Pacific Southwest, Region 9: Superfund
Serving Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, the Pacific Islands, and Tribal Nations
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (site 300) (USDOE)
EPA #: CA2890090002
County: Alameda/San Joaquin
City: 15 miles east of Livermore
Congressional District: 10
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Description and History
NPL Listing History
NPL Status: Final
Proposed Date: 07/14/89
Final Date: 08/30/90
The 11-square mile Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (Site 300) was developed in the 1950s as a research facility. It is operated by the Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC, for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) primarily as a high-explosives and materials testing site in support of nuclear weapons research. Approximately 350 people who work in the area are provided with drinking water from groundwater in the area. Most are laboratory employees and State of California employees who work in a nearby State vehicular recreation area. Adjacent ranch houses and a State fire station also draw drinking water from the aquifer.
Contaminants and Risks
- Soil and Sludges
Groundwater and soil have been contaminated with solvents and other volatile organic compounds (VOCs), tritium, uranium-238, high explosive compounds (HMX, RDX), nitrate, and perchlorate. The primary health threat is drinking contaminated groundwater. Ecological risks are vital as much of the site is endangered species habitat.
Who is Involved
This site is being addressed as a Federal Facility with DOE as the lead agency. EPA, California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) and Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB) are signatories to the Federal Facility Agreement (FFA).
Investigation and Cleanup Activities
This site is being addressed through a combination of removal actions and remedial actions. The Site has been divided into 9 operable units to administratively track the progress of remediating contamination.
Initial Actions: In the spring of 1991, DOE installed a groundwater extraction and treatment system to curtail the migration of a VOC contamination plume near the southern boundary of the site. In the fall of 1992, another plume of VOC-contaminated groundwater was discovered. A second extraction and treatment system was installed to control this plume. DOE also began capping two landfills to prevent rainwater runoff from causing contaminant migration. In 1995, DOE signed an interim groundwater Record of Decision (ROD) for the Building 834 OU (OU 2). In November 1995, DOE/LLNL and the regulatory agencies agreed to streamline the cleanup process by implementing removal actions where appropriate. In 1997, DOE signed a final ROD for the General Services Area OU (OU1). In 1998, groundwater pumping at the site boundary of the High Explosives Process Area OU (OU 4) was decided upon in an Action Memorandum. In 2001, an Interim ROD was signed for most of the remaining contaminated areas. In 2008, a Final ROD was signed for groundwater in OUs 2-8.
Entire Site: Site investigations have been conducted under the facility's Environmental Restoration Program. The Site Wide Remedial Investigation Report was finalized in April 1994. The Site Wide Feasibility Study was finalized in November 1999. In March 2001, an Interim ROD was signed for the following areas of contamination: Building 834 OU, Pit 6 Landfill, HE Process Area, Building 850 OU (excluding Pit 7 complex), Building 854 OU, Building 832 Canyon, Building 801 Dry Well and Pit 8 Landfill, Building 833, Building 845 Firing Table and Pit 9 Landfill, and Building 851 Firing Table. In 2006, DOE finalized a Remedial Investigation (RI) and Feasibility Study (FS) for the Pit 7 complex, a subarea of OU 5. In 2008, a Final ROD was signed for groundwater in OUs 2-8. DOE conducted a non-time-critical removal action for PCB contaminated soil in OU5. The RA construction completion for all of OU5 was documented in 2011.
RI/FS reports are being prepared for each of the following sites: the Building 812 OU (OU9); Building 865 (OU8); and another for Building 850 Perchlorate (OU5). They were scheduled to be completed by 2015, however DOE has slipped the schedule due to the need to collect more data at each site; The Record of Decision Amendment is scheduled to be completed by 2017, but the final time-frame to a decision may take longer. Additional investigations have been initiated at Building 851 to address depleted uranium recently discovered at the firing table.
The Site-Wide FS, ROD, and Five Year Reviews are located on-line at http://www-erd.llnl.gov/library/
Records of Decision, other documents, and additional information can be found at http://www.envirostor.dtsc.ca.gov/public/hwmp_profile_report.asp?global_id=CA2890090002
A Federal Facilities Agreement was signed between EPA, DOE, and the State agencies in June 1992. It outlines DOE's responsibilities and milestones for addressing site contamination.
Cleanup Results to Date
Groundwater is being pumped and treated at several locations (GSA, Building 834, HE Process Area, Building 832 Canyon). Soil Vapor Extraction to treat VOCs in the vadose zone is being conducted at GSA and Building 834 and Building 832 Canyon. Treatability studies have been conducted for perchlorate and VOCs; perchlorate is treated by ion exchange and/or bioreactors. The VOCs test involves injecting ethyl lactate into the aquifer to encourage microbial breakdown of the VOCs. If these studies prove successful, DOE will work with EPA and the State to document and modify the Record of Decision accordingly, including public involvement steps.
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.
DOE is responsible for contamination at this site. They are the lead Agency. Their work is overseen by EPA, as well as the State of California.
Documents and Reports
Public Information Repositories
The public information repositories for the site are at the following locations:
Livermore Public Library,
1000 South Livermore Avenue,
Livermore, CA 94550
Administrative Records and Records of Decision can be found here: http://www-erd.llnl.gov/library/
Records of Decision, other documents, and additional information can be found here: http://www.envirostor.dtsc.ca.gov/public/hwmp_profile_report.asp?global_id=CA2890090002
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)