Reading Room

Wednesday, April 05, 2006  
A Radioactive Problem

By: Phil Hayworth
Published In: Tracy Press, Tracy, CA

The federal government wants to know how best to clean up Pit 7, a radioactive waste site at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory?s Site 300, which sits just 15 miles southwest of Tracy.

A public hearing will begin at 6 p.m. tonight at the Tracy Community Center, 300 E. 10th St., to discuss the waste at the lab?s bomb-testing site. It?s sponsored by the Department of Energy, the lab and the U.S Environmental Protection Agency. Members and staff of the Livermore-based environmental advocacy group, Tri-Valley CAREs, will present testimony at the meeting.

?We want to make sure that they have a good cleanup plan,? said Tri-Valley spokeswoman Marylia Kelley.

Pit 7 at Site 300 contains several unlined waste pits where various radioactive materials were stored, Kelley said. But water is leaching through the radioactive soil and down into the water table, Kelley said. That radioactive water plume is inching its way toward Tracy, she said.

?We want to make certain that the DOE commits to controlling the forward migration of the plumes, not just cleaning up the site,? Kelley said.

They want their concerns written into the government?s final cleanup plan, titled the ?Decision of Record.?

?Some of the (proposed) tract homes in the Tracy Hills area come right up to the fence of Site 300,? Kelley said.

The site has been undergoing cleanup since it was placed on the Superfund site list in 1990. Superfund sites are considered the most polluted in the country.

? To reach reporter Phil Hayworth, call 830-4221 or e-mail

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