October 30, 2014

Putting clean-up, transit first in South Richmond

Channel at Hoffmann Marsh. Richmond is planning for development of the south Richmond shoreline, but is the toxic contamination going to be cleaned up adequately? Photos by G. Donald Bain, 360panos.com. Channel at Hoffmann Marsh. Richmond is planning for development of the south Richmond shoreline, but is the toxic contamination going to be cleaned up adequately? Photos by G. Donald Bain, 360panos.com.

Channel at Hoffmann Marsh. Richmond is planning for development of the south Richmond shoreline, but is the toxic contamination going to be cleaned up adequately? Photos by G. Donald Bain, 360panos.com.

Richmond is planning for development of the south Richmond shoreline, on the former Zeneca site and on northern Hoffman Marsh including the Liquid Gold site and the firing range.

A key issue is the level of clean-up for these contaminated lands. Years ago the Sierra Club worked with the community to get the state Department of Toxic Substances Control put in charge of the Zeneca clean-up, because we believed it would call for stringent standards. Instead, DTSC is waiting to specify standards for particular areas until the city designates uses for them.

The south Richmond community has lived too long with this toxic hazard. DTSC needs to require clean-up to top-level residential standards, so that we can have a safe area for people and for wildlife, and to ensure that toxics will not leach into the Bay. There should be a wide buffer between the Bay and any development, to protect wildlife and habitat. The remaining areas of the Hoffman Marsh should be cleaned up to the same standard, restored, and transferred into the McLaughlin Eastshore State Park.

For any development, the city must also figure out how to limit the use of the automobile and promote transit. Some want massive commercial, retail, and residential development in this area which today has only minimal transit. Any development here must be transit-based. The same concern applies to the Lawrence National Lab/UC second campus (see accompanying article).

Norman La Force, chair, Sierra Club West Contra Costa County Group

 

WhatYouCanDo

Contact Jess Dervin-Ackerman, Conservation Organizer for the SF Bay Chapter to find out how you can get involved in this important issue:  jess.dervin-ackerman@sierraclub.org 510-848-0800

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