Thursday, September 13, 2018

Public hearing Wednesday on proposed cleanup plan for Terminal One project

   RICHMOND - The San Francisco Regional Water Quality Control Board will hold a public hearing Wednesday on a proposed plan to clean up a variety of chemical contaminants on the Terminal One site in Point Richmond to pave the way for a 316-unit housing development proposed by the Laconia Corporation to be constructed on the city-owned land.
     The meeting is from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Richmond Public Library, 325 Civic Center Plaza.
Historical industrial use of the proposed site for housing
     The contaminants include chlorinated solvents, petroleum and hydrocarbons - and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons on the Dornan Drive property. The land is adjacent to the Richmond Yacht Club to the east and Miller-Knox Regional Park to the west. It abuts San Francisco Bay on the south and Brickyard Cove Road to the north.
     The documented chemical contamination is a legacy of the property's history as a shipping and industrial site and has been the subject of study - and previous attempts and clean up - for 20 years.
     The water quality control board adopted a detailed cleanup order in 2004, But efforts to scrub the site were never completed because a previous developer abandoned the project in 2007.
     One suggestion expected at Wednesday meeting is that the regional water quality control board draft an entirely new cleanup order to take into account advances in pollution control remediation science since the 2004 order was issued as well as any new data about the site.
     The remedial action plan proposed by the City of Richmond and Laconia include:

 • Podium construction of residential structures;
• Collection, on-Site treatment, and off-Site discharge of most stormwater runoff;
• Raising Site grades and import of clean fill;
• Capping the Site with buildings, roads, pathways, and other hardscape;
• Slurry wall construction to mitigate potential petroleum discharges to San Francisco Bay;
• Landscaping as either common area maintained by the homeowner’s association or public openspace/parkland maintained by the City, in areas not covered with permanent, hardscapedfacilities; and
• Institutional controls prohibiting residents and visitors from excavating on the Site.

     The watchdog group Brickyard Cove Alliance for Responsible Development has already voiced concerns that this latest iteration of a cleanup plan falls well short of ensuring that the site would be safe. Members of BCARD oppose the current plan as designed and are expected to address the board with details their concerns.
     Among those concerns is that the proposed slurry wall is inadequate to prevent pollutants to escape into San Francisco Bay - a contention supported by environmental consultants GEI of Oakland.
     Also at issue is how to successfully mitigate possible chemical vapor intrusion from the ground below into homes - and the air.
     While the proposed cleanup plan calls for "Capping the Site" (see list above), BCARD is concerned that utility lines and various other underground infrastructure could provide pathways for toxins in the soil to waft to the surface.
     Last November, a community meeting about the proposed Terminal One project drew a crowd of at least 100 people to a Saturday morning session at the Richmond Yacht Club. (See Environmental problems, design issues and parking dominate Terminal One meeting.)

November meeting at RYC

City of Richmond, Lina Velasco, planner
EMAIL: Lina Velasco

Regional Water Quality Control Board, Jeffrey White
EMAIL: Jeffrey White

Laconia LLC (developer), Cleve Livingston
EMAIL: Cleve Livingston