Tuesday, December 31, 2013

PG&E’s Vallejo MGP Site Investigation and Cleanup

"PG&E’s Vallejo MGP Site Investigation and Cleanup"
report from City Manager’s Bi-Weekly Report, Volume 1, Issue 18, June 21, 2013. Daniel E. Keen, City Manager [www.ci.vallejo.ca.us/common/pages/DisplayFile.aspx?itemId=47689]:
In May 2012, the City Council unanimously approved the PG&E/City access agreement for environmental investigation and remediation activities at the 26-acre upland site located at the corner of Curtola Parkway and Sonoma Boulevard. PG&E then prepared a site investigation work plan that was reviewed by the City’s environemental consultant and approved by the California Department Of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC).
Prior to the site investigation work, PG&E and the City conducted outreach to site users and neighbors in the immediate project area. Work began on March 18 and will be complete by December 2013. Upon completion of site investigation activities, PG&E will prepare a Remidial Investigation Report that summarizes the findings of the field effort and defines the extent of historic residues in soil, soil gas, and groundwater. Following DTSC approval of the Remedial Investigation Report, PG&E will prepare a Remedial Action Cleanup Plan. PG&E and its consultants meet on a monthly basis with City staff to coordinate efforts and conduct outreach efforts to ensure the larger Vallejo community is informed and involved in the project.
PG&E maintains a public website for the Vallejo MGP project, which can be found here [http://pge.com/about/environment/taking-responsibility/mgp/vallejo.shtml]. Additional information about PG&E’s MGP program can also be found here [http://pge.com/about/environment/taking-responsibility/mgp/index.shtml]. The website includes contact information for PG&E’s Environmental Remediation department, including a hotline and email address, as well as the latest information about the site investigation and project schedule.

"Former Vallejo Manufactured Gas Plant"
PG&E is working closely with the City of Vallejo to conduct an environmental investigation of a former manufactured gas plant (MGP) site near Curtola Parkway and Sonoma Boulevard. Based on investigation results, a cooperative approach to clean up the site will be developed. All work is being conducted voluntarily by PG&E and oversight is under the authority of the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC).

An MGP operated at the site from 1872 to 1930. PG&E acquired the gas plant in 1905 and operated it until 1930, when it was put on standby status. The plant was largely dismantled by 1944. PG&E sold the MGP property to the City of Vallejo in 1976. Currently, the site consists of open areas and several commercial operations including a public boat launch, a boat and recreational vehicle storage area, a storage locker facility and a commercial bait shop.

PG&E does not anticipate disruption to area businesses or residents during the first phase of work. We are committed to keeping area residents and businesses informed of the project's status and to gather community input. PG&E will be issuing work notices and fact sheets at various stages of the project. More information is available by calling the PG&E toll-free community hotline.
Upcoming Investigation Work and Overall Project Schedule:
* Phase 1: Investigation - 2013/2014
A site-wide investigation, including sampling of soil and groundwater, will take place in stages throughout the year. Sample results will be sent to an independent laboratory and analyzed. This process will determine the level of residues left in soil, soil gas (air between soil particles) and groundwater.
* Phase 2: Development of cleanup plan - 2014/2015
A site-specific cleanup plan will be created based on the investigation results.
* Phase 3: Site cleanup - late 2015/beyond
The cleanup plan will be implemented at the site.

Additional Resources:
DTSC Resources & Contact Information

Site-related documents can also be found at:
John F. Kennedy Library, 505 Santa Clara Street, Vallejo, (866) 572-7587, press 3 for reference desk

"PG&E’s Manufactured Gas Plant Program"
[http://pge.com/about/environment/taking-responsibility/mgp/index.shtml] :
History of MGPs -
In the mid 1800s and early 1900s, before natural gas was available as an energy source, manufactured gas plants (MGPs) existed throughout California and the United States. These plants used coal and oil to produce gas for lighting, heating and cooking. At that time, this technology was a major step forward, revolutionizing street lighting, enhancing public safety and enabling businesses to work into the night.
In addition to gas, MGPs produced a variety of byproducts, some of which were useful and marketable, such as coal tar and lampblack. The byproducts that could not be sold were removed for disposal or remained at the MGP site. Most of the sites in PG&E’s service area were closed and dismantled more than 75 years ago.

PG&E Manufactured Gas Plant Program -
In the 1980’s, the United States Environmental Protection Agency conducted research that identified more than 1,500 former manufactured gas plants around the country. The research found that, in some cases, residues from these facilities may remain onsite.
Following the EPA study, PG&E established a program under the oversight of the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) to identify the location of MGP sites and began a process of testing water supplies and soil samples from sites in the service area.
According to toxicologists and health experts, exposure to MGP residues is not common because, in most cases, they are located below the ground surface.
As part of our commitment to environmental responsibility, PG&E works to ensure that any potential impacts to the environment from former MGPs are addressed in accordance with today’s regulatory standards. PG&E is in the process of investigating and remediating 41 MGP sites it formerly owned or operated. They are in various stages of remediation, from investigation to post remediation monitoring and project completion.
Where DTSC determines that remediation activities are necessary, we work closely with the agency, residents and local health and environmental departments to design the most effective remediation program for the site.
This is a voluntary effort that reflects PG&E’s environmental commitment and responsibility to address issues that may have resulted from our historic operations.

Commitment to our Customers -
Because these gas plants were historically located near the center of commerce, many of our sites are located in downtown areas, and some in residential neighborhoods. PG&E works closely with those customers whose homes or businesses may be affected by our work to ensure that any associated impacts are lessened and everyone stays informed about the project throughout its duration.
Before site work begins, PG&E and DTSC meet with nearby residents, businesses, and community leaders to discuss work plans and address any concerns they may have. We continue this dialogue throughout the life of the project, and use work notices, emails, meetings, and the web to keep customers informed of progress at the site.
Measures are put in place during remediation to reduce impacts related to noise, dust, and traffic on nearby homes and businesses. This includes air monitoring, installing noise barriers to reduce construction noise, limiting work hours to certain days of the week or hours of the day and restricting the number of trucks that can drive to and from a work site during a given day.
When remediation is complete, we have conducted restoration activities like planting new landscaping, repairing sidewalks or constructing new parking spaces to improve the local community and promote public safety.

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