4.8 Hazards and Hazardous Materials

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1 This section describes the environmental and regulatory setting for hazards and hazardous materials 1 related to the Project, the impacts that may result, and feasible and appropriate mitigation measures that would be required to reduce these impacts. Hazards and hazardous materials information in this section is based on the Initial Site Assessment prepared for the Project, which is available in Appendix H Regulatory Setting The following federal, state, regional, and local regulations, programs, plans, and policies are relevant to the Project. For a detailed discussion of the regulatory setting, refer to Appendix E. Federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Federal Toxic Substances Control Act Federal Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) Federal Superfund Amendments and Reauthorization Act Federal Hazardous Materials Transportation Act California Environmental Protection Agency regulations, including those related to the Cortese List California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) regulations California Department of Health Services regulations California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery regulations California Division of Occupational Safety and Health regulations California Highway Patrol (CHP) regulations related to transportation of hazardous materials California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) regulations related to transportation of hazardous materials and reuse of soils containing hazardous waste concentrations of aerially deposited lead (ADL) California Water Board (San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board) regulations Santa Clara County Department of Environmental Health regulations Santa Clara County Hazardous Materials Compliance Division regulations Santa Clara City Fire Department regulations (as a certified Unified Program Agency [CUPA]) Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety regulations (as a certified CUPA) 1 As defined by the California Health and Safety Code Section 25260, hazardous material means a substance or waste that, because of its physical, chemical, or other characteristics, may pose a risk of endangering human health or safety or of degrading the environment

2 4.8.2 Environmental Setting/Affected Environment Hazardous Materials In January 2014, the Initial Site Assessment was prepared for the Project corridor to identify and evaluate the level of risk associated with hazardous materials, hazardous waste, and contamination along the Project corridor (within 1 mile) that could potentially result from proposed construction activities or operations. Appendix H contains the Initial Site Assessment. Known or potential sites associated with hazardous materials within 1 mile of the Project corridor were evaluated to identify known or potential releases of hazardous materials that could impact soils or groundwater. The Initial Site Assessment also evaluated ADL, metals from nonpoint sources, naturally occurring asbestos, and hazardous building materials. Hazardous materials concerns along the Project corridor are discussed in detail below. Potential Subsurface Contamination Potential sources of hazardous materials that may have contaminated soils or groundwater and that could be encountered during Project construction are summarized in Tables and Table Summary of Potential Soil Contamination Contaminant Source Petroleum Hydrocarbons Chlorinated Solvents Title 22 Metals a Lead Former Commercial/Industrial/Institutional Properties X X X Aerially Deposited Lead X Catch Basins X Source: Initial Site Assessment in Appendix H. Note: a Title 22 Metals are the 17 metals that can qualify waste as hazardous listed in 22 California Code of Regulations Section Table Summary of Potential Groundwater Contamination Petroleum Hydrocarbons Chlorinated Solvents Contaminant Source Former Commercial/Industrial/Institutional Properties X X Gas Stations, Dry Cleaners, and other Commercial/Industrial Properties X X Active Hazardous Materials Release Sites X X X X X X Residual Groundwater Contaminant Plumes X X X Source: Initial Site Assessment in Appendix H. Note: VOCs = volatile organic compounds Other VOCs Title 22 Metals Polychlorinated Biphenyls A detailed description of potential contaminant sources by property type is available in the Initial Site Assessment in Appendix H. Pesticides 4.8-2

