City Council Meeting Sept. 6: Sherwin Williams’ Request for Extended Work Hours

September 1, 2011

The Emeryville City Council will consider Sherwin Williams’ request to extend its work hours at the Horton and 45th streets clean-up site to include

A 12-foot-high wall from just north of 45th Street to the Novartis parking lot, contains the clean-up operation, shielding it from public view. Sherwin Williams had solicited the community for Haiku celebrating their paint colors to adorn the wall, but apparently received few submissions. The few they did get are obscured by heavy scaffolding and "No Trespassing" signs.

Saturdays and evenings until 9 pm. Current hours are 7 am to 6 pm on weekdays. The clean up has been ongoing for 45 days and is expected to continue for at least another three months.

Despite repeated requests from neighborhood residents, Sherwin Williams, the state Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC), and Bay Area Air Quality Management (BAAQM) have so far refused to conduct testing of dust being generated by the clean-up. Soil at the site contains arsenic, lead, and benzene, among other toxins. Sherwin Williams now says it is working with DTSC to configure a dust sampling plan, but so far no sampling has been done. Several residents first complained of the dust three weeks ago, including a call to the BAAQM hotline.

Mara Feeney, a public relations person hired by Sherwin William to address community concerns, said that they have problems with testing of the dust because “there is no ‘baseline’ data to use for scientific comparison.” Sherwin Williams has the same resources as any other multi-billion dollar corporation, with the very best technology at its disposal. The question that has arisen is why didn’t it establish, and record, a “baseline” before it began its remediation work?

Emeryville residents with concerns about the Sherwin Williams remediation project are strongly encouraged to attend the Tuesday, Sept. 6 meeting. The meeting will be held at 7 pm, City Council chambers, City Hall.

See previous Secret News post for more information.

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