Reading Room

Community Meeting in Tracy

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Posted by Raiza Marciscano-Bettis

Tri-Valley CAREs hosted a community meeting on March 13th in Tracy to bring attention to and discuss the slow-going Superfund cleanup and the proposed increase in bomb blasting planned for Livermore Lab's nearby Site 300. People from the Tracy community came to join us and learned about and discussed these very important issues. Here is a bit about it...

Presenters included Gail Reiger, Tri-Valley CAREs' Board Member and Tracy resident, Raiza Marciscano-Bettis, Tri-Valley CAREs' Bilingual Community Organizer, and Scott Yundt, Tri-Valley CAREs' Staff Attorney. The discussion began with some background about Site 300, an 11 square mile High Explosives Testing Range operated by Livermore Lab to support its nuclear weapons mission, about which many attendees, who were mostly Tracy residents, had little knowledge.

The discussion focused on Livermore Lab's plan to increase the size and power of explosions at Site 300 ten-fold, from the current 100 pound limit to 1000 pounds of high explosive per blast. This is especially concerning to residents given the recent approvals for the "Tracy Hills" development (where construction of up to 5500 homes has begun) roughly one mile from Site 300. These explosions will contain over 120 toxic contaminants that can hurt our heath and affect the future of our community, especially those living nearby.

The Superfund cleanup was discussed in detail. Site 300 has been on this list since 1990, and the cleanup from past testing activities (and dumping of waste onsite) is slow-going and will take many more decades. Citizen involvement is key to ensuring that contamination is remediated to a level that protects public health and supports environmental quality at this ecologically sensitive location that borders a recreation area and a burgeoning suburban area.

Raiza spoke about her outreach and provided Spanish translation. Community members at the meeting were very receptive and they offered solutions that could be implemented. They agreed that air, water, ground and noise quality will suffer a great impact from the bomb blasts. They worried that toxic contaminants will be released into the air that residents will be breathing, exposing them to lung cancer, asthma, many other diseases and even early death. One visitor was concerned about how much and how far those contaminants will spread: "We have a lot of wind going though here, this will affect us greatly."

Tracy residents were also glad to hear of opportinities in the Superfund law that provide for public involvement. Several Latinx Tracy residents offered to work with Raiza to help spread the word to Spanish speakers in the community.

Tri-Valley CAREs needs you; this needs to be a citizen led effort in Tracy. We can be a motivating force by sending letters to the editor, reaching out to real estate brokers, sending memos, etc. Together, all of us in the community decide how clean is clean. We at Tri-Valley CAREs are open to hearing new strategies, and we ask for help to connect with other organizations in Tracy that may be willing to include some of this information in their activities.

We would like to thank you for coming and supporting clean air, land and water in Tracy.

CLICK HERE to read more.

HAGA CLIC AQUÍ para leer en Españól.

CLICK HERE to sign a petition to Protect California Air from Toxic Pollution.

HAGA CLIC AQUÍ para firmar petición para Proteger el aire de California de la contaminación tóxica.