Late last year, a $13.5 million settlement was reached between the Presidio Trust and CALTRANS for cleanup of contaminated sediments that have run into Mountain Lake off of the Park Presidio roadway above it. The runoff has been occurring since the roadway opened 70 years ago.
In December 2011, The Examiner reported, “The settlement was reached earlier this month after nearly a decade of research, documentation and pleas for help by the Presidio Trust to Caltrans, the entity responsible for the contamination of Mountain Lake. The trust had discovered the contamination in 2000.”
Under the terms of the settlement, Caltrans will pay $5.5 million to the United States for remediation of Mountain Lake, $4 million for re-configuring the Mountain Lake overflow pipeline, $500,000 for the Presidio’s legal costs, and will fund and construct a run-off diversion project, at an estimated cost of $3.5 million, so that contaminants from Highway 1 will no longer enter Mountain Lake.
According to project organizers, sediment at the bottom of the lake “contains contaminants of concern at concentrations that pose a potential risk to the environment.” The contaminated portions will be removed by dredging and Caltrans will make changes to treat future storm water runoff from Park Presidio before it enters the lake.
On Wednesday, January 25th, the Presidio Trust and California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) will host a community information session about plans for the upcoming remediation project, slated to start in 2012 and continue through 2013. The Examiner reports that the actual dredging will begin in 2013 and last one year. The lake is roughly 4 acres, with a maximum depth of 12 feet.
The Presidio Trust is preparing a Draft Feasibility Study/Remedial Action Plan (Draft FS/RAP) which presents the proposed remedial alternative: removal of contaminated sediment from the lake by dredging. DTSC is also preparing a California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Initial Study and related documents to evaluate the potential environmental impacts of the proposed alternative. DTSC expects to release the Draft FS/RAP and CEQA documents for public review and comment in early 2012. We are offering this community information session to provide you with information on the Draft FS/RAP, the CEQA documents, and the upcoming public comment period.
The meeting will take place at the Golden Gate Club in the Presidio from 6:30pm until 8:30pm.
Work began late last year in anticipation of the project. Vegetation has been cleared around the lake to gain access to areas to complete a topographic map, conduct geotechnical studies of Park Presidio Boulevard, and evaluate access routes for future environmental cleanup of the lake.
Most brush vegetation will be cleared within a 15-foot wide corridor east of Park Presidio Boulevard. Vegetation and trees will be cleared in the area north of Mountain Lake trail and east of Park Presidio Boulevard where the trail crosses underneath the highway. Some clearing is also required in the northern arm of the lake.
During this work, the Mountain Lake trail may be closed for short periods.
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