Understanding the PG&E Shell Pond cleanup project
Restoring the wetland area around Shell Pond
Protecting the health and safety of the public, workers and the environment is our top priority during our Shell Pond cleanup and wetland restoration project. Continue reading to learn about the safety measures we are taking during this effort.
Tracking our cleanup progress
We conduct all Shell Pond cleanup work under the guidance of the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC). EnviroStor, the DTSC online repository, provides information related to the cleanup. Access the resources in the repository. Visit CA.GOV EnviroStor.
Among other documentation, EnviroStor includes the following information about the Shell Pond cleanup project:
- Summary. A brief history of the project
- Community involvement. Updates, fact sheets and project-related documents
- Activities. A list of technical documents, including air-monitoring reports
Taking health and safety precautions
Learn about the health and safety measures we take on the Shell Pond project.
Controlling dust activity
Preventing and controlling dust during the cleanup is a high priority. We have a number of safety measures in place to reduce any dust generation from cleanup activities.
We help prevent dust during cleanup activities by:
- Applying water during excavation activities
- Applying soil stabilizer, a binding agent that reduces dust
- Installing a windscreen and water misters, if needed, along the fence line
- Covering stockpiles of soil and fill
We help prevent vehicles from generating dust by:
- Limiting vehicle speed to 15 miles per hour
- Washing vehicle tires and undercarriages prior to leaving the property
- Inspecting trucks exiting the washing station
- Covering loads of soil and fill in trucks
We check site conditions by:
- Monitoring dust in real time with equipment located along the fence line
- Analyzing dust-monitoring results using certified laboratories
- Using personal dust monitors to limit site worker exposure
We often put additional measures in place when needed. For example, site conditions like high winds or lab analysis of air-monitoring results might show a need for increased dust suppression. These extra methods include:
- Increasing the frequency of spraying water, or water volume and soil stabilizer
- Increasing the amount of soil stabilizer and changing the method of application
- Decreasing the drop height of buckets and loaders during excavation
- Increasing the rate and volume of misting
- Increasing the frequency of street sweeping at exits or changing the method (water or vacuum)
- Increasing traffic control measures, such as changing the speed limits
- Stopping work that involves soil excavation and handling, when appropriate
We continually analyze our dust control measures over the course of the cleanup. We adapt them, as needed, to help ensure the safety of our workers and the community.
Keeping our workers safe
Safety is important to all of us. All site workers must have safety training. Site supervisors must help ensure that the workers comply with all safety and training requirements. Depending on their job, workers wear personal protective equipment, including:
- Steel-toed boots
- Hard hats
Wearing protective gear and other site worker safety practices satisfy all applicable requirements of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and other regulatory agencies. Daily air monitoring of work areas helps to ensure that dust controls work properly and help protect workers.
Managing trucking and traffic safety
Managing traffic associated with the project is another vital task. During excavation, truckers haul material removed from the pond to Keller Canyon Landfill in Pittsburg, California. We’ve implemented an in-depth truck safety program that uses many of the California Highway Patrol procedures for truck safety inspections.
We developed a traffic management plan for the project. The DTSC and the county approved the plan. Our plan helps ensure that the traffic associated with the project is tightly controlled and managed safely. The plan includes the following guidelines:
- A truck boss is responsible for managing the flow of all truck traffic.
- Trucks use only the approved truck route.
- Trained, certified flaggers are stationed at key intersections along McAvoy Road and Port Chicago Highway.
- Truckers and flaggers are in continual communication with each other and the truck boss through two-way radio.
- Truckers and flaggers have completed project-specific training.
- Truckers must have a valid California commercial driver’s license and Department of Transportation certifications and inspection records for their trucks.
- No more than two trucks from the project are allowed on Port Chicago Highway at any given time.
- Trucks are not allowed to line up or park on the shoulder of Port Chicago Highway.
- Trucks are inspected, covered and cleaned before leaving the property.
- All trucks have signs identifying them as part of the Shell Pond project, with a toll-free number for questions and concerns.
All project traffic exits the property onto McAvoy Road. The traffic then proceeds north on Port Chicago Highway and exits onto Highway 4.
Considering traffic during the school year
Trucking hours are designed to allow children to walk safely to and from school during the school year. We observe the following rules:
- Trucks do not run before 9 a.m.
- Trucks run only from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday.
- Trucks do not run from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesday or on any other early dismissal day.
- Trucks occasionally run on Saturday between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m.
We work with the staff of nearby schools to communicate with students and parents about crossing the street along the truck route.
When the project work restarts, truckers are expected to haul impacted material from the bottom of the pond to an approved location for off-site disposal. For about six months, there are typically 75 daily truck trips to the site and 75 from the site (150 total). We coordinate truck traffic from the project with other construction projects in the area to avoid having too many trucks on Port Chicago Highway at any one time.