond Council Asks State to Change Oversight at Two Toxic Sites
CCTimes 3/3/05: Richmond chimes in on cleanup of toxic site

2/25/5: Dr. Wendel Brunner's letter repeating himself to satisfy the Richmond Council who insisted on it.

2/15 City Council meeting:
2/15 KPFA news story audio, 5 min.  (5MB mp3)
2/18/05 BDP: Richmond Council Delays Regulatory Switch Decision
2/15/05 BDP: UC Objects to Richmond Field Station Cleanup Proposal
2/13 KPFA news story audio, 5 min. (5MB mp3)

2/13/04: Sherry Padgett re "marsh restoration": Is it Even Possible?

Feb. '05 Richmond Environmental Defense Fund newsletter story

2/11/05 BDP: Citing Health Threats, Agency Targets Campus Bay   "The state's leading toxics agency has ruled that Campus Bay poses 'an imminent or substantial endangerment to the public health or welfare or to the environment because of a release or threatened release of a hazardous substance.' The finding is contained in a 33-page site investigation order issued late Wednesday by the State Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC). One of the first tangible results of the order will be a new fence going up around the site in the next 15 days marked by signs declaring 'Caution: Hazardous Substances Area. Unauthorized Persons Keep Out'". . . [note: as of 5/4/05, no signs have gone up!] read more:  toxics levels tested at thousands of times BEYOND what would qualify as hazardous waste
        - here is the actual order from DTSC

2/4/05 BDP: Campus Bay Inspires Legislation

2/4/05 BDP: Richmond Council Derails Campus Bay Panel

2/2/05: A disturbing recent development is Simeon being chosen by UC Field Station to develop that property for privatized labs and temporary visitor housing. As we all now know, UC Field Station is nearly as toxic as the Zeneca/Simeon-Cherokee site. Berkeley Daily Planet article describing some details:
2/2/05, BDP: UC, Campus Bay Developer Plot Richmond Field Station Future

1/23/05, CCTimes: Horror stories from site history

1/13/05: Report from Sherry Padgett about toxic dust/lime all over the place

1/11/05, BDP: Proposed Revisions to Demolition Law Target Hazardous Richmond Buildings

1/7/05, BDP: Permit Questions Raise New Campus Bay Concerns: "Have construction crews working in the polluted marsh at the edge of Richmondís Campus Bay been operating in violation of city code?"

1/6/05: Report from Sherry Padgett: all-night operations, accident at site, no recourse

1/6/05, CCTimes: Soil hazard at Richmond site

1/5/05, SF Chron: State finds toxics at potential condo site

1/4/05, BDP: Dust Prompts Shutdowns at Richmondís Campus Bay

1/3/05, BDP: Controversy Over Development of Toxic Richmond Site Continues Into New Year

12/22/04 report from Sherry Padgett

12/21/04, BDP: Critics Win New Victory in Campus Bay Cleanup

12/4/04: Example of DTSC "oversight"?

12/4/04, BDP: Pickets Target Toxic Site Plan

12/2/04, CCTimes: Campus Bay Toxic Legacy Coming to Light

12/2/04, CCTimes: Protesters decry toxic cleanup efforts

12/2/04, SFChron: Pickets call attention to toxic dust

11/26/04 BDP: UC Berkeley Plans to Lease Richmond Field Station

11/23/04, BDP: Toxics Agency Officials Grilled by Campus Bay Foes

11/20/04, CCTimes: "Toxic site cleanup criticized"

11/19/04 BDP: AARRRGH!:    UC's Toxics Decision Impacts Campus Bay Site

11/10/04 SFChron: Shoreline project oversight shifted to toxics panel: State EPA takes responsibility away from water board

** 11/9/04, BDP: Outcry Spurs Cleanup Shift to Toxics Agency **

Sherry Padgett's hearing statement

Excellent overview from BARRD

keystone cops do "cleanup":
November 2: TOXIC DUST is loose, see
- description
- monitor readings
- some lies called an update

October 2004: what was once touted as a "permanent cap" over deadly toxins has been torn open. Noxious gases and dust are set free in the Richmond wind. Toxic materials are being used to build barriers. It is all too surreal. Developers obviously are in control of what is supposed to be an agency that protects the public. See Berkeley Daily Planet for frequent articles on this.

