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Bay Point: Removal of ‘Shell Pond’ polluted soil set to start in April

Screen Shot 2014-12-08 at 22.24.14From an article by Sam Richards published 23 March 2015 by Contra Costa Times

Bay Point: Removal of ‘Shell Pond’ polluted soil set to start in April

BAY POINT — More than two years after an aborted attempt to clean up the old “Shell Pond” along Suisun Bay, PG&E will soon begin removing 8,400 tons of dredged polluted soil from land adjacent to the pond on the community’s north edge, with an eye toward starting cleanup of the 73-acre pond itself in 2017.

The utility is set to begin, in mid-April, removing soil containing petroleum hydrocarbons (“carbon black”), metals and other compounds dredged in 2012 from the waste pond about three-quarters of a mile north of Willow Pass Road along the waterfront and trucking it about two miles to the Keller Canyon landfill, said PG&E spokeswoman Tamar Sarkissian. That work is expected to take approximately three months, she said.

Even after the 2012 dredging, the Shell Pond bottom has a 1- to 3-foot layer of those same petroleum hydrocarbons, metals and other compounds.

All the cleanup work is being done under the guidance of the state Department of Toxic Substances Control.

From 1950 until 1971, Shell Oil Products (whose plant there is now operated by Criterion Catalyst) discharged wastewater containing carbon black, metals and other compounds from its nearby chemical plant into both the 73-acre pond and onto an adjacent 22-acre parcel of land.

The 2012 dredging at Shell Pond was halted after officials at Shore Acres Elementary School, about a mile west of the pond site, complained about a strong, noxious smell. There were also some reports about that same smell from residents of the New York Landing neighborhood, three miles to the east on Pittsburg’s waterfront.

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