Wednesday, August 29, 2018

ENU Files letter on Chatham Waste Site--Demands more action

This week Escondido Neighbors filed ENU Comment Letter on Chatham Remedy Review August 2018.  The Public Fact sheet is here and the full 5-year Remedy Review Report is here. 

The letter raises many issues about the lack of progress of the cleanup, the failure to stop contamination from entering Felicita Creek, and the need to add treatment wells to stop further expansion of the plumes, among other issues.

If you are interested, please submit comments to DTSC by Sept 6th.  This is a serious issue for our region and one that needs additional action.

If you are new to this issue, here is some background.

The Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) has oversight of the remediation of hazardous waste released to the environment by the Chatham Brothers Barrel Yard.  As a brief background, members of the Chatham family owned the property at 2257 Bernardo Ave, Escondido and ran a hazardous waste processing and collection business for decades. 

In the early 1980’s, massive pollution of the site was discovered and the facility was closed. The Chatham Barrel yard was listed as a state superfund site and emergency soil removal action was conducted. Additionally, on-site water remediation has been on-going for over 20 years.

However, in the intervening decades, the groundwater pollution has spread significantly and can now be found under Felicita County Park and many area homes.  Further, the contamination is now entering Felicita Creek in a public area where the public is unwittingly exposed.

In spite of over 30 years of remedial action, much of it passive through the adoption of a passive strategy called ‘natural attenuation’, the cleanup objectives have not been met.  It is clear that more proactive measures must be taken.

Escondido Neighbors United has filed comments on the Review.  The requests include that DTSC:

1.      Direct additional proactive measures to achieve the remedial objectives;
2.      Require additional action to stop unbated discharges into Felicita Creek;
3.      Require signs at the creek warning of the presence of pollution in public areas;
4.      Establish and timeline of performance for meeting the objectives.

More information about this site can be found here  DTSC Chatham Barrel Yard Link Envirostor