10/29/04 BDP article: "Top Contra Costa Physician Blasts Campus Bay Turf War"
10/29/04 BDP article: "Tempers Flare Over Campus Bay Project"
10/26/04 BDP article: "Water Board to Hear Toxic Clean-Up Questions"
10/22/04 BDP article: "Campus Bay Pollution Fears Raised at Park Group Meet"
RICHMOND ELECTION: 10/29 letter from Richmond Resident:

Because we are so close to the election, this won't likely make it to press. But it's important that it does. I read, with interest, the article "Richmond PAC reaps nearly $109,000 in donations" today (10/29/040) in the West County Times.

According to the article, Mindell Penn, Nat Bates, Gary Bell and Tom Butt, incumbents all, accepted $2,500.00 each from Cherokee Simeon, the developers of the Campus Bay Project.

Many of us in the community have profound objections to the Campus Bay Project. We have them, in part, because we trust in Dr. Wendell Brunner, the Director of Public Health for Contra Costa Health Services, who, in a letter to Terry Tamminen, the Agency Secretary for the California Environmental Protection Agency, said, " Increased involvement of DTSC (Department of Toxic Substances Control) in this project is even more important because the developer is now intending to utilize the site for high-intensity residential purposes. My understanding is that the site is expected to emit toxic soil gases for decades, and the developer is proposing to install fans to keep the gases from accumulating to toxic levels in the residential structures". There's more. If you would like a complete transcript of Dr. Brunner's letter, I'd be more than happy to provide it.

Campus Bay is an ill-conceived, developer-driven project. Cherokee Simeon is marching forward, shoving it down our throats for an incredible profit and at an incredible cost to our community.

Cherokee Simeon has paid Mindell Penn, Nat Bates, Gary Bell and Tom Butt to support them. And these City Council members have sold our future down the river for $2500.00 each.

There are other reasons, but, this is an excellent reason to throw out these incumbents on the Richmond City Council.

Vote. Vote for change. We live here and we can mandate a different Richmond.

Deborah Dodge

9/1/04 event
Seaport Story: SF Chronicle 8/31/04
7/16/04 Dr. Wendel Brunner, CCCty Public Health, recommends DTSC oversight
7/7/04 - Towers project suspended:
Letter from Simeon July 7, 2004

1. Some of the toxins on the site.  1b. Toxic Stege Marsh.  1c. "Cleanup Proves Risky" - Daily Cal 2002 article

2. City of Richmond going to whatever lengths to encourage developers (including ignoring risks to public health).

3. 6/17/04 SF Regional Water Quality Control Board letter to Richmond Planning Department in response to Notice of Preparation (NOP) of Draft EIR. Mentions many concerns, e.g. "To the question, 'Would the project create a significan hazard to the public or the environment through the routine transport, use, or disposal of hazardous materials?', the appropriate answer would be 'potentially significant impact.'"

4. 5/28/04 Letter from Sherry Padgett to Richmond Planning Dept. Here are some snippets [my comments are in brackets --soula culver]:

... a January 23, 2004, signed letter from Steven Duran, Assistant City Manager, City of Richmond, Community and Economic Development Group, addressed to Mr. Russ Pitto, President and CEO Simeon, which states the following (bold emphasis added):

"I have reviewed your letter of January 21, 2004, in the above regard and want to confirm that City staff is ready, willing and able to take responsibility for (1) the inspection of the engineering controls as they are being installed, (2) review of the inspection and maintenance reports submitted by Simeon's consultants and (3) coordination of any follow-up actions indicated by those reports.
"As you know, the Building Department, which will take the lead on these responsibilities, is a full cost-recovery operation. So I will task Chief Building Official Fred Clement with working out the financial details with you.
"We are very excited about your proposed Campus Bay residential project and look forward to helping facilitate the process. Please call me anytime you need my assistance."
... [this quote from their 3/25/04 Technical Memorandum shows that Henry Clark is correct that Simeon's crackpot scheme is to install equipment that "filters the contaminants from the air" to keep the pollutants at an "acceptable level" !!:]

"City of Richmond must make an annual site visit to confirm maintenance and monitoring of the vapor mitigation measures. The site manager must maintain on site approvals of the Annual Maintenance and Monitoring Reports in writing from the City of Richmond Building Department that include Form D-4 or Form D-5, which are attached to this appendix, as appropriate. A copy of this approval must be maintained at the Site by the site manager for the duration of existence of the building. This approval must be available to representatives of the City of Richmond or State of California upon request."
... Nothing in the proposal describes a back-up plan or summarizes worst case scenarios such as earthquake, huge building fire with fire trucks pumping immense amounts of water onto the site soaking the toxic cap semi-permeable barrier or subtle earth movement which allows toxic vapors to exceed allowable limits in between annual inspections of building ground floor fans. The US Environmental Protection Agency continues to update impacts of toxins on human health as scientific evidence mounts that the known contaminants on this site are very, very dangerous. How would the City respond if some of the hazard measurements, which are allowable today, are moved to an intolerable level and there are buildings housing 3,000 people or more on the site? Or children with asthma or other afflictions are identified as "at higher risk" when exposed to new lowered exposure limits. Does the realtor selling the future property ask each potential buyer Ė "Does your child have any kind of known breathing disorder? If so, this isn't the residence for you." How can the City of Richmond take on this potential liability?

