Alameda Journal: Alameda Point 2012 cleanup review, and busy year ahead, December 20, 2012


Cleanup activity at Alameda Point in 2012 began where it left off in 2011 -- at the Seaplane Lagoon. The northwest corner of the lagoon was the site of the second and final phase of lagoon dredging, which targeted sediment that had been contaminated near storm drain outfalls. With dredging completed by spring, the sight of America's Cup racing yachts arriving at their temporary dock in the lagoon seemed to be a harbinger of the approaching end of the Superfund era at Alameda Point.

Just outside the Seaplane Lagoon, another dredging operation was begun and finished at one of the maritime ship piers where the Cape Orlando had been docked. By November, the massive ship was back at dockside, hull lights glowing at night.

In one of the most complicated and contaminated areas to the east of the Seaplane Lagoon, cleanup work began at an area 30 feet below ground where a cleaning solvent used on aircraft parts had seeped into the groundwater. After driving a series of metal bars down to the contaminated area, the soil, groundwater and solvent were heated to just below simmering by means of electricity. This turned the water and solvent into vapor, which was then vacuumed out into a filtering system through a series of pipes.