Environmental health and safety

What is ‘burn waste’?

Burn waste results from incineration of waste materials. Burn waste in landfills was common practice in the 1950s and 1960s but we now know that the process of burning waste increases the concentration of metals and some carcinogenic organic compounds.

What is SMUD planning to do?

The project site has significant concentrations of old burn waste that includes lead, arsenic and petroleum. SMUD plans to remove this waste and leave the area significantly cleaner and safer than its current condition.

During the waste removal process, 64,000 tons of burn waste will be transported off site to a landfill.

We have developed comprehensive transportation management and waste mitigation plans to minimize risk to public safety during waste removal, including:

  • 24/7 air quality and dust monitoring
  • Limiting vehicle speeds
  • Covering or wetting loads
  • Spraying work areas with water
  • Uniformly applying water over work site
  • Wetting or covering stockpiled soils
  • Establishing a contamination reduction zone
  • Truck and wheel washing
  • Inspecting exits
  • Street sweeping
  • and more

Twenty-five percent of the site will also receive an impermeable cap that has been approved by the County and State, and is inspected by the County every 3 months.

Our long-term plan includes:

  • Comprehensive training requirements for all personnel
  • Continuous involvement of State and County
  • Close adherence to all CEQA mitigation measures