Pacific Southwest, Region 9: Superfund
Serving Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, the Pacific Islands, and Tribal Nations
Verdese Carter Park
EPA #: CAD980496913
Congressional District: 09
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Description and History
NPL Listing History
NPL Status: Not on the NPL
The Verdese Carter Park site is located at 96th Avenue and Sunnyside Street in the Elmhurst District of Oakland, Alameda County, California. The southern half of the 3-acre site was occupied by a lead battery manufacturing facility from approximately 1912 to 1975. The northern half was occupied by a commercial greenhouse. The City of Oakland acquired the 3-acre property in 1976, demolished the battery factory, and developed the Park in 1978. During the development of the Park, the City of Oakland conducted two removal actions in 1976 and 1978, and removed 5,700 cubic yards of lead contaminated soil.
In September 1994, a community activist organization, the African American Development Association, petitioned EPA to re-evaluate the Verdese Carter Park project because of the community's concern that the Park had caused widespread health, learning, and behavioral problems in the neighborhood near Verdese Carter Park. Subsequent soil sampling results indicated that elevated levels of lead were still present in the Park. The yards of residential properties within a seven-block area surrounding the Park site were also found to have elevated levels of lead (greater than background concentrations).
The Verdese Carter Park site has never been proposed for listing on the National Priorities List. It is not a Superfund site.
Who is Involved
All the removal activities at the residential properties at the Verdese Carter Park site were conducted as a voluntary removal action by AlliedSignal with EPA oversight.
In 1993, the Alameda County Lead Poisoning Prevention Program (ACLPPP) conducted a blood lead level testing program at Cox Elementary School. Six hundred thirty-two children were tested and nine individuals were found to have elevated levels of lead in their blood.
The Alameda County Department of Health Services Environmental Division was designated as the project lead for the remediation work at the Park site, and DTSC was the lead agency at Cox Elementary School. In 1993, the Oakland Unified School District voluntarily funded soil testing and soil removals at the school, and asphalt resealing of the playground at the school. In Fall 1994, the City of Oakland voluntarily removed an additional 17,000 cubic yards of lead-containing soils at the Park. EPA and the Alameda County Department of Health Services jointly performed oversight of the cleanup.
Neither the federal, state, nor local agencies had sufficient funds to perform the full scope of investigation and cleanup activities of the elevated lead levels at the nearby residential properties surrounding Verdese Carter Park. As part of a comprehensive strategy developed specifically for the neighborhood around the Park, a "Strategic Plan for Verdese Carter Park" was developed and approved by EPA, Alameda County Public Health Department, ATSDR, City of Oakland, and ACLPPP. The Strategic Plan includes a multi-faceted approach to "reduce lead exposure from soil, dust, and paint in the Verdese Carter Park community." A Community Assistance Panel for the project area was developed as well as an Interagency Working Group to coordinate activities that addressed the cleanup of the Park, environmental investigations and remediation plans of residential properties, public education, and community outreach. The Park was reopened in 1996. Since then, efforts were focused on assessing lead in soils at nearby residential properties.
EPA Investigations and Removal Actions
In 1994 and 1995, EPA conducted three sampling studies in the yards of over 100 residential properties in a seven-block area adjacent to the Park to determine if lead had migrated from the Park site. This seven-block residential area became part of the Verdese Carter Park Project area. In September 1995, based on the findings of the studies and community concerns, EPA prepared an action memorandum authorizing a two-phase time critical removal action. EPA also authorized sampling and cleanup of lead-based paint at the homes where soil removals were done.
Interior Lead Assessments, Education and Outreach
In October 1995, EPA awarded ACLPPP a Brownfields Economic Redevelopment Initiative agreement (a total amount of $245,000) to conduct interior dust and paint sampling and undertake outreach and education, job training, and business development in the community. Where owners applied for assistance, in-home lead hazard assessments and interior/exterior lead paint abatements were conducted under the supervision of ACLPPP.
Voluntary Soil Removals and Restoration
In January 1996, AlliedSignal Inc., the successor to the former battery factory owner/operator, agreed to perform the two phases of soil removals recommended by EPA on a voluntary basis. AlliedSignal conducted soil removals and landscaping restoration at 23 residential properties with average lead concentrations greater than 1,000 parts per million.
After completion of Phases 1 and 2, AlliedSignal agreed to conduct further sampling and evaluate soil lead levels at properties with lower lead levels. In 1998 and 1999, AlliedSignal sampled 48 residential properties as part of Phase 3 of the investigation with EPA oversight. AlliedSignal conducted sampling to further assess and delineate the soil lead hazards in the vicinity of Verdese Carter Park and to further characterize the likely extent of lead contamination due to battery factory emissions. Based on the results of the Phase 3 sampling, AlliedSignal voluntarily agreed to conduct soil removals and landscaping restoration at 13 residential properties with lead concentrations greater than background levels.
All soil removals and final landscaping restoration were completed in December 1999 with EPA oversight. EPA reviewed and approved the Final Phase 3 Site Inspection Reports and Removal Completion Reports in September 2000. EPA sent the final reports to each of the 48 property owners in October 2000.
Cleanup Results to Date
The soil cleanup of lead contamination and landscaping restoration have been completed.
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.
Documents and Reports
Public Information Repositories
The public information repositories for the site are at the following locations:
EPA Site Manager
Mail Code SFD
75 Hawthorne Street
San Francisco, CA 94105
EPA Community Involvement Coordinator
Mail Code SFD
75 Hawthorne Street
San Francisco, CA 94105
EPA Public Information Center
After Hours (Emergency Response)