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Shell Pond Cleanup and Wetland Restoration

Health and Safety

Protecting the health and safety of the public, workers and the environment is the number one priority during the cleanup of the Shell Pond.

All work is being conducted under the oversight of the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC). DTSC has an online repository of information related to the cleanup called Envirostor. The “Summary” page gives a summary of site history and conditions. Clicking on the “Community Involvement” tab will take you to a collection of updates, fact sheets and project-related documents. Clicking on the “Activities” tab will take you to a collection of technical documents, including air monitoring reports.

Air Monitoring:

As part of the cleanup of the former Shell Pond, PG&E has established a comprehensive dust control and air monitoring program to protect the community and site workers.

The program meets or exceeds all federal, state and local regulatory requirements for monitoring and mitigating airborne dust. All air monitoring results are reported to the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC), the lead agency overseeing the cleanup, and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD).

Important Resources: Air monitoring results submitted to the agencies are available in the document archive.

Dust Control:

Preventing and controlling dust during the cleanup is a high priority, and PG&E has a number of precautionary measures in place to minimize any dust generation from cleanup activities.

These measures include:

Preventing dust during cleanup activities

  • Applying water during excavation activities
  • Applying soil stabilizer (a binding agent that reduces dust)
  • Installing a windscreen and, if appropriate, water misters along the fence line; and
  • Covering stockpiles of soil/fill

Preventing vehicles from generating dust

  • Limiting vehicle speed to 15 MPH
  • Washing vehicle tires and undercarriage prior to leaving the property
  • Inspecting trucks exiting the washing station; and
  • Covering loads of soil/fill in trucks

Monitoring site conditions

  • Monitoring dust using real-time monitors located along the fence line
  • Analyzing dust monitoring results using certified laboratories
  • Using personal dust monitors to limit exposure to site workers

Additional measures are often put in place when site conditions (such as high winds) or the lab analysis of air monitoring results show a need for increased dust suppression. These additional methods include, as needed:

  • Increased frequency of spraying water or volume of water and soil stabilizer;
  • Increased amount of soil stabilizer/change method of application;
  • Decreased drop heights from buckets of excavations and/or loaders;
  • Increased rate/volume of misting;
  • Increased frequency of street sweeping at exits or change method (water area or vacuum);
  • Increased frequency of street sweeping at exits or change method (water area or vacuum);
  • Increased traffic control measures, such as speed limits; and
  • Stoppage of work involving soil excavation and handling when appropriate.

We will continuously analyze our dust control measures over the course of the cleanup and will adapt them as needed to ensure the safety of our workers and the community.

Worker Safety:

Safety is important to all of us. All site workers must have the appropriate safety training and site supervisors must ensure that workers comply with all safety and training requirements. Depending on the work being performed, workers will wear personal protective equipment, which could include steel toed boots, hard hats, goggles, and coveralls. These, and other worker safety practices at the site, satisfy all applicable requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and other regulatory agencies. Daily air monitoring of the work areas ensures dust controls are working and protective of worker safety.

Trucking and Traffic Safety:

Managing traffic associated with the project is a top priority. During excavation activities, trucks will be hauling material removed from the pond to Keller Canyon Landfill in Pittsburg, California. PG&E has implemented a comprehensive truck safety program, implementing many of the procedures that the California Highway Patrol uses in its truck safety inspections.

A Traffic Management Plan has also been developed for the project and approved by the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) and the County to make sure that traffic associated with this project is tightly controlled, safely managed. It includes the following:

  • A Truck Boss will be responsible for managing and coordinating the flow of all truck traffic;
  • Trucks will only use the approved truck route;
  • Trained and certified flaggers will be stationed at key intersections along McAvoy Road and Port Chicago Highway;
  • Truckers and flaggers will be in constant communication with each other and the Truck Boss via two-way radios;
  • Truckers and flaggers have received project specific training;
  • Truckers must have a valid California Commercial Drivers License and Department of Transportation certifications and inspection records for their trucks;
  • No more than two trucks from this project will be allowed on Port Chicago Highway at any given time;
  • Trucks will not be allowed to line up on or park on the shoulder of Port Chicago Highway;
  • Trucks will be inspected, covered, and cleaned before leaving the property; and
  • All trucks will have signs identifying them as part of the Shell Pond project with a toll-free number to call with questions or concerns.

All traffic associated with the project will exit the property onto McAvoy Road, proceed north on Port Chicago Highway, and will exit onto Highway 4.

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Truck route used for the cleanup.

Traffic Considerations During the School Year

Trucking hours have been designed to allow for children to safely walk to and from school during the school year and include the following parameters:

  • No trucks will run before 9:00 a.m.
  • Trucks will only run from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Monday through Friday
  • Trucks will not run from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Wednesdays or any other early dismissal day
  • Trucks will occasionally run on Saturdays between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.; and
  • We will work with the staff of nearby schools to communicate with students and parents about crossing the street along the truck route.

Once project work restarts, trucks are expected to haul impacted material from the bottom of the pond to an approved location for off-site disposal. For a period of about six months, there will be 75 truck trips to the site and 75 truck trips from the site daily (150 trips total per day). Truck traffic associated with the project will be coordinated with other construction projects in the area to avoid having too many trucks on Port Chicago Highway at any one time.