... [read the whole letter from Sherry Padgett, please]

5. [Peter Weiner, 5/28/04 letter to Richmond Planning Dept. This is from attorney Peter Weiner, who has in-depth expertise working with developers on issues of toxics. In this instance, he has been volunteering his time to work with Bay Area Residents for Responsible Development (BARRD) because this project is such a glaringly BAD IDEA. He gives expert testimony on a variety of negative aspects of this preposterous project.]

6. 5/24/04 letter from cardiologist Jeffrey Ritterman

..."there is already concern that the work done on the site may be responsible for multiple illnesses among those working downwind. The risk of illness seems to me to far outweigh any potential benefit."

7. 5/24/04 letter from Eric Blum, local business owner.

..."The applicant has displayed a cavalier attitude towards the toxicity of the site. The neighbors were exposed to constant toxic dust during the applicant's first building phase. Toxic soils were moved about dry, without sufficient remediation to keep them from becoming airborne. Many who work in the area have become ill as a result. The proposed project will involve massive earth-moving, with more exposure to the neighbors. We do not want to go through that again! The applicant has not addressed this issue."

PHOTOS OF THE "CAP": Toxic Mountain frosted with shredded wastepaper mixed with cement
Photos taken June 2004
[click photo for large version]
Note that this "cap," ineffectual as it may be, was TORN OPEN from 10/04 to 5/05 (see Oct. '04 above)

49th and Seaport
Gate at 49th & Seaport - truck entrance
to "cap," looking north
  "Cap" viewed through fence, looking north
Looking southeast, Bay Trail next to "cap"
  From the Bay Trail, looking northeast at the "cap"    
Dead marsh [former toxic waste pool] next to Bay Trail
  Closeup of dead marsh    
Drainage pipe to Bay, recently sealed, across from dead marsh.   Closeup of seal    

"Red pond" next to dead marsh, all next to the "cap."
Note the hills of El Cerrito in the background -- Moeser Lane is clearly visible cutting a double-lane swath up the hill at the right.
The powerful ocean winds blow mostly in that direction (east) and also to the northeast, into Richmond. These must be the areas that have been most heavily contaminated by the digging up of the hazardous wastes.

Closeup of black plastic next to red pond



           - - - 1977:

What the dead marsh and red ponds looked like in 1977
(they were holding pools for toxic waste).
Shoreline is at bottom right.
2003 aerial view of toxic mountain with
"cap" of shredded wastepaper & concrete, Levine-Fricke's "solution" for dealing with
the toxic mess left below.
Note red pond & other wholesome-looking
areas at bottom, Marina Bay houses to the left.
           - - - 2000-2001:

Entire area during the demolition, circa 2000-2001
[click to see full-size 625k file]

Central detail. [209k file]
It is instructive to compare this photo with
the capped view above. Open a 2nd browser
window and get the full-size versions
of each, side by side. Use the red pond
as a landmark.
[Note that this was taken at high tide and
the one above at low tide.]



           - - - 1950s:   

3 eye-opening photos show empty areas of water that are filled in now -- with what [toxic cinders and what else]? By whom? - clues -

     [Use the shiny rectangular holding pools close to the water's edge for orientation. Click pic for larger and here for largest, detailed image (994k).]


Now-filled-in areas marked in red (approximation, based on photos above.) [11/2/05: suspected radioactive site is in the north end, the red area closer to the island]




Closeup of effluent plume from Stauffer site. [Note the area of diagonal white strips next to Stauffer site = the foundations of demolished Seaport housing project.]


Obvious plume of whitish effluent from the Stauffer site flowing out into the Bay [click pic for 359k enlargement]:




[click photos for larger version]

           - - - and ... 1916 ! :   

see maps that show details of toxic manufacturing already ongoing before 1916


Berkeley Daily Planet: "Builders, Environmentalists Spar Over Toxic Richmond Site" 5/28/04

-- this scary BDP cover photo was the first look many of us had at the new "cap,"
which marked this area as more toxic than we had imagined
and revealed how badly we had failed to understand the situation.