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Pacific Southwest, Region 9: Superfund

Serving Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, the Pacific Islands, and Tribal Nations

Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (building 915)

EPA #: CAT080034234

State: California(CA)

County: Santa Clara

City: Sunnyvale

Congressional District: 14

Other Names: AMD 915 Deguine

Bulletin Board

EPA Region 9 is currently evaluating the potential for vapor intrusion in buildings overlying the shallow groundwater contamination plume. On December 3, 2013 EPA sent a letter to the State of California's Regional Water Quality Control Board providing guidelines for vapor intrusion sampling and evaluation at this and 11 other South Bay State-lead sites.

Description and History

NPL Listing History

NPL Status: Final

Proposed Date: 06/24/88

Final Date: 08/30/90

Deleted Date:

Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. manufactures semiconductor and microprocessor devices on this 5 1/2-acre site. Building 915 was built on former agricultural land in 1973. At that time, three underground acid neutralization tanks were installed north of the building. The building's operations also involved underground storage tanks of waste organic solvents. In 1981, the company identified volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in wells near the building. VOCs are compounds used in many applications, such as dry cleaning, paint stripping, metal plating, and machinery degreasing. High levels of VOCs present in the on-site soils resulted from leaking tanks and spills during solvent handling. This site was added to the National Priorities List (NPL) in 1990. Two other NPL sites have contributed to the contaminated groundwater plume: Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. and TRW Microwave, Inc. A third facility, Phillips / Signetics, Inc., has been removed from the NPL, but the potentially responsible parties are required to participate in the cleanup process under Regional Water Quality Control Board Orders. The closest homes are located 400 feet north of the site. There was contamination from the site that had the potential to reach the deep groundwater that supplies municipal wells within three miles of the site. These wells provide drinking water to approximately 200,000 people in Santa Clara, Sunnyvale, and Mountain View.

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Contaminants and Risks

Contaminated Media
  • Groundwater
  • Soil and Sludges

Groundwater contains various VOCs. However, the soil contaminated with organic solvents has been removed, and controls are in place to ensure that no one is drinking the contaminated groundwater or coming into contact with it.

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Who is Involved

This site is being addressed through Federal, State, and potentially responsible parties' actions

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Investigation and Cleanup Activities

Initial Actions

Immediate Actions: In 1982, Advanced Micro Devices removed approximately 5,600 cubic yards of contaminated soil and a three-tank underground acid neutralization system with a combined capacity of 4,700 gallons. The soil was transported to a federally approved hazardous waste facility. One of the tanks was found to have a hole in its side. Five additional underground storage tanks were removed between 1982 and 1983. Between 1982 and 1983, five groundwater extraction wells and pumps were installed to stop the migration of contaminants off site. Seven more wells were installed between 1983 and 1985 to provide an additional hydraulic barrier to trap the contaminant plume migrating off site. Water from these wells is being treated by an air stripper and carbon adsorption to remove VOCs. In addition, groundwater extracted from 18 other off-site wells, installed as part of the cleanup activities for the other NPL sites in the area, is being treated by the air stripping tower and carbon adsorption at this site. All construction is completed. Groundwater treatment will continue until established goals for the site are met.

Cleanup Ongoing

Entire Site: In 1991, Advanced Micro Devices completed an investigation, under State supervision, to determine the type and extent of contamination at the site. The EPA chose to continue operation of the existing groundwater extraction and treatment system, which treats the water by air stripping and carbon adsorption, until established cleanup levels are met.

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Cleanup Results to Date

The removal of contaminated soils and tanks and the continued treatment of contaminated groundwater have reduced the potential for exposure to hazardous materials at the Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (Building 915) site.

The Third Five Year Review was completed in September 2009 and concluded that:
In the short-term, the institutional controls are preventing exposure to, and the ingestion of, contaminated groundwater. However, for the remedy to be protective in the long term, the feasibility of alternative remedies or improvements to the existing system should be evaluated in order to ensure effective clean-up. Also, a new environmental restriction covenant consistent with current California law should be recorded to ensure long-term protectiveness.

The addendum to the 2009 Five Year Review concluded the remedy is protective as demonstrated by indoor air sampling results from the August 2011 sampling event. The addendum notes that another sampling event should be conducted prior to the next five year review which is due by September 2014.

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Potentially Responsible Parties

Potentially responsible parties (PRPs) refers to companies that are potentially responsible for generating, transporting, or disposing of the hazardous waste found at the site.

Online information about the PRPs for the site is not yet available.

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Community Involvement

Public Meetings:

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Public Information Repositories

The public information repositories for the site are at the following locations:

Regional Water Quality Control Board
San Francisco Bay Region
2101 Webster Street, Suite 500
Oakland, CA 94612

The most complete collection of documents is the official EPA site file, maintained at the following location:

Superfund Records Center

Mail Stop SFD-7C

95 Hawthorne Street, Room 403

San Francisco, CA 94105

(415) 820-4700

Enter main lobby of 75 Hawthorne street, go to 4th floor of South Wing Annex.

Additional Links

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EPA Site Manager
Melanie Morash
US EPA Region 9
Mail Code SFD
75 Hawthorne Street
San Francisco, CA 94105
EPA Community Involvement Coordinator
Alejandro Diaz
US EPA Region 9
Mail Code SFD
75 Hawthorne Street
San Francisco, CA 94105
EPA Public Information Center
State Contact
Max Shahbazian
California Regional Water Quality Control Board
1515 Clay Street
Suite 1400
Oakland, CA 94612
PRP Contact
Community Contact
Other Contacts
After Hours (Emergency Response)
(800) 424-8802

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