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Recent soil testing of the entire landfill detected lead in specific, localized areas around the perimeter of the north side of the park (the portion of the park located across the Hoffman Channel bridge). For your continued safety, the areas are fenced off from all public/pet access. EBRPD, under oversight of the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Board is developing a plan to restore these areas.
Prior to Point Isabel becoming a popular regional shoreline park destination, it was known as “Battery Point” because large volumes of battery casings were buried here during private ownership in the 1950s-60s. The Point Isabel shoreline underwent an intensive cleanup and clay-capping operation creating a landfill in the 1980s when it was still privately owned. That cleanup and capping effort was conducted under the oversight of the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Board. The East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD) took over management of Point Isabel in 1998, after the area was established as a State Park and is in charge of maintaining the landfill.
Point Isabel operations continue to be subject to oversight by regulatory and health agencies to protect the public, pets and San Francisco Bay from lead exposure.
Ongoing measures have been taken by EBRPD to protect people and animals from possible lead exposure. Best practices used to reduce the risk of exposure include the installation of soil covering and fencing to keep the public and pets out of those areas. Other, more permanent solutions to protect the public and San Francisco Bay’s water quality are being evaluated and will be completed in the near future.
What this means to you and your pets
All publicly accessible areas at Point Isabel Regional Shoreline are safe to people and pets. The park is regularly monitored to evaluate the integrity of the cap and take corrective actions to prevent lead exposure where needed. We ask that the public (and their canine companions) comply with all signage to stay out of those areas.
Updated information can be found at ebparks.org. For further inquiries, please contact Dave Mason at firstname.lastname@example.org or 510-544-2217.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Lead at Point Isabel Regional Shoreline
Q. How long has the East Bay Regional Park District (EBRPD) known that lead was in the soil at Point Isabel?
A. Unfortunately, lead has been at Point Isabel since the 1950s when construction and industrial waste such as battery casings were dumped at this location. Since the site was known to contain waste, lead and other materials were buried and placed under a cap and regulated by the San Francisco Regional Water Board. EBRPD took over operation of the site and conducts annual site inspections and regularly tests the soil. Previously, elevated lead has been detected in a few areas with high erosion, such as the footings of the Hoffman Bridge, which has been fenced off from public access. Our most recent soil test in February 2018 detected lead in specific, localized areas around the perimeter of the north side of the park (the portion of the park located across the Hoffman Channel bridge).
Q. Can lead get on me or my pet’s feet just by walking on the trail?
A. Areas where elevated lead levels are present in the soil are very specific and localized. The District has fenced off those areas of known lead exposure or covered them with clean material. All publicly accessible areas at Point Isabel Regional Shoreline are safe to people and pets. The park is regularly monitored for any exposed lead in soil. We ask that the public (and their canine companions) comply with all signage to stay out of those areas.
Q. Can lead be removed?
A. Yes, lead attaches to dirt and soil. Removing the dirt by washing or brushing will safely remove lead residue.
Q. If there are only a few, localized sites, why warn people about the higher levels of lead?
A. Safety is EBRPD’s priority and we are transparent with the public with all the activities going on in our parks. We don’t share this information to scare people. Rather we are informing the public for broader education.
Q. Where can I learn more about the health effects of lead exposure?
A. More information on health effects from lead exposure are available at the Center for Disease Control’s website (https://www.cdc.gov/niosh/topics/lead/health.html).