Home > Uncategorized > Interim cleanup plan opens door to Marina Center

Interim cleanup plan opens door to Marina Center

Balloon-Track-messThe Supplemental Interim Remedial Action Plan (SIRAP) for the cleanup of the Balloon Track will consummate a marriage of developer Rob Arkley’s big box dreams with the City of Eureka.

City Planner Sidnie Olson told the Community Forum at the Wharfinger Wednesday night that approval of the SIRAP is “Phase One” of the Marina Center development.

But Arkley’s Security National representative Randy Gans told the crowd that the SIRAP is “all separate from the Marina Center project.”

However, Gans told the Times-Standard (twice) last month that the wetlands installation included in the SIRAP is indeed “Phase One” of the development.  The wetlands can be seen in the virtual tour of the Marina Center.

Humboldt Baykeeper has voiced objections to the SIRAP because the site has not been fully characterized for dioxin. Regional Water Board staffer Kasey Ashley confirmed Baykeeper’s position and said that “without a crystal ball” the board is going by their “best guess.”

The City Council will weigh in on the Final Environmental Impact Report for the Marina Center and its Coastal Development Permit on October 20th.

The T-S has more on last night’s forum.

[Image source].

  1. anon
    October 1, 2009 at 1:56 pm

    why is BayKeeper dragging this on indefinitely? To take garbage off the Balloon Track that everyone knows is contributing to dioxins, remove contaminated soils (that contain dioxins) and of course there would be testing of removed soils… I don’t get it!

  2. Reinventing the Wheel
    October 1, 2009 at 2:31 pm

    It took nearly 3 decades before the $40 million Martin Slough Interceptor sewer update project reached “Phase One”.

    Far be it from Eureka to put infrastructure before development.

    Of course they’re in a rush, developer’s still enjoy their funded majority at city hall and there’s nothing like a Great Recession to remind voters across America the full costs of failed 1980’s development models like the Marina Center.

    The political winds are changing… I’ve heard we can now add John Ash to the other recent political converts to the democratic party.

    The Times Standard, once again, missed an opportunity to report in the public-interest by omitting the fact that; only 7 test sites were checked for dioxin out of 100 sites; Baykeeper was responsible for advancing those tests; and that dioxin is one of the most toxic substances known…measured in PPQ, parts per quadrillion.

    Keeping citizens uninformed is now an institutional art-form that makes uncomfortable truths “suspect”, “negative” and “disappeared”. More citizens would be engaged AND vote if they were periodically reminded what’s at stake.

  3. Anonymous
    October 1, 2009 at 3:13 pm

    “why is BayKeeper dragging this on indefinitely? To take garbage off the Balloon Track that everyone knows is contributing to dioxins, remove contaminated soils (that contain dioxins) and of course there would be testing of removed soils… I don’t get it!”

    You don’t get it.

    “of course there would be testing of removed soils”

    Not for dioxins, according to the NCRWQCB.

  4. anon
    October 1, 2009 at 3:21 pm

    that is not what Kacey Ashley said-ask her how much testing of removed soils is planned.

  5. Da Man
    October 1, 2009 at 3:21 pm

    I’m good with letting the process work which it appears to be doing. Slowly, but it’s working. Everyone from interested environmental groups to all species of political interests are participating and that’s a necessary and good thing. It would be wonderful if citizens took the time to educate themselves and be more engaged but that’s how it is today -short attention spans, especially it it’s esoteric material. The permitting processes are far different now than thirty or more years ago , that’s for sure.

  6. anonymous
    October 1, 2009 at 3:24 pm

    uhno I heard John Ash tell the Democratic Central Committe he is a ‘life long’ member of the Democratic Party. Never mind he converted the previous day. John Ash is a political wind alright.

  7. Time to get real
    October 1, 2009 at 4:07 pm

    It seemed clear at last night’s meeting, that it is unclear how far the cleanup will need to go to bring contaminates down to a level that would satisfy the Army Corp, Water Board, and Coastal Commission. The map of contaminates is not complete, from what I could tell. It is a long road from here to there.

  8. October 1, 2009 at 4:37 pm

    And Paykeeper will do its utmost to ensure the road is long.

  9. Mike Buettner
    October 1, 2009 at 4:51 pm

    Let’s play nice Chris. You don’t want to be called Chris Crapford do you?

  10. October 1, 2009 at 4:55 pm

    Mr. Crawford how do you feel about putting a Medical School on the Balloon Track with a small footprint and the balance restored to natural state?

    A state of the art medical school would be a huge high tech economic multiplier for Eureka and the Humboldt region, as well as markedly improving our local health care.

    have a peaceful day,

  11. A-Nony-Mouse
    October 1, 2009 at 5:26 pm

    Monterey has made itself a FORTUNE with convemtions. Their hotels and facilities are constantly booked. !500 people here, another 800 for this one, often overlapping. And here we sit waiting for another failed BigBox on our publicly zoned property. Sure, Arkley owns it, but he knew what it was zoned for when he bought it. If he had actually consulted the public at the beginning (instead of tell us to go piss up a rope), he would have had a economically viable, socially acceptable project well underway by now. When you have to work that hard to sell a product, it is probably flawed, In this case there is no doubt.

