Cleanup Leads to New Homes
A Riverside County property once contaminated with the pesticide DDT is now a safe residential neighborhood thanks to a cleanup that not only eliminated the hazard but used an approach that speeded the cleanup and reduced greenhouse gases.
Due to its many years of agricultural use, 15 of this former dairy’s 54 acres near the cities of Corona and Chino were contaminated with DDT and its toxic breakdown products. The developer, D.R. Horton, Inc., and DTSC found a cleanup that reduced diesel emissions and truck traffic by using an innovative chemical oxidation process. Eventually about 24,000 tons of contaminated soil were cleaned.
“The cleanup method used at the site is considered greener than the traditional dig-and-haul method,” said Greg Holmes, a unit chief in DTSC’s Cypress Office. Treating the soil in place “avoided the carbon emissions that would have been generated by numerous trucks hauling soil from the site to a distant landfill,” Holmes said. “It also avoided the potential dust exposure caused by excavation, and did not cause a significant increase in truck traffic.”
The oxidizing chemical was mixed with a stabilizer and then fed from a water truck by hose to a road-paving machine which rotated the oxidizer into the contaminated soil. The oxidizer broke down the DDT into harmless compounds.
All of the soil was treated at the site without any excavation or disposal of soil.
DTSC approved the Removal Action Completion Report in January 2010. The developer is expected to complete construction of the 174 homes this year.