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Palo Alto considers tighter rules on hazardous materials

Original post made on Apr 20, 2012

Seeking to calm fears in the Barron Park neighborhood about toxic materials from a nearby plating shop flowing onto residents' properties, Palo Alto officials will consider on Monday ways to limit the threat, including tightening up zoning regulations and asking the company to move its operations elsewhere.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, April 20, 2012, 9:50 AM

Comments (8)

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Posted by Palo-Altans--Attacking-Business-Everywhere
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 20, 2012 at 10:14 am

It's always something with those people in Barron Park. There is no evidence that CPI has ever done them any damage, or is likely to do them any damage--but that's not good enough for them.

Another example of just how anti-business many Palo Alto residents can be. Whether it's buying nuclear power from some remote generation site, or coal-generated power, or using chemicals in a manufacturing process--there's always someone in this town that is "mortified" by the possibilities that something "bad" might happen to someone, somewhere, sometime, maybe.

Wonder how many homes in the BP area use/have chemicals to clear pools, or homes? Maybe it's time to ban all chemicals from that part of town?


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Posted by the_punnisher
a resident of Mountain View
on Apr 20, 2012 at 12:03 pm

the_punnisher is a registered user.

I just have 1 comment:

Remember ROMIC in East Palo Alto? A plating company's waste output is much more toxic....

From your own archives:

Web Link

My favorite SIG applies here:

" Those who do not remember the past are doomed to repeat it "

-Santayana ( NOT Santana....)


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Posted by Martin L
a resident of Menlo Park
on Apr 20, 2012 at 1:01 pm

Not knowing where this plating plant is located, I can't help but wonder how close to a creek it is. And whether there is a relationship to the tens of empty spray-paint cans that constantly flow down Adobe Creek, towards the bay. AI have always wondered why no City employee has reported this so it can be investigated. I think it would be fairly easy to track up-stream, where all those can are coming from.


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Posted by Douglas Moran
a resident of Barron Park
on Apr 20, 2012 at 3:27 pm

Douglas Moran is a registered user.

For those who want to visualize how close this is to residences, I am providing a Google Map (Web Link) showing the location of the 2006 leak (nitric acid gas). The distance to the nearest home is just over 50 feet.

The biggest concern is a release of deadly hydrogen cyanide gas whose components are stored in the same general area. Other plating operations using these materials, such as SLAC, maintain a much greater physical separation -- distance and barriers -- between these components. The separation at CPI is small enough that there is a concern that an industrial accident or earthquake could producing mixing.

The concern about earthquakes is not limited to just the big faults, because CPI sits on top of the Stanford fault, which is thought to be capable of a 6.5-7.0 quake (Web Link). See also the USGS Quaternary Quake info (Web Link -- you need to repeatedly zoom in, easiest done by double click on the location where you want the zoom-in to be centered). CPI is also less than a mile from the Pulgas fault which is speculated to have been responsible for the unexpected damage to the Palo Alto VA Hospital during the 1989 Loma Prieta quake (although the Pulgas fault didn't rupture).


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Posted by Douglas Moran
a resident of Barron Park
on Apr 20, 2012 at 3:32 pm

Douglas Moran is a registered user.

To: Palo-Altans--Attacking-Business-Everywhere and his ilk

If you wonder why rapid ideologues such as yourself are treated with such derision and contempt, consider that you equate 100 pounds of potassium cyanide to swimming pool chemicals, whether it be from ignorance, stupidity or your rejection of reality as being inconvenient.


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Posted by Douglas Moran
a resident of Barron Park
on Apr 20, 2012 at 5:31 pm

Douglas Moran is a registered user.

RE: Martin L:
CPI is distant from Adobe Creek. The Matadero Creek bypass tunnel runs along it boundary, and this joins the Matadero Creek culvert on the other (East) side of El Camino.

Over the years there have been a series of spills in the Research Park, including CPI, that wound up in the creek. Some of these were the result of drains that were installed in the early days of the Research Park being (improperly) connected to storm drains that dump into the creek. In a number of cases, the company was unaware of this situation because the plans showed those drains connected to the proper waste facility.


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Posted by Choice
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Apr 20, 2012 at 9:07 pm

NO NO NO NO then yes to a car dealership next to the marsh?


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Posted by jack
a resident of Barron Park
on Apr 25, 2012 at 10:54 am

This town is toxic. Santa Clara has the most superfund sites in the country. Every time you see astro turf you know there is toxin under there. That place on Pagemill and El Camino is an example.

They dump in the creeks. Radioactive material goes straight in from the labs at Stanford ( a friend who works there told me )and the ground water has lots of nasty things leeched from the soil. Drinking water is contaminated for all but stanford. Cancer rates are high.


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