DSCSOC Response to B. Oatman's February 10, 1998 Letter

Davis South Campus Superfund Oversight Committee
Rt. 2 Box 2879
Davis, CA 95616
fax 530-753-8220
e-mail [email protected]

February 27, 1998

Brian A. Oatman
University of California, Davis
Environmental Health & Safety
One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616

Dear Mr. Oatman,

I returned today and have been away since February 10, 1998 and have just reviewed your e-mail dated February 10, 1998 regarding Dr. G Fred Lee's comments on the Revised FSP which included Dr. Lee's comments on a petition UCD has filed before the State Water Resources Control Board regarding the campus' waste water treatment plant inadequate treatment of campus wastewaters. You stated that you find it "highly inappropriate that these two documents are combined in a file sent to the RPMs." You state that "....DSCSOC, is using its position as a recipient of an EPA Technical Assistance Grant to comment on and file petitions to state agencies on issues totally unrelated to the Superfund site you are supposed to be monitoring." You continued "The University requests that you and your hired consultant, Dr. G. Fred Lee, refrain from using your position as a TAG grant group to explore issues outside of the Superfund site. We have brought this issue to the attention of the EPA Project Managers in the past and will continue to do so until a resolution is reached."

On behalf of DSCSOC, I wish to respond to your (the University's) accusations. At no time has DSCSOC used any of its TAG funds to pursue "other" UCD mismanagement or waste issues, and DSCSOC has limited its activities for TAG funding to the LEHR Superfund site. As you are aware, DSCSOC must document its activities and submit these records with its request for payments. We have, at all times, been careful to document our activities and limit our funding requests for activities at the LEHR site to those that are properly covered by the TAG funding.

DSCSOC has been aware that the University, from the beginning of DSCSOC's organization, has been opposed to DSCSOC's activities on behalf of the public and has attempted to raise this and other issues in an effort to discredit DSCSOC. Because of UCD's opposition, DSCSOC asked EPA for a clarification of the activities which are permitted under the TAG funding regulations when our grant was awarded and DSCSOC and Dr. Lee have followed EPA's regulations at all times. As a result of the University's previous accusations, DSCSOC and Dr. Lee have been extensively investigated by EPA and they have not found DSCSOC's activities in violation of TAG funding requirements.

Dr. Lee has the right to pursue his interest in environmental causes including UCD's "other" issues. He was doing this before DSCSOC was organized and he accepted his position as DSCSOC's technical advisor. The only limits EPA has placed on Dr. Lee's activities is for TAG fund purposes, his activities for the LEHR site are the only activities eligible. DSCSOC has never paid Dr. Lee for his "other" UCD activities. Dr. Lee has repeatedly stated in his petitions, comments and etc. that his efforts regarding UCD's "other" issues are not sponsored. Yet, UCD has continued to make accusations that he is a "hired consultant." Now the University is accusing DSCSOC of using its position to comment on and file petitions to state agencies which is totally unrelated to the Superfund site. DSCSOC included Dr. Lee's comments regarding UCD's petition pending before the State Water Resources Control Board regarding the campus' WWTP to the RPMs as it is relevant and related information to the LEHR site investigation which DSCSOC thought the RPMs would find informative. Dr. Lee's work on this issue was not performed for DSCSOC nor requested by DSCSOC nor was it billed for TAG funds. The University's allegations are another attempt to discredit DSCSOC and Dr. Lee and to limit the public's knowledge of UCD's waste management failures.

Members of DSCSOC may collectively or individually conduct activities regarding UCD's "other" waste mismanagement issues but, again, these activities are not eligible for TAG funds. DSCSOC has never claimed any member's activities on UCD's "other"issues for TAG funds. Members do have the right to conduct activities of their choice on any issues they may wish to pursue or speak out on these issues as citizens.

DSCSOC has raised concerns about the LEHR site investigation being limited to the LEHR site instead of including all areas impacted by the site which may present a potential risk to the public's health, the groundwater and the environment. DSCSOC feels that citizens of this community do not care about the arbitrary boundaries imposed by DOE-UCD regarding the LEHR site investigation but instead want to be assured that all areas of potential threat are investigated so that citizens are not at risk. UCD has shown a lack of caring about the citizens of this community and in spite of information that DSCSOC has passed on to UCD about LEHR waste being removed from the LEHR site and taken to other locations, including UCD's WWTP, the campus landfill and a former UCD employee's property, UCD has refused to take any actions to follow up on or investigate this information. Instead, UCD has continued its attempt to limit the LEHR site investigation and UCD's liability for its mismanagement of its waste.