3 Former Commercial/Industrial/Institutional Properties The Project corridor between the intersections of De La Cruz Boulevard and The Alameda in Santa Clara was formerly occupied by commercial, industrial, and/or institutional uses; and between 1968 and 1974, additional properties were acquired to expand the width of the roadway. Undocumented releases of hazardous materials (if any) could have impacted soil or groundwater beneath the Project corridor. Aerially Deposited Lead Shallow soils within approximately 30 feet of the edge of pavement in highway corridors have the potential to be contaminated with ADL from car emissions prior to the elimination of lead in gasoline in the 1990s (Department of Toxic Substances Control 2009). Thus, exposed shallow soils along the Project corridor, such as within the roadway median, could be contaminated with ADL. Catch Basins Metals from nonpoint runoff sources, such as urban development, vehicle tires, and brake pads, could have accumulated in catch basins, thus increasing metal concentration in sediments in the Project corridor over time. Gas Stations, Dry Cleaners, and other Commercial and Industrial Properties There are 234 gas stations, 125 dry cleaning facilities, and 243 records of sites that use, store or dispose of hazardous materials located adjacent to or upgradient within about 2,000 feet of the Project corridor. Many of these sites have known hazards materials releases and responsible parties have either completed or are currently implementing regulatory response actions. However, undocumented releases of hazardous materials from current or former sites could also have resulted in groundwater contamination that may have migrated beneath the Project corridor. Known Hazardous Materials Release Sites Of the 709 recorded sites with releases of hazardous materials within 1 mile of the Project corridor, 362 are located on, adjacent to, or upgradient of the Project corridor. Release sites consist of on-site spills and leaks, adjacent release sites, and upgradient release sites. There is no indication that additional regulatory response actions are necessary to remove containments of concern at spill or leak sites. Hazardous materials released at 17 active release sites located adjacent to the Project corridor have reportedly impacted groundwater quality beneath the Project corridor. Hazardous materials at 18 sites located upgradient of the Project corridor also have reported impacted groundwater beneath the Project corridor. Residual Groundwater Contaminant Plumes There are approximately 266 hazardous materials release sites located on, adjacent to, or upgradient of the Project corridor that are not currently undergoing remediation or other 4.8-3

4 treatment because residual subsurface contamination does not likely pose a threat to human health and the environment. However, removal of residual groundwater contamination, if any is present, during any excavation activities would need to be performed in accordance with applicable statutes and regulations. Based on the large quantity of closed release sites, residual groundwater contamination is likely to be present beneath the Project corridor. Hazardous Building Materials Lead is a state-recognized carcinogen and reproductive toxicant (California Environmental Protection Agency 2012) and demolition of structures containing lead-based paint could pose a risk of releasing lead particles into the environment. No lead-based paints have been used on bus stops in the Project corridor that would be demolished under the Build Alternatives (Clear Channel pers. comm.). Lead and hexavalent chromium have been used in yellow thermoplastic and yellow paint for traffic striping and pavement marking for many years and as recently as 2004 (California Department of Transportation 2006). The residue that may be produced from the yellow thermoplastic and yellow paint during road improvement activities may contain lead and hexavalent chromium concentrations that could produce toxic fumes when heated. Debris produced during the removal of yellow thermoplastic and yellow paint may contain hazardous waste concentrations of lead or hexavalent chromium. Asphalt concrete (AC) grindings and Portland cement concrete (PCC) grindings have a relatively high ph and may contain metals and petroleum hydrocarbons. The AC and PCC grindings that would be produced during construction of any of the Build Alternatives may be classified as hazardous waste due to the ph of water mixed with the grindings (e.g., storm water runoff) or concentration of metals or petroleum hydrocarbons (see the Initial Site Assessment in Appendix H) Environmental Impact Analysis Criteria for Determining Significance The California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Guidelines Appendix G (14 California Code of Regulations et seq.) has identified significance criteria to be considered for determining whether a project could have significant impacts related to hazards and hazardous materials. The Project would have a significant impact if it would result in any of the following conditions. Create a significant hazard to the public or the environment through reasonably foreseeable upset and accident conditions involving the release of hazardous materials into the environment. Emit hazardous emissions or involve handling hazardous or acutely hazardous materials, substances, or waste within one-quarter mile of an existing or proposed school

