GLENDALE – Warning that a potentially contaminated Glendale site could pose a threat to drinking water, the Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District is demanding that a state agency “adequately investigate” the risk of dioxin migration.
A July 23 letter from the district’s contracted legal firm, Thomas Law Group, to officials from the State Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) states that the agency “has failed to make aggressive remediation a priority, despite the site’s proximity to the Mad River, the district’s drinking water supply, and private wells.”
The district’s concern lingers after the Planning Commission’s approval last September of four cannabis-related development permits on a Glendale Drive parcel just east of the Route 299 Exit 4 on ramp and off ramp.
The project site was used for lumber storage by the former McNamara and Peepe Lumber Mill, whose main operations were conducted on an adjacent parcel. By the time the mill changed ownership in 1986 and became Blue Lake Forest Products, use of the toxic wood preservative pentachlorophenol (PCP) had been banned.
But contamination remained and in the mid-1990s, the state ordered remedial actions, including capping at the main operations site.
As of 2003, the former mill’s storage and main operation sites were deemed to be free of contaminants. But in late 2018, the DTSC declared that contaminants in the soil beneath the capped area had seeped into groundwater whose levels had risen.