  12. A-Nony-Mouse
    October 1, 2009 at 5:27 pm

    OK, I meant ‘conventions’. Rats!

  13. 421
    October 1, 2009 at 6:25 pm

    If he had actually consulted the public at the beginning (instead of tell us to go piss up a rope), he would have had a economically viable, socially acceptable project well underway by now.

    i believe they tried to give the city money to buy it a few years ago.

  14. RedHummer
    October 1, 2009 at 6:45 pm

    I believe the city refused the generous Arkley offer over fear of being saddled with the clean up, which Arkley’s offer did not include, having already gone down that route with the Adorni property gift. Cleverly left out of your informative comment, 421.

  15. anon
    October 1, 2009 at 6:52 pm

    this city didnt want to deal with the cleanup and the hooks that come with that for a millenium after the ‘cleanup’ which is years and years of monitoring also liabilities….

    it also seems the soccer field idea was not popular.

  16. 421
    October 1, 2009 at 7:26 pm

    i wasn’t trying to be clever, just pointing out the property was offered to the public prior to the current plans. one would think that is even better than consulting the public. they didn’t want it.

  17. anon
    October 1, 2009 at 7:33 pm

    agreed 421 :)

  18. Anonymous
    October 1, 2009 at 8:51 pm

    Once again haeraldo spins this as far from the truth as possible. Phase 1 of the marina center project is the clean up and restoration of the so called “pristine wetlands and slough” shown in the picture.

    Phase 2 is the approval of the development of the builidngs. the city could approve phase 1 to simply clean up the site and not approve phase 2.

    How a true environmentalist could turn down the approval of phase 1 is mind boggling.

  19. October 1, 2009 at 9:08 pm

    Phase 1 of the marina center project is the clean up and restoration of the so called “pristine wetlands and slough” shown in the picture.

    Who said it’s pristine? Who are you quoting? If it was pristine it wouldn’t need a cleanup.

    According to news reports the wetlands project is an installation not a restoration.

  20. Time to get real
    October 1, 2009 at 9:14 pm

    The city knew they could never afford to rectify a very flawed piece of land. It struck me that S.N. has a lot of contamination that will be dealt with by many agencies before any building will take place. The site has not been fully mapped for toxic levels yet. There is leakage from the Lumber mill across Washington St. Questions like the effects of dredging out and reconstructing the old slough and the exposure of now buried toxic material has not been fully explained. The Army Corp is dealing with just such problems at the Palco marsh right now. A Clean bay is in all our interest, and in that knowledge, lets make sure the cleanup is done right.

  21. Anonymous
    October 1, 2009 at 9:21 pm

    whats the difference in the end there will be wetlands rather than a ditch full of junk

    install them, restore them, build them, construct them, impliment them, formulate them, I don’t care what you call it but for christ sakes do something with this dump

    your grasping at straws

  22. average Eurekan
    October 1, 2009 at 10:22 pm

    Dioxin on the site must be fully characterized.

    Any substance toxic enough to be measured in parts per quadrillion must be honestly addressed, especially when aquaculture on the bay to which it runs off is such a vital (and growing) part of our local economy.

    It’s that simple.

  23. 421
    October 2, 2009 at 6:29 am

    cap it.

  24. Anonymous
    October 2, 2009 at 6:46 am

    Environmental analyses of BT groundwater and soils have been ongoing for about 20 years. This is public record at (or was at) the County office of Environmental Quality (that office may have a slightly different name). I assume from Baykeeper’s comments that those tests did not look for dioxin. Is this because this was not a mill site or a complex with an incinerator/teepee burner that lead to dioxin formation? It might help for Baykeeper and SN to explain the source of dioxins on a site that is primarily has areas contaminated with fuel and solvents -volatile organic compounds. Dioxins can be formed in burn barrels. Are the dioxins from all of the illegal dumping on the site? The question is – how widespread is the dioxin, such as parts per million and where on the BT does it occur? Secondly, is there a specific rail yard activity that could have caused this contamination, or is it possible that is is not something going back to southern/union pacific ownership. Some actual details here would help diminish the knee jerking.
    Also, any idea how many large dump trucks it would take to remove the top eight feet of soil (down to the old bay muds) over the thirty acre site? This would be the total cleanup. Do we want those several thousand truck loads rumbling through town, and where do they go?

  25. 7:33
    October 2, 2009 at 7:33 am

    Union Pacific can and should be held liable for cleaning up the site to a level acceptable for any and all uses. After that’s done, consider zoning and development. Not before.

  26. U.P. yours
    October 2, 2009 at 8:55 am

    Union Pacific (UP) definitely should be held responsible for the mess. 7:33 is right.