5 Be located on a site that is included on a list of hazardous materials sites compiled pursuant to Government Code Section and, as a result, would create a significant hazard to the public or the environment. Impair implementation of or physically interfere with an adopted emergency response plan or emergency evacuation plan. All other Appendix G significance criteria related to hazards and hazardous materials are described in Section 4.14, Other Environmental Considerations. Air quality and greenhouse gas emissions (e.g., diesel particulates) are discussed in Section 4.3, Air Quality and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Methods The significance of Project impacts related to hazards and hazardous materials was evaluated based on the review of the existing conditions along the Project corridor. Sources reviewed were the Initial Site Assessment, Google Earth aerial photographs, and city directory listings for schools Impacts Impact HAZ-1: Create a significant hazard to the public or the environment through the routine transport, use, or disposal of hazardous materials No Build Alternative (No impact) There would be no impact on the public or the environment through routine transport, use, or disposal of hazardous materials because there would be no change relative to existing conditions. Build Alternatives (Less than significant with mitigation) Construction Construction activities for any of the Build Alternatives would include the removal of yellow traffic stripe and pavement markers along the Project corridor that may contain elevated concentrations of lead and hexavalent chromium. Improper removal or disposal of debris containing yellow thermoplastic and yellow paint could result in a release of hazardous materials into the environment. Implementation of Mitigation Measure (MM) HAZ-A: Manage traffic striping and pavement markers would reduce the impact of a hazardous materials release during the removal of yellow traffic stripe and pavement markers. Construction activities for any of the Build Alternatives would generate AC and PCC grindings, which have a relatively high ph and may contain metals and petroleum hydrocarbons. In accordance with guidance from the San Francisco Bay Water Board, Caltrans projects may reuse AC and PCC grindings as a roadway sub-base, backfill material, and compacted surface in maintenance or work yards (San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board 2007). Non-road base reuse scenarios must be reviewed by the San 4.8-5

6 Francisco Bay Water Board on a case-by-case basis. Surplus AC and PCC grindings not reused along the Project corridor may be transported to an aggregate recycling facility or a construction and demolition waste disposal facility. Improper reuse or disposal of AC and PCC grindings could result in a release of hazardous materials into the environment. Implementation of MM HAZ-B: Manage AC and PCC grindings would reduce the impact of a hazardous materials release during the reuse and disposal of AC and PCC grindings. Construction activities would involve the use of common hazardous materials, such as fuels, lubricants, paints, and adhesives. Common construction activities, such as fueling, maintenance, and operation of construction equipment, could result in an accidental release of hazardous materials into the environment. The use of hazardous materials within the Project corridor would be subject to existing hazardous materials laws, regulations, and programs, and adherence to these standards would reduce the potential that an accidental release would occur. In addition, a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) must be prepared for proposed construction activities in accordance with the requirements of the SWRCB. As detailed in Section 4.9, Hydrology and Floodplain/Water Quality and Storm Water Runoff, the SWPPP requires implementation of Best Management Practices (BMPs) for hazardous material storage and soil stockpiles, inspections, maintenance, training of employees, and containment of releases to prevent runoff into existing storm water collection systems or waterways. The SWPPP, required as part of Avoidance and Minimization Measure (AMM) HYD-A: Comply with the NPDES General Construction Permit and Caltrans MS4 Permit in Section 4.9, Hydrology and Floodplain/Water Quality and Storm Water Runoff, describes the BMPs that must be implemented during Project construction to both minimize the risk of and contain (if necessary) the release of hazardous materials. Failure to implement the BMPs described in the SWPPP could result in an increased risk of a hazardous materials release into the environment during construction. Implementation of AMM HYD-A would reduce the impact of a hazardous materials release during construction activities. Therefore, with implementation of applicable AMM and MMs, construction impacts would be less than significant. Operation Hazardous materials would be transported along the Project corridor during operation of any of the Build Alternatives. The transportation of hazardous materials within the Project corridor would be subject to RCRA, U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), and state regulations, which are enforced by CHP, Caltrans, and DTSC. Adherence to these regulations would minimize the risk of and contain (if necessary) the release of hazardous materials. The risk of an accidental hazardous materials release during transportation is not expected to increase as a result of the Project. Therefore, there would be no impact during operation of the Project related to the accidental release of hazardous materials into the environment

