I have lived in Tracy for many years, and because of the work of a non-profit group, Tri-Valley CAREs, I learned about Site 300, Livermore Lab’s high explosives testing range located on Corral Hollow Road near the new Tracy Hills housing development.

Some of us had heard the booms and felt our houses rattle over the years but knew little about the Site 300 activities that caused this.

We now know that for decades Livermore Lab tested its designs for nuclear weapons in open air blasts at Site 300 filled with toxic materials such as beryllium, dioxin, and hydrogen cyanide. During some years, radioactive tritium and uranium were also in the detonations.

The soil and groundwater aquifers at Site 300 are heavily contaminated with toxic and radioactive materials from the airborne blasts – and from the unlined dumps where debris was buried.

Because of this contamination, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency designated Site 300 as a Superfund site, one of the most toxic in the country. Yet cleanup has been slow and is estimated to take 80 years or more!

Cleanup should be a priority. Instead, of the $2 billion dollars requested for Livermore Lab operations in the coming year, more than 80% is for Nuclear Weapons Activities.

For clean up? A tiny sliver of that money. Worse, Tri-Valley CAREs has learned that the budget for cleanup will be cut by 10% for the coming year.

Tri-Valley CAREs requested a meeting on June 15 with the Lab, federal EPA, and state agencies to discuss the cleanup. The group also wants to ensure that the public has a say in cleanup plans.

To learn about the results of the meeting with the Lab and regulators, please join the group’s virtual monthly meeting June 15 at 7:30 p.m. For details, go to www.trivalleycares.org.

Gail Rieger,


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