Alameda Point Environmental Report: Runway soil cleanup underway on wildlife refuge, October 31, 2012


Some of the toxic contamination at Alameda Point is not the result of Naval operations.

The Navy began cleaning up contaminated soil at five hot spots in the airplane runway area of Alameda Point in October. Cleanup Site 33 – on the area commonly referred to as the wildlife refuge – encompasses the southern end of the main north-south runway and adjacent tarmac, and is near the Least Tern nesting site and a wetland area.

The soil here became contaminated with PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) before it ever became part of Alameda Point. The fill material used for creating this land mass was dredged from the Oakland Estuary primarily between 1936 and 1941 by means of a pumping system. It was contaminated by a coal gasification plant, which operated in Oakland around 100 years ago that disposed of waste into the waterway. Some of the sediment contamination may also have originated at the Pacific Coast Oil Refinery that once operated on the west end of Alameda.