7 MM HAZ-A: Manage removal of traffic striping and pavement markers Representative samples of yellow traffic striping and pavement markings shall be collected and analyzed for lead and chromate prior to construction. Sampling and analysis shall be included as part of a Preliminary Site Investigation (PSI) for the Project corridor. The generation of waste containing yellow traffic striping and pavement markings that are known to be hazardous shall be managed by implementing a lead compliance plan in accordance with Caltrans Standard Special Provision Alternatively, traffic striping and pavement markings may be managed as an assumed hazardous waste by implementing a lead compliance plan and then testing the residues for hazardous-waste classification prior to offsite disposal in accordance with Caltrans Standard Special Provision Procedures for sampling, analyzing, and managing traffic striping and pavement markings shall be incorporated into a Construction Risk Management Plan (CRMP). MM HAZ-B: Manage removal of AC and PCC grindings VTA will ensure that the Project contractor reuses AC and PCC grindings in accordance with the California Department of Transportation Asphalt-Concrete and Portland Cement Concrete Grindings Reuse Guidance (San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board 2007) or that the grindings are transported offsite for recycling or disposal. Impact HAZ-2: Emit hazardous emissions or involve handling of hazardous or acutely hazardous materials, substances, or waste within 0.25 mile of an existing or proposed school No Build Alternative (No impact) There would be no impact on children at nearby schools related to hazardous emissions or handling of hazardous or acutely hazardous materials because there would be no change from existing conditions. Build Alternatives (Less than significant) Hazardous materials use near schools must consider potential health effects to children. Based on a review of mapped school locations, there are about 25 schools located within 0.25 mile of the Project corridor. Construction activities for any of the Build Alternatives would involve the emission and handling of hazardous materials, but not the handling of acutely hazardous materials. An accidental release of hazardous materials used during construction could potentially pose a health risk to nearby school children. As discussed under Impact HAZ-1, compliance with existing regulations and implementation of a Project SWPPP would both minimize the risk of and contain (if necessary) the release of hazardous materials during construction activities. Furthermore, compliance with existing regulations and implementation of AMM HYD-A 4.8-7

8 would reduce the impact of a hazardous materials release near schools during construction activities. Thus, as the applicable AMM will be implemented, impacts would be less than significant. Impact HAZ-3: Be located on a site which is included on a list of hazardous materials sites compiled pursuant to Government Code Section and, as a result, create a significant hazard to the public or the environment No Build Alternative (No impact) There would be no potential to be located on a site included on a list of hazardous materials, creating a significant hazard to the public or environment because there would be no change from existing conditions. Build Alternatives (Less than significant with mitigation) Construction of any of the Build Alternatives could disturb contaminated soil or groundwater. Hazardous materials may be present in soil and groundwater beneath the Project corridor from known hazardous materials release sites compiled pursuant to Government Code Section In addition, there are potential hazardous materials release sites and other sources of subsurface contamination along the Project corridor that would not be listed under Government Code Section (see the Initial Site Assessment in Appendix H). Potential subsurface contaminants of concern are summarized in Tables and Implementation of MM HAZ-C: Perform a Preliminary Site Investigation, and MM HAZ-D: Implement a Construction Risk Management Plan, would reduce the impacts on human health and the environment that could result from the disturbance of subsurface contamination during construction activities. Therefore, this impact would be less than significant. MM HAZ-C: Perform a Preliminary Site Investigation Once a preferred Build alternative has been chosen and areas of excavation are determined, a PSI will be performed to investigate potential subsurface contamination identified in the Project ISA that would be encountered during construction activities. The contaminant sources of concern are summarized below. The design and implementation of the sampling activities will be performed by a licensed professional experienced in subsurface investigations. Soil Investigation Soil samples will be collected in the areas of concern summarized below if proposed construction activities will disturb the soils in these areas. Soil analytical results will be screened against Table K-3 of the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board s (2013a) Environmental Screening Levels (ESLs) to determine appropriate actions to ensure the protection of construction workers and also be screened against 4.8-8