    Common practice over the decades the site was in operation as a rail yard was for tankers and all types of cargo carrying cars to be flushed, cleaned, hosed out and otherwise dumped onto the ground. In addition, oils, hydraulic fluids and fuels either leaked, were spilled or intentionally dumped onto the ground. These are among the sources that likely contributed dioxins to the toxic load in the soil and leaking into the ground water that is polluting the Bay.

    No one ever answers the question of why UP has been let off the hook!

    And if Mr. A and his crew made the questionable decision to assume liability for the cleanup on behalf of UP then the question of their organization being held to the same standard of complete and total cleanup is the main issue.

  27. Da Man
    October 2, 2009 at 9:33 am

    There’s only one acceptable standard to clean the place up no matter whether Union Pacific or Security National actually does the cleanup. And it’s pretty clear that SN isn’t going to get any breaks on that no matter what you read on the blogs. They’ll just have to apply and go before every one of the regulatory agencies and entities and satisfy every one. Even then it’s still an uphill battle with the politics involved. Folks just need to understand that the science involved and the politics involved are two seperate and distinct critters.

  28. Water World
    October 2, 2009 at 9:41 am

    Bologna. The water board serves at the pleasure of the Governor. If you believe they really do protect the Beneficial Uses of Water as defined in the Basin Plan, go look at the Elk River. You can’t swim in it, drink it, fish it or derive any pleasure from the sight of it.

  29. Da Man
    October 2, 2009 at 10:08 am

    I’m cynical about government too but I honestly do believe that the agencies and the permitting process will be transparent. God knows lots of very critical people are watching and will scream bloody murder if any of the agencies pull a fast one.

  30. Anonymous
    October 2, 2009 at 10:15 am


  31. TimH
    October 2, 2009 at 1:29 pm

    “Also, any idea how many large dump trucks it would take to remove the top eight feet of soil (down to the old bay muds) over the thirty acre site? This would be the total cleanup. Do we want those several thousand truck loads rumbling through town, and where do they go?”
    +/- 25,000 truckloads

    they go to red bluff

  32. A-Nony-Mouse
    October 2, 2009 at 3:26 pm

    Think of the JOBS that would create. What a stimulus package! And they’d pay better than retail jobs.

    Tank cars carrying the pentachlorophenol (sp???) that was used to treat logs were very probably flushed on the site onto the ground. It was a common practice before anyone paid any attention. That’s a main source of dioxins. If nobody looks, nobody finds. Wouldn’t it be a mess to find that stuff blowing around in the dust from the site, either during construction or after? Parts per quadrillion doesn’t take very much to have significant long term effects on our health.

    I’m all for getting the cleanup started, but it’s ALWAYS easier to do it right than to do it over!!

    And (boo hoo hoo) I’m still deeply moved (shnork…sob!!!) by Randy’s passionate expression of his (boo hoo sob sob) company’s wonderful altruistic (it’s so Beeyootiful) plan to clean up the BT without a thought to (sob!) it’s future use (my eyes are bleary!). Got a hanky? He says the cleanup has no connection to the Marina Center except that it must happen first. He says it’s completely separate. Oh WHAT a SAINT!!

    And have I got a great bridge I’ll sell you cheap. Yeah, it’s over the Golden Gate and brings in a FORTUNE on tolls. Today only.
    (boosht boosht boosht!!!!!)

  33. anon
    October 2, 2009 at 4:19 pm

    If anybody is worried about toxic dust blowing off the top of dumptrucks removing soils at the BT why not put that in your public comment (period) I think hysterics isn’t getting your point across very well when the rest of the public seems perfectly happy to be looking forward to the cleanup and propects of developing something too long on the back burner-this has been a vacant eyesore most of my life!

  34. U.P. yours
    October 2, 2009 at 5:11 pm

    When does the City Council take this up on the agenda? What are the standards of the City for accepting or rejecting the SIRAP? Who determined the “scientifically” based standards that the City Council will use to determine sufficiency? How were those standards developed? When was public comment taken on these standards?

    When will the SIRAP documents and any supporting documentation (City staff reports/recomendations) be available for public review and for how long? What is the timeline for public review and comment for this issue?

    These are nuts and bolts issues that could use some answers. By the way, why the lousy public comment process on the Regional Water Quality Control Board end of things?

  35. Time to get real
    October 3, 2009 at 9:41 pm

    I would think the re-contouring of the balloon tract to get all toxic ground water run off to pool in the center of the property would cause some major disruption to hot spots of contamination. Does the rain run off pooling in the center of the parcel perk slowly into the water table? What happens to that trapped water? It sure would make and interesting water feature. A Lot of serious questions remain unanswered, and need to be clarified before any council vote is contemplated.

  36. anon
    October 3, 2009 at 11:04 pm

    wow I think Time to get real thinks hes onto something its too bad youre just on something

  37. U.P. yours
    October 5, 2009 at 3:06 pm

    compelling logic there anon 11:04 pm.

  38. October 21, 2009 at 10:58 pm


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