Letter to the Editor of Davis Enterprise in response to
an article entitled "UCD to Remove Radioactive Waste"

Remedial Project Managers
UCD-DOE LEHR Superfund Site
UC Davis Campus
Davis, CA 95616

Dear RPMs,

Attached below please find a "Letter to the Editor" I wrote as DSCSOC's response to the June 2, 1999 article The Davis Enterprise published titled "UCD to Remove Radioactive Waste." While it appeared in the June 2 article that DSCSOC had contributed comments, I was never contacted by the Enterprise regarding that article.

If you have any questions regarding my letter, please contact me.


Julie Roth

Executive Director
Davis South Campus Superfund Oversight Committee

Davis South Campus Superfund Oversight Committee
Rt.2 Box 2879
Davis, CA 95616
Ph. 530 753-9446 | Fax 530 753-8220
e-mail: [email protected]
Web Site http://members.aol.com/dscsoc/dscsoc.htm

July 3, 1999

Davis Enterprise
315 G Street
Davis, CA 95616

Re: Letter to the Editor

Dear Editor,

The Davis Enterprise article "UCD to Remove Radioactive Waste" on June 4, 1999 is misleading. Julie McNeal, UCD's Director of Environmental Health and Safety, failed to explain that the waste discussed in the UCD press release that is planned to be removed is not the primary source of the groundwater contamination at the UCD/DOE LEHR Superfund site, and will do nothing to remediate the extensive groundwater pollution plumes from UCD's three LEHR site landfills.

Those familiar with the University of California, Davis campus often mistake the Dept. of Energy's (DOE) "beagle dog" project as the cause of the LEHR Superfund contamination, and the Enterprise article continues to mislead the public by not explaining UCD's responsibility for the groundwater pollution. While the DOE project contributed to the contamination at the site, it is UCD's campus landfills which are viewed as the primary contamination source for the groundwater pollution. This groundwater pollution is a result of UCD's mismanagement of its campus waste. UCD inappropriately dumped waste chloroform in Landfill #2, which created a groundwater plume in the HSU-2 (upper aquifer) which now extends over a mile off-site. The HSU-4, which is the primary drinking water aquifer for Davis, is also polluted with chloroform, but the full extent of that plume remains to be investigated. UCD has a fourth campus landfill located off of Pedrick Road, which also has a chloroform plume that extends over a mile. There are groundwater plumes of tritium, nitrate and hexavalent chromium from the three LEHR site landfills which apparently, as far as is known know, have not moved off site.

The Enterprise article explained that UCD started a program to extract and treat the chloroform contamination in HSU-2 but failed to explain that this program, Interim Remedial Action (IRA), is proving to be ineffective in removing chloroform at the initially expected rate. The oversight regulatory agencies (RPMs) have ordered UCD to install another capture well in an effort to improve the effectiveness of UCD's IRA.

Ms. McNeal called this action "voluntary," but this waste was going to be removed one way or another. The RPMs had made it clear to UCD that the university needed to immediately begin clean-up of the waste burial holes. It has taken UCD ten years from when the problems were first well known to begin to address the removal of this waste. If UCD truly wanted to call this action "voluntary" then it should have removed the waste ten years ago. Unfortunately, in spite of Ms. McNeal's efforts to mislead the public, the UCD L. Vanderhoef administration remains a recalcitrant polluter, doing the least possible to get by.

For a full discussion of the LEHR site issues, please visit the Davis South Campus Superfund Oversight Committee's web site http://members.aol.com/dscsoc/dscsoc.htm.

Julie Roth
Executive Director
Davis South Campus Superfund Oversight Committee
Citizens Oversight Group for the LEHR Superfund site.

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