PG&E Shell Pond Project FAQ
Get answers to frequently asked questions (FAQ) about the cleanup effort
Our Shell Pond cleanup and wetland restoration project is important for the environment and community. Expand the following sections to learn why the Shell Pond project was necessary and to get details about the cleanup and restoration of the area.
Where is Shell Pond?
Shell Pond is a private, PG&E-owned property that is located along the waterfront next to Suisun and Honker Bays in Bay Point, California.
What is Shell Pond and why does it need to be cleaned up?
Shell Pond is a 73-acre former wastewater area located at the foot of McAvoy Road in Bay Point, California. The site is situated in the center of a 292-acre parcel of land that we purchased from Shell Oil Products Company in 1973. From 1950 to 1973, Shell released wastewater into the pond from its chemical manufacturing activities. We bought the property to expand our operations in the area, but the expansion did not occur. However, we kept the property. Today, we’re responsible for maintaining and cleaning the area. The Shell Pond project helps to restore the natural wetland area, making it a safer place for the community.
Who oversees the cleanup?
The State of California, the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC), Contra Costa County and the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) oversee the cleanup project. The community also provides input.
What is the current state of the cleanup?
A total of 240,000 cubic yards of chemical-containing sediments have been dug up and disposed of at the Keller Canyon Landfill. Recently, we completed the removal and off-site disposal of 8,400 tons of stockpiled waste. Afterward, we graded and planted that area with native grasses to match the surrounding landscape.
We now work with research scientists from the University of California, Berkeley, the DTSC, Contra Costa County and other regulatory agencies to improve the former treatment pond and minimize its impact on the community.
How is Shell Pond being used today?
Now that the cleanup of Shell Pond is complete, the pond continues to revert naturally to a wetland area. The East Bay Regional Parks District now uses a portion of the access road for the Great California Delta Trail.
What is a wetland and how does the cleanup benefit the community?
A wetland is an open space that provides a transition between water and land. Wetlands are also referred to as marshes or swamps. The cleanup of the Shell Pond property restores one of the largest wetlands in the East Bay and offers many important benefits to the community:
- Filters and cleans water runoff from the surrounding area
- Absorbs water and limits flooding of nearby areas
- Supplies water to underground aquifers (water underneath the ground)
- Improves air quality in the community
- Provides a home for animals, plants and fish
- Provides an opportunity for public recreation and education
- Provides an access road to the Great California Delta Trail
What are the future plans for the Shell Pond property?
Now that cleanup is complete, we will retain ownership of the property for several years. Ownership allows us to monitor the wetland restoration and help ensure that it’s working as planned.
How can I get more information about the project?
We are committed to providing project information to the Bay Point community employing several methods: