Compressor Stations

Hinkley Compressor Station

PG&E's Hinkley natural gas compressor station near Barstow, California

PG&E is working under the direction of the Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board (Water Board) to clean up chromium-6 in groundwater resulting from historical operations at the Hinkley Compressor Station in San Bernardino County, five miles west of Barstow, California. We are committed to protecting public health and safety, while cleaning up the environment, restoring water quality and working closely with the community.

Investigation and cleanup efforts at Hinkley continue to make progress. PG&E has taken action to stop migration of affected groundwater and is operating a number of treatment systems to clean up the groundwater. Our robust network of more than 500 monitoring wells tracks the effectiveness of cleanup.

Listen to PG&E senior vice president Des Bell talk about what PG&E has been doing and our commitment to Hinkley in these video excerpts from his interview with ABC's Nightline program.



Community Advisory Committee (CAC)

The Community Advisory Committee for the Hinkley Groundwater Remediation Program was formed in June 2011 and is made up of local residents and community leaders. The purpose of this committee is for Hinkley residents and community leaders to advise, share concerns with and provide direct input to PG&E on its environmental and community programs.

PG&E recognizes it is in the best interest of all the stakeholders for the community to have resources to fully understand the complex technical issues involved in the groundwater cleanup efforts in Hinkley. For this reason, we have provided funding for the community to hire an independent technical expert to assist in their review and understanding of the ongoing remediation work. The community interviewed and hired an Independent Review Panel Manager in early 2012 who continues to assist them in 2013. CAC meetings are held the fourth Thursday of every month from 6:00 to 8:00 pm. Meeting agendas are available at Independent Review Panel Manager’s office located at 22562 Aquarius Rd., Hinkley, CA or online at http://www.hinkleygroundwater.com/index.php/community-meetings/agendas/.

CAC meetings are open to the public and are held in the Dennis Hirsch Multipurpose Room at the Hinkley Elementary School, located at 37600 Hinkley Road.

Planning for Final Cleanup Underway

On September 1, 2010, PG&E submitted a Feasibility Study to the Lahontan Regional Water Board for additional final remedial measures to complete the cleanup. Two addendums to the study were submitted in first quarter 2011 and were reviewed by the Water Board.

In accordance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA), the Lahontan Regional Water Board prepared an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) to assess any potential impacts related to the proposed cleanup. The draft EIR was released for public review and comment last year-and the Final EIR was released in May of 2013. It can be viewed at the Water Board’s website at http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/lahontan/water_issues/projects/pge/feir.shtml.

The approval of the Final EIR in July 2013 represents an important step in moving towards a final remedial approach for the Hinkley Groundwater Remediation Program. This approval allows PG&E to build upon the success of the existing treatment systems in place over the last several years and apply for other necessary permits to expand these systems which contribute to restoring land and water quality in Hinkley for a successful final remedy.

Whole House Replacement Water Program

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) has been listening to the concerns of Hinkley residents regarding their domestic well water. While the State of California is in the process of determining a safe drinking water standard specifically for chromium 6, PG&E understands that the community continues to have questions about whether their well water supplies are safe. In response to these concerns and as part of PG&E’s commitment to the community, PG&E launched a voluntary program in April 2012 to provide whole house replacement water to eligible residents.

California Department of Public Health Issues Draft MCL for Chromium 6

The release of a draft drinking water standard, also known as a Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL), for Chromium 6 (10 ppb) by the California Department of Health (CDPH) in August this year represents an important milestone for the Hinkley project. Although the proposed drinking water standard will not have an immediate impact on PG&E’s programs in Hinkley, we believe the issuance of this draft standard is an important step toward restoring the confidence of the Hinkley community in their household water supply.

The draft standard provides a critical piece of information for the Lahontan Water Board to use as it looks at future requirements for PG&E’s Whole House Replacement Water programs. PG&E is committed to applying the best science and knowledge to our programs in Hinkley and looks forward to our continuing dialog with the Water Board and community about our cleanup and water replacement programs. For further information on the release of the proposed MCL, visit the Department of Public Health’s website: www.cdph.ca.gov/certlic/drinkingwater/Pages/Chromium6.aspx.

PG&E distributes a progress report to the community each month highlighting elements of our environmental and community programs. Copies of those newsletters can be found under Additional Resources below.

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