DSCSOC is concerned about the potential risks to citizens of this community from UCD's waste management failures. It is impossible to look at the LEHR site without looking at the other areas where LEHR waste poses a threat and where UCD has failed to manage its waste properly. To the citizens who are impacted by UCD's waste management failures, it makes little difference which UCD waste management facility is posing the threat or where the investigation boundaries are drawn, the citizens just want to be protected. But, for TAG funding purposes, DSCSOC has and will continue to limit its activities to LEHR site issues. UCD's attempt to discredit and limit DSCSOC's activities to protect the public from UCD's waste management failures will not succeed. Citizens of this community have the right to be informed, speak out and be protected.

I have attached Dr. Lee's comments on this matter to this letter.

If you have any questions, please call me.


Julie Roth, Ex. Dir.

cc: DSCSOC Ex. Board
Dr. G. Fred Lee
Carmen White
William H. Taylor
Jane Riggan

G. Fred Lee & Associates
27298 E. El Macero Dr.
El Macero, California 95618-1005
Tel. (530) 753-9630 � Fax (530) 753-9956
e-mail [email protected]
web site: http://members.aol.com/gfredlee/gfl.htm
Please note the new area code for telephone and fax has been changed to 530

March 2, 1998

Julie Roth
Executive Director
Route 2, Box 2879
Davis, CA 95616

Dear Julie:

Thank you for bringing to my attention B. Oatman's e-mail letter to you of February 10, 1998 which he e-mailed to others but did not provide me with a copy. Once again Mr. Oatman has acted in an irresponsible manner in which he is persisting with UCD L. Vanderhoef's attempts to try to prevent DSCSOC from working to protect the public from further mismanagement of waste associated with the LEHR site. Mr. Oatman claims that it is inappropriate for DSCSOC to forward a copy of my comments regarding UCD L. Vanderhoef administration's petition to the State Water Resources Control Board in which UCD is trying to get the State Board to relax the requirements that the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board impose on UCD as part of re-issuing UCD's campus wastewater treatment plant updated NPDES permit governing campus wastewater discharges to Putah Creek. The requirements imposed by the CVRWQCB on these discharges have been found to be in accord with Clean Water Act requirements by US EPA Region 9 staff.

If Mr. Oatman had taken the time read my comments, he would have found that it is certainly appropriate for the RPMs to consider actions taken by the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board and the UCD administration regarding the adequacy of campus wastewater treatment provided by UCD before discharged to Putah Creek. This justification stems from the fact that UCD has finally admitted that LEHR site stormwater is discharged to the campus sewerage system, which in turn is discharged to Putah Creek after inadequate treatment compared to that needed to fully protect the CVRWQCB's Basin Plan requirements for the Putah Creek designated uses. Further as you know as part of LEHR site remediation, some discharges of contaminated groundwaters will be made to the campus sewerage system. Certainly the RPM's need to understand the adequacy of the treatment and especially the fact that the UCD L. Vanderhoef administration is trying to force the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board to relax the Clean Water Act requirements imposed on all NPDES permitted dischargers of this type that the US EPA Region 9 staff have indicated must be met. This effort is part of UCD L. Vanderhoef's administration desire to continue to use Putah Creek as its private sewer at the expense of the public's interests.

As discussed in my previous correspondence and has been pointed out by one of the RPM's, since the campus sewerage plant and some of the LEHR site stormwater runoff into Putah Creek at essentially the same location, it is essential to understand the relative significance of each of these sources of pollutants as part of developing a LEHR site investigation and remediation program that will protect Putah Creek from UCD's mismanaged campus and LEHR site waste that are now present at what has become the UCD DOE LEHR National Superfund site. While Mr. Oatman claims it is inappropriate for me to bring to the attention of the RPM's that the CVRWQCB has found that UCD campus wastewater treatment plant has been providing inadequate treatment and that UCD L. Vanderhoef administration is attempting to continue this inadequate treatment, I would be derelict in my responsibilities to DSCSOC and the public if I did not do this. I can appreciate B. Oatman acting on behalf of the L. Vanderhoef administration does not want the RPM's and others to become aware of the facts of this matter since it reveals the true recalcitrant polluter characteristics of this administration. However, as part of spending many tens of millions of dollars of public funds cleaning up UCD's mismanaged waste at the LEHR site, the RPM's and others should be aware of all factors that influence the characteristics of Putah Creek in the vicinity of the LEHR site including the inadequate treatment by UCD's campus wastewater treatment plant.

It is important to understand in doing so that no TAG funds were used for this purpose even though this could certainly be in the framework of appropriate use of TAG funds. A review of the record will show that since June 1995 I have donated approximately $280,000 in consulting services to DSCSOC beyond that has been paid by the TAG. This donation does not include any time I have spent on items associated with UCD's mismanagement of its campus waste which are not directly related to LEHR site issues.

Please pass this letter on to the RPM's indicating that if anyone has questions on these issues to contact me.

Sincerely yours,


G. Fred Lee, PhD, DEE


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