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Pacific Southwest, Region 9: Superfund

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

Monolithic Memories

EPA #: CAD049236201

State: California(CA)

County: Santa Clara

City: Sunnyvale

Congressional District: 14

Other Names: Advanced Micro Devices AMD-Arques

Bulletin Board

EPA is currently evaluating the potential for vapor intrusion in buildings overlying the shallow groundwater contamination area. 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 10 other South Bay State-lead sites.

Description and History

NPL Listing History

NPL Status: Final

Proposed Date: 10/15/84

Final Date: 07/22/87

Deleted Date:

Monolithic Memories manufactured integrated circuits on this 20-acre site. The facility consists of four buildings that were used for production, assembly, storage, offices, and laboratories. In 1982, monitoring wells on the site were found to be contaminated with volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Contamination probably resulted from leaking pipes in solvent waste drains. The company has removed two subsurface waste solvent tanks and two subsurface acid neutralization systems. In 1986, under the direction of the State, the company began pumping and treating the groundwater to contain the contaminant plume. The property was purchased by Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) in 1987, and the company has assumed the ongoing activities. The contaminant plume has merged with the National Semiconductor plume (located immediately upgradient of Monolithic). This is one of 28 sites in the South Bay Area of San Francisco. Facilities at these sites have used a variety of toxic chemicals, primarily chlorinated organic solvents, which have contaminated a common groundwater basin. Although the sites are listed separately on the NPL, the EPA intends to combine cleanup activities at some of the sites as part of an area-wide approach to cleaning up the contamination. Approximately 300,000 people live within 3 miles of the site and depend on groundwater as their source of drinking water. A medical clinic is adjacent to the site.

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Contaminants and Risks

Contaminated Media
  • Groundwater
  • Soil and Sludges

The groundwater and soil are contaminated with various VOCs. While there is no current pathway through which people can come into contact with contaminants, people who ingest or come into direct contact with contaminated groundwater or soil may be at risk.

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Who is Involved

This site is being addressed through Federal, State, and potentially responsible parties' actions. However, the State is the lead agency for this site, and therefore is the primary contact.

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Investigation and Cleanup Activities

Initial Actions

Immediate Actions: Under State oversight, Monolithic Memories has been extracting and treating groundwater since 1986.

Cleanup Ongoing

Entire site: Monolithic Memories completed an investigation determining the type and extent of contamination at the site. Based on the results of the investigation, the EPA selected remedies for the final cleanup of the site which include continuing to extract and treat the contaminated groundwater and treating contaminated soil through vapor extraction. Cleanup activities are underway.

The site is being cleaned up under orders from the California Regional Water Quality Control Board.

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Cleanup Results to Date

Construction for all cleanup remedies is complete. The groundwater extraction and treatment system continues to reduce the potential for exposure to contaminated groundwater at the Monolithic Memories site while cleanup of soil contamination continues.

The Third Five Year Review was completed in September 2009 and concluded that:
Although the historical groundwater plume was reduced and contained, current information indicates that the selected remedy may not be able to restore the groundwater to its beneficial use as a potential drinking water supply. The recent PCE spill has increased concentrations on property and has not been fully assessed. Currently, the institutional controls are preventing exposure to, and the ingestion of, contaminated groundwater. The feasibility of alternative remedies or improvements to the existing system need to be evaluated to insure the long term remedial objectives are achieved.

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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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Documents and Reports

Show details for Fact SheetsFact Sheets
Show details for MapsMaps
Show details for Records of DecisionRecords of Decision
Show details for Technical DocumentsTechnical Documents

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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:

Santa Clara City Library, Central Library, 2635 Homestead Road,
Santa Clara, CA 95051

California Regional Water Quality Control Board,
1515 Clay Street
Suite 1400
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
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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