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NPL Site Narrative for Laboratory for Energy-Related Health Research/Old Campus Landfill (USDOE)

Davis, California

Federal Register Notice:  May 31, 1994

The Old Campus Landfill site is a Federal Facility that was leased by the U.S. Department of Energy as the Laboratory for Energy-Related Health Research (LEHR). The site occupies approximately 15 acres on Old Davis Road, Davis, Solano County, California. The Old Campus Landfill is situated on the Putah Plain adjacent to Putah Creek. The site is surrounded by agricultural land to the south, east, and west. The University of California - Davis campus and the City of Davis are north of the site.

LEHR engaged in studies on the biological effects of bone seeking radionuclides (strontium-90 and radium-226) in lab animals (beagles) from 1960 to 1989. During the 29 years of operations, LEHR generated and disposed of radioactive, biologic, and chemical wastes, as well as municipal and lab wastes. Dogs were buried onsite in the early years. Later the dog carcasses were shipped to Hanford for disposal. Approximately 35,000 gallons of sludge effluent (dog feces) contaminated with strontium-90 was disposed of in underground concrete banks. The site was also used by the university as a landfill area for residential and laboratory waste disposal from the late 1940s to 1967. The site contains radioactive waste disposal areas for waste generated from campus and LEHR activities. Records indicate that radioactive wastes with long half lives were buried onsite in trenches and holes. Two separate special liquid radioactive waste treatment and discharge systems were in operation at LEHR: the systems discharged radionuclides to leach fields onsite.

Quarterly sampling by DOE has revealed elevated concentrations of chloroform, carbon-14, and tritium in five of 23 onsite monitoring wells. There are 19 municipal wells within 4 miles of the site serving approximately 47,500 people.

The nearest resident is approximately 0.5 miles from the site and the estimated population within 4 miles is 41,789.

The LEHR facility is listed in the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) database as a large quantity generator.

For more information about the hazardous substances identified in this narrative summary, including general information regarding the effects of exposure to these substances on human health, please see the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) ToxFAQs. ATSDR ToxFAQs can be found on the Internet at ATSDR - ToxFAQs (http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxfaqs/index.asp) or by telephone at 1-888-42-ATSDR or 1-888-422-8737.

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