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Sample Public Comment Letter

(with recommended email addresses)

We call for a new Environmental Impact Report (EIR) to address a number of deficiencies in the staff report including:
  • Lack of protection for the people who work at adjoining properties from the toxic Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) plumes which have been moving offsite towards neighboring properties, and in at least one case, reaching under neighboring buildings and requiring they be monitored for hazardous fumes. This has been ongoing for decades as there is no effective barrier beneath or to the sides of the 10-15 feet deep or more of contaminated soil, and there is no plan to install one. Instead the current plan is to rely solely on bio-remediation, which in past on-site tests, has lowered toxic levels for slightly less than a year before the toxicity levels climb back up; in some cases climbing even higher than they were before the bio-remediation treatment.
  • Lack of protection for workers and neighboring communities -- safety protocols need to cover handling hazardous material during grading and construction, including the prevention of VOCs escaping during earth moving and compaction.
  • Lack of protection from the chemical impacts of sea water intrusion into the contaminated soil at this shoreline site, whether by sea level rise or by liquefaction in a future earthquake. As increasing amounts of salt water inundate the contaminated soils, more and more sulfuric acid is released from the high volumes of sulfuric cinders layered deeply over the entire site, which in turn dissolve more and more of the high volumes of highly toxic arsenic, mercury, and lead, and other contaminants mixed deeply and throughout the soil of this site. Once liquefied these then move with groundwater swelled by ever-growing high tides, and are pushed with increased water pressure due to sea level rise towards the neighboring properties and under their buildings and up through their foundations and floors, as well as leaching back towards the adjacent marsh and San Francisco Bay as the tides ebb.
  • Lack of protection for Stege Marsh and San Francisco Bay from hazardous contaminants moving via groundwater, ie., "toxic plumes"
  • Lack of an archeological survey, and lack of outreach to the Ohlone representatives whose tribe has historical connections to this site, to ensure protection of historic cultural sites.
  • Lack of complete planning and engineering drawings of the buildings and foundations, utility connections within and without the buildings, as well as connections to the underground utility services going offsite, as well as of the mechanical sampling and monitoring hardware required to monitor changes to the 98% of the buried hazardous waste Zeneca is pushing to be left buried at this shoreline site without containment barriers.
  • We invoke the precautionary principle, which holds that if there is a possibility that a policy or plan will have potentially dangerous health or environmental impact—even if there is no scientific consensus—it is better to err on the side of caution. This principle was adopted by the Richmond City Council on May 18, 2011 as a formal resolution. As City Council members your first duty is to seek the highest standard of protection for human health and safety. You must put our health above short-term benefits for the few. Our health is not for sale!