Redevelopment of Remediated Superfund Sites: Problems with Current Approaches in Providing Long-Term Public Health Protection

by G. Fred Lee, G. Fred Lee & Associates, El Macero, United States,
R. Anne Jones, G. Fred Lee & Associates, El Macero, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Environmental Engineering


The normal primary objective of Superfund site remediation is the control of hazardous chemicals so that they do not represent a significant threat to public health and the environment on adjacent properties. The remediation of many federal and state Superfund sites involves leaving potentially significant amounts of hazardous chemicals in the soil and groundwaters of the area. This approach has significant long-term public health implications for redevelopment of a remediated site. A situation of this type is the potential problems associated with the degree of investigation and remediation compared to proposed plans for redevelopment of the Southern Pacific Railyard site located near downtown Sacramento, California. This 220 acre site's soils are contaminated with lead and other heavy metals, PNAs, and petroleum hydrocarbons. The groundwaters are contaminated by chlorinated solvents, some of which have been converted to vinyl chloride. Because of its location in downtown Sacramento in the waterfront area, the site is a prime candidate for redevelopment. Plans have been developed for intensive redevelopment involving commercial and residential uses. This paper discusses a number of potential redevelopment problems for this Superfund site as an example of problems that could occur with the redevelopment of many Superfund sites and suggests approaches that should be considered in developing deed and other restrictions on future property use for those properties that were contaminated by Priority Pollutants and remediated in accord with current Superfund guidelines.

Subject Headings: Public health and safety | Occupational safety | Remediation | Waste sites | Site investigation | Business districts | Solvents | Groundwater pollution | California | United States

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