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PG&E: Manteca substation may have mercury contamination

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POSTED January 23, 2018 1:29 a.m.

The PG&E substation in Central Manteca that borders the Tidewater Bikeway, skate park, and the Manteca Gospel Assembly may have mercury contamination.
The Elm Avenue power substation just off Center Street is one of 23 sites PG&E has identified of having potential mercury contamination issues in an advice letter the for-profit energy firm filed with the California Public Utilities Commission.
If mercury contamination does exist, the issue of safety concerns PG&E workers and not the general public. Excess levels of mercury can be poisonous and may affect the nervous system among other things.
The listing of the 23 locations that includes the French Camp substation and the Lodi Service Center is part of an ongoing effort by PG&E to assess sites that have a history of mercury use via the housing of mercury-filled meters and controls.
“(PG&E is) committed to addressing potential impacts from our historical operations that could affect the health and safety of our employees,” said John Kaufman, a spokesman with PG&E, who was quoted in an email sent to the California Energy Markets publication.
 All equipment containing mercury was removed by PG&E from the 23 locations by 1991. The utility has vowed that if mercury is detected at any of the sites, it will be removed to assure the safety of PG&E employees.
 Previously PG&E detected petroleum hydrocarbons that had leached into the soil to cause contamination at the French Camp substation.
The CPUC is expected to respond to the PG&E letter in the coming months.
The utility also asked the CPUC to allow it to pay for the assessment work and any remediation from its Hazardous Substance Cost Recovery account instead of being at the expense of stockholder’s

To contact Dennis Wyatt, email dwyatt@mantecabulletin.com

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