John Schweizer, the Community Technical Advisor (TA) has "office hours" on Tuesday afternoons from 1PM to 5PM at the EPA Trailer/Community Center at 349 Mandela Parkway. Come on by to talk about environmental issues, any concerns you may have, or just to chat!
Updates as of 5/3/2013
See the Document Archive for the TA's Review of the EPA's Work Plan for installation of a well to investigate whether the lower (usable) groundwater aquifer below the AMCO site is contaminated or not.
See the Community Events calendar for Friday, May 10, for the time and place of the Adapt Oakland project launch. Click here to RSVP. Click here to see more information about the Adapt Oakland project. Urban Biofilter has been awarded a state grant to launch Adapt Oakland, a new cross-disciplinary planning initiative with four core goals:
1. Promote integration of green infrastructure into Oakland policy and planning projects through facilitating collaboration between community, industry, and governmental groups while providing technical assistance to other planning initiatives.
2. Advance understanding of green infrastructure, which utilizes natural ecosystems and constructed landscapes- such as urban forests, living walls, and green roofs -that combat impacts of extreme weather while filtering air, water, and soil.
3. Integrate research, land use policy, regulations, engineering, and financing for green infrastructure.
4. Develop a green infrastructure and climate change preparedness plan that uses West Oakland and the Port of Oakland as priority project and case study.
Updates as of 4/21/2013
A new webpage has been added to the site for the community Technical Advisor TA to make reports on observations that the TA makes at the AMCO site. The new webpage is titled TA's Field Observation Reports and can be accessed by clicking on this link or by clicking on the main menu item on the left side of this page.
The Draft Work Plan for the Lower Aquifer Well Installation has been updated to the latest version. This document can be found in the Document Archive in the section titled Amco Superfund Site Remediation Documents.
See the West Oakland Lead Cleanup project page for the latest information and updates on the Do-It-Yourself lead treatment project.
Activity Planned for 2013
The EPA plans to determine if subsurface contamination at the AMCO Chemical Superfund site extends down to deep groundwater that lies below a clay layer under the site. This deep groundwater might be used in the future, so it is important to know if it has been contaminated.
The AMCO Chemical Superfund site is located at 1414 3rd Street adjacent to the intersection of 3rd Street and Mandela Parkway. The AMCO Chemical Corporation owned and operated the property as a chemical distribution facility from the 1960s to 1989. During operation of the AMCO Chemical distribution facility, bulk chemicals were off-loaded from rail cars at the facility and stored in drums and storage tanks before being transferred to smaller containers for resale. Some of the solvents that were handled at the site are heavier than water. These “heavy” solvents can pass downward through the soil and groundwater to great depths.
The geology and hydrogeology beneath the Site have been studied as part of the Remedial Investigation conducted by the EPA to define the nature and extent of contamination. The site is underlain by shallow groundwater in soil known as the Merritt Sand to a depth of 50-80 feet below ground. This shallow groundwater has been investigated and is known to be contaminated. Clay soil known as the Older Bay Mud lies under the shallow groundwater. This clay layer separates the shallow groundwater from deeper groundwater that is in soil known as the Alameda Formation, which lies beneath the clay layer to a depth of at least 200 feet below the ground surface. This deeper groundwater is not presently used for anything. However, someday it could be used for drinking water. So the EPA wants to find out if it has been contaminated.
In 2013 the EPA plans to install four groundwater monitoring wells into the groundwater that lies below the clay layer. The purpose of these “Lower Aquifer” monitoring wells is to allow groundwater samples to be collected from the wells. Analysis of the groundwater samples will determine whether the “heavy” solvents have contaminated the lower groundwater. These deep wells will give a “yes or no” answer as to whether or not the deep groundwater is contaminated, but will not be able to tell how far the contamination has gone if the answer is “yes.” Measurement of the water depths in the wells will show which direction the groundwater is moving. Determination of how far the contamination has gone (if the lower groundwater is contaminated) will require additional investigation.