Town Square

New methods might speed up toxic cleanup

Original post made on May 19, 2011

Without new cleanup methods, efforts to remove remaining toxics from the groundwater in Mountain View will soon slow to a crawl, according to the Environmental Protection Agency, which is now studying alternatives.

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Posted by Duke
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 19, 2011 at 10:54 am


EPA = Environmental Protection Agency
TCE = trichloroethylene
MEW = Middlefield-Ellis-Whisman

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Posted by Jeff M
a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 19, 2011 at 2:47 pm

1) Hey Duke, those acronyms are all spelled out on first appearance in the article, just like the AP Style Guide says to do.

2) I worked for Raytheon during the initial remediation work for the MEW area,including installation of the containment/injection/extraction system at 350 Ellis, also a Superfund site. What is the status of that site, which also has been redeveloped?

A problem that was discovered then with the cleanup in this area is that the subsurface aquifers are very convoluted and irregular. In other words, there are not large pools, continuous streams or nice, even strata that let you readily flush through and collect the bad stuff. It has seeped through an underground maze from which it is hard to extract. The combination of new developments seems encouraging, as Lenny Siegel is quoted as describing.

The amount of TCE under Moffett is huge compared to the MEW (the story was that they used to hose off airplanes with the stuff).