Contaminants fenced off in Truckee park
Fences have gone up around hazardous waste found at Truckee River Regional Park while planning begins for a clean-up.
Left over from the park’s days as the town dump from the mid-1940s through the early 1960s, hazardous levels of lead, cadmium, copper and zinc were found in park soil during a California Integrated Waste Management Board investigation in August 2006.
A roughly 1,000-square-foot area east of the tennis courts and near the disc-golf course has been fenced off and signs have been posted to keep the public away from the soil contamination.
“There will be a clean-up. To what level and what degree is what they are working on at the state and county level right now,” said General Manager Steve Randall of the Truckee-Donner Recreation and Park District. “We are in the process of putting fencing in from the tennis court to the road, to the river barbecue, to the amphitheater.”
He said the disc-golf course hole number 7 was within the affected area, but it has been routed around the tainted site, so no impacts on park facility uses are expected while the fencing is up.
“There will be no effects on the park other than the fenced area, and it’s in an area that is not used that much,” Randall said.
Grant Eisen of the Nevada County Department of Environmental Health said the main concern with the materials is the risk of exposure by inhaling dust from the site, but otherwise no immediate danger to public health is known.
Impact on the groundwater or runoff has not yet been determined, he said.
“As of now the park manager has voluntarily secured the site,” Eisen said. “As soon as the weather stabilizes, the park will retain a consultant to do remediation.”
The Waste Management Board, Nevada County, Truckee-Donner Recreation and Park District and the Truckee Sanitary District (the land owners) have been working together on the project, said Sanitary District Administrative Manager Rebecca Ruby.
She said that the sanitation district and the park district are waiting for direction from the county and state agencies, and are also waiting to find out if state funding for clean-up will be available.
Eisen said remedial options are still to be explored, but possible approaches include removing the materials or “capping and securing” the contaminated soil.
The Closed, Illegal, and Abandoned Site investigation began Aug. 22, 2006, and the final report was completed in December.
Since then, the involved agencies met in March, said Eisen, to discuss further investigation and decontamination options, and added that he expects the involved agencies to move forward soon.
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