LIVERMORE, California – Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) will host a pair of “Superfund Program tours” in March to provide the public a close-up look at LLNL’s ongoing program to clean up historic soil and groundwater contamination.
The first tour will take place at Site 300, LLNL’s experimental testing site in the hills between Livermore and Tracy, on Wednesday, March 8, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The second tour will take place at LLNL’s Livermore site on Wednesday, March 15, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The tours are free and open to U.S. citizens 18 years of age and older, and on-site transportation will be provided. Prior registration is required, and seats will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis. To participate, contact christian6 [at] llnl.gov (Billie Christian) in the LLNL Public Affairs Office no later than Monday, Feb. 6.
Soil and groundwater contamination was discovered at the LLNL Livermore Site and Site 300 in the 1980s. This contamination resulted from early research activities. In the case of the Livermore site, a good portion of the soil and groundwater contamination also has been attributed to solvents and degreasers that were used to clean airplane engines while the site served as a U.S. Naval Air Station in the early 1940s.
The two sites were subsequently placed on the federal Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) list, more commonly known as the Superfund list, which provides a mechanism for cleaning up pollutants and contaminants in the environment. Lawrence Livermore has partnered with EPA, the U.S. Department of Energy, the National Nuclear Security Administration, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control and the Regional Water Quality Control Boards to clean up this legacy waste material. A great deal of progress has been made at both sites, and while environmental impact studies have shown that existing contaminants do not pose a health risk to the surrounding community, LLNL is committed to continue cleanup until all goals have been met.
Documents and reports on the process are publicly available on the LLNL environmental information website. Additionally, LLNL has provided CERCLA/Superfund-related tours to interested parties upon request. In an effort to expand on that community activity, LLNL is now offering these informational tours to the general public on an annual basis.