9 hazardous waste thresholds and the Caltrans/DTSC Variance for ADL to determine soil management options. Former Commercial/Industrial/Institutional Properties Representative samples of shallow soils will be collected where former commercial, industrial, and institutional buildings were located on the Project corridor and analyzed for petroleum hydrocarbons, chlorinated solvents, and Title 22 metals. The location of former properties acquired along the Project corridor relative to a proposed excavation area will be assessed using the historical aerial photographs included in the Project ISA. Aerially Deposited Lead Representative samples of exposed shallow soils will be collected along the Project corridor and analyzed for total lead and soluble lead. Sampling of ADL will be performed in accordance with the requirements of the Caltrans/DTSC Variance. Catch Basins Representative samples of shallow soils will be collected from catch basins and analyzed for Title 22 metals. Groundwater Investigation Groundwater samples will be collected in the areas of concern summarized below if proposed construction activities may encounter the groundwater in these areas. Groundwater analytical results will be screened against applicable limits to determine dewatered groundwater management options and possible health effects on construction workers. Former Commercial/Industrial/Institutional Properties Representative samples of groundwater will be collected where former commercial, industrial, and/or institutional buildings were located on the Project corridor and analyzed for petroleum hydrocarbons and chlorinated solvents. The location of former properties acquired along the Project corridor relative to a proposed excavation area will be assessed using the historical aerial photographs included in the Project ISA. Gas Stations, Dry Cleaners, and Other Commercial and Industrial Properties When existing groundwater quality data are not available, representative samples of groundwater will be collected downgradient but within the Project corridor of former and current gas stations, dry cleaners, and other commercial and industrial properties that manage hazardous materials. Groundwater samples will be analyzed for petroleum hydrocarbons and/or chlorinated solvents based on the potential source areas. Active Hazardous Materials Release Sites Representative samples of groundwater will be collected downgradient but within the Project corridor of active hazardous materials release sites of concern when existing groundwater quality data are not available. Based on review of regulatory agency 4.8-9

10 records, groundwater samples will be analyzed for the contaminants of concern corresponding to each release site. The findings of the PSI will be used for development of a Project-specific CRMP. The CRMP will delineate specific soil and groundwater management and disposal procedures, construction worker health and safety requirements, and contingency measures in case unknown contamination is encountered during construction. MM HAZ-D: Implement a Construction Risk Management Plan Construction along the Project corridor will be conducted under a Project-specific CRMP to protect construction workers, the general public, and the environment from hazardous materials identified in the PSI. The CRMP will incorporate the soil and groundwater analytical data from the PSI to ensure that soil and groundwater are stored, managed, and disposed of in a manner protective of human health and the environment, and in accordance with applicable laws and regulations. To address potential residual groundwater contamination concerns along the entire Project corridor, the CRMP will require all groundwater from dewatering of excavations, if any, to be stored in tank(s) during construction activities and characterized prior to disposal or recycling. This would be in addition to the pre-characterization of groundwater quality during the PSI. The CRMP will address the possibility of encountering undocumented sources of contamination in the subsurface by including the following measures for identifying, testing, and managing soil and groundwater suspected of containing hazardous materials that have not previously been identified at the site: 1) provide procedures for discovering, evaluating, handling, storing, testing, and disposing of soil and groundwater during Project excavation and dewatering activities; 2) describe required worker health and safety provisions for all workers potentially exposed to hazardous materials in accordance with state and federal worker safety regulations; and 3) designate personnel responsible for implementation of the CRMP. The CRMP will incorporate procedures for sampling, analyzing, and managing traffic striping and pavement markings. Impact HAZ-4: Impair implementation of or physically interfere with emergency response plan or emergency evacuation plan No Build Alternative (No impact) There would be no impacts related to emergency response and evacuation operations because there would be no change from existing conditions

11 Build Alternatives (Less than significant) Construction Construction of any of the Build Alternatives would likely cause temporary traffic delays along the Project corridor. However, construction would not obstruct vehicle access to all lanes and emergency response vehicles would continue to be able to operate along the entire Project corridor during construction activities. In addition, the Project corridor could still be used as an evacuation route to nearby interstate highways. Therefore, this impact would be less than significant. Operation Alternative 2 Under Build Alternative 2, existing turning lanes at intersections along the Project corridor would not be altered. Access to nearby roads and highways during emergency response and evacuation operations would not be restricted. Therefore, this impact would be less than significant. Alternatives 3 and 4 Operation of Alternatives 3a, 3b, 4a, 4b, and 4c would improve the efficiency of travel for BRT buses and emergency vehicles along varying portions of the Project corridor, depending on alternative. However, under these Build Alternatives, some of the existing left-turn lanes at intersections along the Project corridor could be removed, which could restrict access to nearby roads and highways. However, final Project design would be coordinated with local jurisdictions and their respective emergency service providers to ensure that adequate emergency and evacuation access is maintained. Furthermore, emergency service providers would be able to use the dedicated lanes and would have opportunities to refine and identify physical improvements to ensure emergency response and operations remain unchanged. Therefore, this impact would be less than significant

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