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PureGro Cleanup Project
Brawley, California

News

News

APRIL 24, 2023

Final Stage of
Cleanup Begins

After several months of additional planning, sampling, and engineering design, the final steps of the cleanup were approved by DTSC in March 2023. Work resumes in April 2023 and will require about nine months to complete the following activities:

  • Excavate soil from four targeted areas, load it into trucks, cover each load, and transport it along a designated route for disposal

  • Bring clean soil and other materials needed to place a multi-layer engineered cover over the entire property that is compatible with commercial or light industrial redevelopment

  • Establish a 50-foot-wide residential buffer zone along the eastern and southern boundary of the property

  • Install landscaping within the southern buffer zone, build a 6-foot wall along the eastern buffer zone, relocate and replace fencing, and install a new gate

  • Replace most of the existing monitoring well network and begin an Operation and Maintenance Plan including periodic data collection and reporting to DTSC


The same safety measures used during soil stockpile removal in 2020 will be in place again for this final stage of cleanup activities. Shown here are before and after photos of stockpile removal in 2020.

Before-After Stockpile.png
AdobeStock_345205041.jpeg

DECEMBER 18, 2020

Stockpile Removal
is Complete

Removal of the soil stockpile at the former PureGro property is complete. From September to December 2020, about 25,000 tons of soil were safely hauled away in more than 1,000 truckloads. Before leaving the property, each truck was loaded, covered, inspected, and passed through a wheel wash on the way out to the designated truck route. Meanwhile, dust was controlled and monitored each day during soil removal activities.

Removal of the stockpile was a key request of the community as part of the Remedial Action Plan approved by DTSC in June 2020, and we are pleased that this part of the work is now done. The next step is to complete the rest of the Remedial Action Plan after additional planning and engineering design are complete. The entire project team extends its thanks to the City of Brawley and the local neighborhood for your support during this important project.

Project History

History

Located at 1025 River Drive in northeast Brawley, California, the 11-acre former PureGro Company property was used to formulate, store, and distribute agricultural products from the 1940s to 2000. Over the next several years, hundreds of soil, groundwater, and air samples were collected and analyzed to confirm the site is safe for nearby residents and to understand how best to clean up the property. In June 2020, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) approved the Remedial Action Plan (RAP).

2023-2024

DTSC held a community open house in March 2023 to discuss the final stage of the cleanup set to begin in April 2023. Work will include removal of additional soil, installation of an engineered cover and residential buffer zones, and new fencing and landscaping.

2021-2022

Engineering design activities continue for implementation of the remaining portions of the RAP. Activities include a property boundary survey, soil sampling to define the location and amount of soil to be excavated, and completion of the remedial design.

2020

Based on community input and regulatory criteria, DTSC approved the RAP on June 1, 2020. The approved cleanup plan includes removal and offsite disposal of the soil stockpile, excavation and removal of additional soils in targeted areas, and creation of 50-foot residential buffer zones on the eastern and southern sides of the property. DTSC also requires measures to protect public safety and the environment during cleanup activities, including dust control and use of a designated truck route.

2019

DTSC and the City of Brawley gathered additional community input to help shape a revised cleanup plan. In November 2019, the revised draft RAP was issued with five cleanup options, including several features requested by the community. DTSC hosted a public meeting on December 5, 2019 and a public comment period from November 13 to December 17, 2019 to receive comments on the revised draft RAP.

2018

In January 2018, DTSC issued the draft RAP. Based on community input during the public comment period and public meeting, DTSC withdrew the draft RAP in February 2018 and began work on a revised draft RAP.

2017

DTSC approved the engineering Feasibility Study that evaluated several ways to remediate the property. Those options are called “remedial alternatives” and were further evaluated and compared in the RAP.

2014

Environmental testing of soil, groundwater, and air are detailed in the final Remedial Investigation report approved by DTSC in August 2014.

2010

DTSC approved the Baseline Human Health Risk Assessment and Ecological Scoping Assessment report. Results of that study showed the PureGro property does not pose a significant or uncontrolled health risk to residents living nearby.

2006

About 15,000 cubic yards of surface soil was removed from the vacant lot immediately east of the property and temporarily stockpiled within a second fenced enclosure on the PureGro property. Since then, the stockpiled soil has been continuously covered to prevent dust. The dust control material and fencing are inspected and maintained each year until the stockpile was removed in 2020.

