441 acres of Hercules California is contaminated with Explosives 41 acres of that area were contaminated with TNT and DNT, the rest with Dynamite and Black Powder. The site blew up in 1929 but was rebuilt and continued operations to 1960. The plant was the largest manufacturer of high explosives for World War I used by the Allies in the war. It was the largest source in the world at the time and it was used in World War II.
Munitions plants built bunkers underground to store their production and if there was an explosion the direction of the force would be up instead of spreading across the ground as it did in the Berkeley Explosion which wiped out the glass of San Francisco 8 miles away. But when the EPA came along and cleaned up the site, they only excavated 24 inches down and deemed the site safe enough to build housing on the site which is what we have today. What if this site had the bunkers? Has anyone checked to see if the contamination goes further into the soil?
The history of the site included industrial usage of the various parcels including Elementis Pigments at 4650 Shellmound Street, McKinley Property at 5500 Shellmound Street, and the Sepulveda Property at 5600 Shellmound Street (Shellmound Properties). Since 1929, Elementis Pigments produced iron oxide for paint pigments and other uses. Sherwin Williams owned the McKinley and Sepulveda properties until 1965 and 1955, respectively. Sherwin Williams operated a lime and sulfur plant and an insecticide and spray plant. Other usages included a sign shop, a photo shop, a machine shop, and commercial offices at the McKinley Property. A truck and trailer storage yard and equipment rentals used the Sepulveda property. The southern portion of the site includes the former Myers Drum site which historically was used for drum cleaning and recycling. Continue reading “Emeryville CA – SOUTH BAYFRONT PROJECT (01890019)”→
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