Up on Cleanup?

The environmental cleanup program at Alameda Point, which has been going on for more than a decade, is in its final stages.  Most of the issues have been addressed, and the contaminated sites have either been cleaned up or are on their way to being cleaned up.

Learn more by attending a special presentation at the upcoming Alameda Reuse and Redevelopment Authority (ARRA) meeting on November 2.

Peter Russell, Ph.D., a California registered engineer and a registered environmental assessor, will be making the presentation.  He has been working as an advisor to the city on Alameda Point cleanup issues for over 10 years and has specialized training in environmental law, business management, and insurance/risk management.  Dr. Russell will provide an overview of the environmental issues encountered at Alameda Point, clarify the roles of the Navy and the regulators in this work, and highlight the progress the Navy has made in completing the cleanup so that transfer to the ARRA can occur.

Dr. Russell’s November 2 status update will build upon the presentation given by the Navy and environmental regulatory agencies in May 2010.  Three agencies provide quality assurance for the Alameda Point cleanup:  the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control, and the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board, a department of the California Environmental Protection Agency.

While some people believe we can never remediate the environmental damage our society has inflicted on the planet, technologies being used at Alameda Point—some old, some new—have proven effective.  The process has been slow because it’s been thorough; sometimes years of testing are needed to identify a problem, and sometimes remediation just takes time.  Jet fuel has been sucked out; sewer lines have been replaced; and soil, rocks and concrete have been hauled away, as well as old tanks, structures and stuff contaminated by radium paint waste.  Toxics are being cleaned using heat, vapor recovery and chemical neutralizers.  Some are being cleaned using nature’s own bacteria that is found in the ground.

Whether you’re a newcomer to the discussion or an old timer, be sure to tune-in to city hall at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, November 2 — via television, computer, podcast, or in person.  Follow-up later too, as Dr. Russell will be giving easy-to-understand updates at future ARRA meetings.

“The city thinks it is important for the community to obtain accurate information about the significant progress being made by the Navy to clean Alameda Point up for predominantly unrestricted use,” says Jennifer Ott, the city’s chief operating officer for Alameda Point.  “The November 2 ARRA meeting is a great opportunity for the community to learn more about this.”

Originally published in Alameda Sun.

View more cleanup images on Alameda Point Info.  Read more about cleanup at Alameda Point Environmental Report.

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