FAQs
  • What is a Remedial Action Plan or RAP?
    A Remedial Action Plan or RAP is the document that explains several environmental cleanup options called remedial alternatives. The RAP describes each option, evaluates how well each one will protect public health and the environment, and then compares the options to propose which one will be most effective. In approving one best overall remedial alternative, DTSC considers and must balance nine criteria that are required by law. Those criteria include overall effectiveness, the practical feasibility of implementing the cleanup, community acceptance, and compliance with other rules and requirements.
  • What is the approved RAP for the former PureGro property?
    Based on community input and regulatory requirements, DTSC approved the RAP on June 1, 2020. The plan includes: Removal and offsite disposal of the soil stockpile Excavation and removal of additional soils in targeted areas Creation of residential buffer zones on the eastern and southern sides of the property Placement of an engineered cover over the entire property Install new landscaping along River Drive Maintenance and monitoring, including groundwater monitoring
  • Was community input considered in approving the RAP?
    Yes. The Brawley community played an important and necessary role in the environmental decision-making process. For example, input from the community, City officials, and others helped shape the five options in the RAP to include several specific features requested by the community. Those features include removal and offsite disposal of the soil stockpile, excavation and removal of additional soils, creation of residential buffer zones, and landscaping along River Drive. Before approval, DTSC also considered all comments on the RAP gathered during the public comment period of November 13 to December 17, 2019. Input was also received during a neighborhood public meeting in Brawley on December 5, 2019. Community engagement has continued during implementation of the RAP from 2020 through 2023.
  • How will the cleanup be done safely?
    Removal of the soil stockpile was the first step in the cleanup, and was completed in December 2020. Remaining steps in the cleanup begin in April 2023. Public and worker safety are top priorities during all work activities. For example, dust is monitored and controlled, and all trucks must stay on a designated route. Before and during work activities, DTSC sends a Work Notice and Community Update fact sheets to nearby homes and businesses to keep the community informed. DTSC also hosted a community open house in March 2023 to further explain all safety measures that are used during the cleanup. Specific safety measures include: Dust Control: To limit dust, construction vehicles will maintain slow speeds, and water or other dust suppressants will be used as needed to dampen soil. During times of excessive wind, work will be stopped until the wind speed has decreased. Dust monitoring will be conducted, plus DTSC and the Imperial County Air Pollution Control District will provide oversight. Noise Control: During heavy equipment use and on days when trucks are transporting material to and from the property, neighbors may experience some increased noise. Noise reducing equipment is used and other steps are taken to limit noise levels as much as possible. Traffic Control: Trucks and other project vehicles will use a designated route to come and go from the property. To avoid residential areas as much as possible, the route includes portions of North Cesar Chavez Street, B Street, and North 8th Street. Other rules in the Transportation Plan include restrictions on truck idling and parking on nearby streets. Overall Safety: The Health & Safety Plan (HASP) is designed to protect workers and the community during the project. It includes procedures for doing the work safely, including monitoring, security, communications, and other requirements.
  • Who do I call if I have a question or concern?
    Several options are available if you have a question or concern about the project. Call the Community Information Line at: 877-326-7750 Bi-lingual operators are available 24/7 and will forward your message to project leaders. You may also contact DTSC: Daniel Cordero Jr., DTSC Project Manager daniel.cordero@dtsc.ca.gov Maya Akula, DTSC Public Participation Supervisor maya.akula@dtsc.ca.gov Project information is available on the EnviroStor online document library or the DTSC project-specific website.

Frequently Asked Questions

Resources

Resources

For questions or concerns about the project, call the Community Information Line at

Bi-lingual operators are available 24/7 and will contact project leaders.

877-326-7750

For information from DTSC, please contact

Daniel Cordero Jr., DTSC Project Manager
daniel.cordero@dtsc.ca.gov

Maya Akula, Public Participation Supervisor
maya.akula@dtsc.ca.gov

Project reports are available at DTSC document repositories

Project information is available on the EnviroStor online document library or the 
DTSC project-specific website. Or visit one of the document repositories:

Brawley Public Library
400 Main Street # 1
Brawley, CA 92227
(760) 344-1891
Wednesday - Friday: 10AM to 6PM

DTSC Regional Records Office
5796 Corporate Avenue
Cypress, CA 90630
(714) 484-5336
8:00 am – 5:00 pm Monday-Friday
Call for an appointment

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