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Housing subdivision approved for Superfund hot spot

Original post made on Jun 11, 2015

An old motel bordering Highway 101, considered one of the most contaminated sites in the Middlefield-Ellis-Whisman Superfund site, will be redeveloped into a 26-home subdivision as part of a set of approvals granted Tuesday by the Mountain View City Council.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, June 11, 2015, 11:46 AM

Comments (18)

Posted by Wow, just wow.
a resident of Cuesta Park
on Jun 11, 2015 at 1:20 pm

Uh-oh, we've been through this before in this area..."Nothing to worry about building in the contaminated area. We can vent and put barriers down over the foundations.

Nothing to worry about? Well, nothing until there IS something to worry about. Things that cause pregnant women to have to not enter the bldg (Google) because of an UNEXPECTED increase of vapors; concentrations much higher than what are considered safe. Vapors have poured into the homes as well, again, TOTALLY UNEXPECTED and those residents now have life long health worries.

Posted by mvresident2003
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jun 11, 2015 at 3:37 pm

mvresident2003 is a registered user.

Come on, you doubt that our illustrious and trustworthy council can be counted to make the right decision and not one in the interest of the developer?

Posted by Developers getting there way
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jun 11, 2015 at 3:41 pm

Must build at all cost no matter about human safety, just build baby build!!

We don't have a shortage of water, we just need to build baby build!

Once the new tenets start suing, the current counsel will probably be long gone, so the citizens will have no one to blame, but we will be excepted to pay up.

For the warriors, win baby win!!

Posted by Otto Maddox
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jun 11, 2015 at 3:55 pm

How would we, the people of Mountain View, be expected to "pay up"? I don't get that.

You buy a house on a chemical dump you take your chances. There is no way the TCE issue isn't included any disclosures.

So if something pops up down the road no one can say "We didn't know!"

Posted by Here's how it works
a resident of Bailey Park
on Jun 11, 2015 at 4:33 pm

If everyone claims there is nothing wrong, and 10 year later the truth comes out, and the cancers start, they will sue the city and We, as tax payer, must pay. regardless of the outcome, the costs of the lawsuits could get pretty big.

Posted by MV Mama
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 11, 2015 at 4:40 pm

Are we, as a city, so desperate to look like we're adding housing that this is approved and thought of as a good idea? The city council is nuts!

Posted by OldMV
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 11, 2015 at 4:49 pm

This is total insanity by a city council bought and paid for by developer $$$ and ultra-lib politics. That site should not be developed until ALL groundwater pollution is cleaned up. Is the MV City Council so obsessed with overcrowding MV that they actually will allow housing to be build on toxic ground??? Our schools and our traffic already are overcrowded. Just what do these fools think that they were elected to do?

Posted by Flawless logic
a resident of Rex Manor
on Jun 11, 2015 at 5:26 pm

"I have lived there and I'm fine. Therefore, there's no problem at all what so ever." Can't disagree with an argument like that, eh?

Posted by @OldMV
a resident of another community
on Jun 11, 2015 at 5:49 pm

Actually, the proposed development would be perfect for you, given your toxic posts here...

Posted by jane
a resident of North Whisman
on Jun 12, 2015 at 7:58 am

I lived in that neighborhood for 8 years. I had 2 cats die at a young age. I developed PolycythemiaVera. Sometimes my house smelled like dry cleaning, especially in the winter when the windows were closed. Moved out of state a year ago. It is not safe.

Posted by MTView Neighbor
a resident of North Whisman
on Jun 12, 2015 at 8:52 am

Really? Surely this land has been a desired development site for years and has been rejected in the past. Why now? Nothing has changed that makes it any safer than it was in the past. Building more homes on contaminated ground is not the answer. Exposing existing homeowners to toxic waste clean-up is also not the answer. The contamination that flows to this area will continue because it originates elsewhere and flows here with the water. Unless there are plans to clean up the origin of the contamination, which there aren't, the site will continue to be contaminated.

Go back to the drawing board. City council, clean up your act!

Posted by mike
a resident of Monta Loma
on Jun 12, 2015 at 10:02 am

This is the former site of a semi-conductor manufacturer. (Fairchild?) These factories used carbon tetrachloride to clean equipment/materials, and the liquid was allowed to flow into the ground. If the solvents were exposed to the air, they would evaporate, and after some time, become relatively harmless. But, much went into the ground, did not evaporate, and remains there to this day. I recollect that this is a Superfund site, which means the Feds pay for cleanup. However, the clean-up seems not to have worked. After so many years, it would seem obvious to many that effective clean-up is not possible.

Posted by Mike
a resident of North Whisman
on Jun 12, 2015 at 4:05 pm

If it the contaminants were of such little concern.
Why did the EPA workers were Haz-Mat suits and breathing mask when dealing with the soil and water samples?.. I agree the contaminants are of little concern when covered by asphalt and concrete.. unless the build a bubble over the site during construction i am not sure how they can keep it from being airborn.

Posted by the_punnisher
a resident of Whisman Station
on Jun 15, 2015 at 8:00 pm

the_punnisher is a registered user.

Ahh, Fairchild Semiconductor finally closed the " Rust Bucket ". OSHA has a LONG LIST that you had to read before working at any semiconductor plant.
( yes, I know I am shouting )

You might want to talk to East Palo Alto about how the ROMIC Superfund Site was handled.

Web Link

If you can spend the money, you can find out how Denver and Rocky Flats handled their Superfund Sites.

The ROMIC Superfund Site is much like the " Rust Bucket " Site.

Use that site as a guide to how the site in Mountain View is handled.

You now cannot plead ignorance. You have been informed, MV City Council. I suggest you have a chat with your staff attorney about liability in future years.

Posted by Air Stripper
a resident of another community
on Jun 16, 2015 at 10:52 am

punnisher, the main contaminant in Rocky Flats was radiation. It's a lousy comparison; apples to oranges, but I guess they are both fruit(both SF sights).
From your confident posts you seem to have very direct understandings of this, but I'm confused why you would compare the two as they are really quite different in how they are cleaned up and actions needed to do so.

Are you at all educated in the remediation of chlorinated solvents or possess a strong background organic chemistry? Have you worked in the remediation industry for a while?
That's the sort of expertise needed. We'll all be screwed if we listen to every arm chair know-it-all who really doesn't know much except his opinions..

Posted by RS
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 16, 2015 at 11:56 am


There is room to debate whether the City Council is "bought" by developers, but the statement the Mountain View schools are over crowded is not debatable. The public schools want and need more students.

Posted by DC
a resident of Sylvan Park
on Jun 24, 2015 at 8:57 pm

The solution is to water the ground for 1 hour a day and allow burning of fire wood inside to rid the homes of this toxin.

Posted by Val
a resident of Old Mountain View
on Jun 24, 2015 at 9:55 pm

Mountain View has lost its soul to developers,Google .

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