PureGro Brawley Cleanup Project

FAQ | Frequently Asked Questions

Remedial Action Plan

A Remedial Action Plan or RAP is the document that explains several environmental cleanup options called remedial alternatives. The RAP describes each option, evaluates how well each one will protect public health and the environment, and then compares the options to propose which one will be most effective. In approving one best overall remedial alternative, DTSC considers and must balance nine criteria that are required by law. Those criteria include overall effectiveness, the practical feasibility of implementing the cleanup, community acceptance, and compliance with other rules and requirements. Visit the Resources page to read the RAP and other documents.

Based on community input and regulatory requirements, DTSC approved the RAP on June 1, 2020 so that cleanup can begin. The approved cleanup plan includes:

  • Removal and offsite disposal of the soil stockpile
  • Excavation and removal of additional soils in targeted areas
  • Creation of residential buffer zones on the eastern and southern sides of the property
  • Placement of an engineered cover over the remainder of the property
  • Maintenance and monitoring, including groundwater monitoring
Visit the Resources page to read the summary factsheet and other documents.

Yes. The Brawley community played an important and necessary role in the environmental decision-making process. For example, input from the community, City officials, and others helped shape the five options in the RAP to include several features requested by the community. Those features include removal and offsite disposal of the soil stockpile, excavation and removal of additional soils, creation of residential buffer zones, and landscaping along River Drive. Before approval, DTSC also considered all comments on the RAP gathered during the public comment period of November 13 to December 17, 2019. Input was also received during a neighborhood public meeting in Brawley on December 5, 2019. Visit the Resources page to read DTSC’s Responsiveness Summary, RAP factsheet, and other documents.

Cleanup Activities

Removal of the soil stockpile is the first step in the cleanup, with a goal of completion within 2020. Public safety and worker safety are top priorities during stockpile removal and all work. For example, dust will be controlled, and all trucks must stay on a designated route into and out of the site. DTSC will send a Work Notice to nearby homes and businesses approximately 10 to 14 days before field work begins. That notice will include more details about what to expect. After stockpile removal, the remaining parts of the cleanup plan will be designed and implemented, with a goal of completion in 2021. Visit the Resources page to read the RAP and other documents.

The approved cleanup plan requires that the soil stockpile be removed. About 95% of the stockpile soil is considered non-hazardous. All stockpile soil will be picked up by an excavator, placed into trucks and covered for transport, and disposed of in a permitted landfill. During excavation, water or other materials will be sprayed on the soil to control dust. Meanwhile, the stockpile will remain covered by several layers of dust control material until the soil is removed.

Several environmental controls and health and safety measures are used during the cleanup. For example:

Dust: To limit dust, construction vehicles will maintain slow speeds, and water or other dust suppressants will be used as needed to dampen soil and control dust. During times of excessive wind, work will be stopped until the wind speed has decreased. Dust monitoring will be conducted, plus DTSC and the Imperial Valley Air Pollution Control District will provide oversight.

Noise: During heavy equipment use and on days when trucks are transporting material to and from the property, neighbors may experience some increased noise. Noise reducing equipment will be used and other steps taken to limit and control noise levels as much as possible.

Traffic: Trucks and other project vehicles will use a designated route to come and go from the property. To avoid residential areas as much as possible, the route includes portions of North Cesar Chavez Street, B Street, and North 8th Street. Other rules in the Transportation Plan include restrictions on truck idling and parking on nearby streets.

Overall Safety: The Health & Safety Plan (HASP) is designed to protect workers and the community during the project. It includes procedures for doing the work safely, including monitoring, security, communications, and other requirements

Site Background

No. The former PureGro property is not classified as a federal Superfund site. Superfund sites are typically larger and more complex properties identified and led by the United States Environmental Protection Agency when there is a significant risk to human health and/or the environment. The Human Health Risk Assessment confirms that is not the case for the former PureGro property in Brawley. The California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) is the lead regulatory agency for the project and the site is not a candidate to be classified as a Superfund site.

PureGro was a subsidiary of Union Oil Company of California (Unocal). In 2005, Chevron acquired Unocal and its assets. These assets included previously closed legacy operations, like the PureGro Brawley property that closed in 2001.