Campus Chemical Waste
Disaster in the Planning:
UC Replacement Waste Facility

Under construction 

Campus Chemical Waste: Disaster in the Planning (1994) was premiered on the steps of the Berkeley City Hall with the aid of a small TV monitor and generator. This public policy video was made in response to the 1994 plan to place the new UCB hazardous waste facility in Berkeley's Strawberry Canyon watershed.

Speakers include Berkeley Fire Chief Cates and David Brower. Campus Chemical Waste: Disaster in the Planning was viewed by both Berkeley's Planning Commission and the City Council.

San Francisco Chronicle, East Bay Section. Friday, September 16, 1994

Coming today at a theater near you-or, at least the steps of Berkeley’s City Hall: the premiere showing of “Campus Chemical Waste: Disaster in the Planning”. This is a kickoff to mobilization,” said Wood. “Everyone says this is a NIMBY (not-in-my-back-yard) thing, but it’s an issue that has crossed the city and crossed political lines. We are trying to say that UC needs to change the decision-making process and reevaluate the sites.”

The thirteen-minute production documents controversy over a proposal by the University of California at Berkeley to build a $9.5 million hazardous-materials transfer facility in the rolling hills above campus.

The video, by L A Wood and Carolyn Erbele, features comments from community and university officials with footage of toxic storage containers looming behind cyclone fences and shots of the 1991 fire raging through the East Bay hills. <Read more below>


Additional News Articles & Video Press

San Francisco Chronicle continued...

Equipped with a video cassette recorder, a television, and a small gas generator, Wood and Erbele plan to show their low-budget production from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. today and again next week.
Berkeley hills neighbors have mustered support from city official, students, environmental leaders and city residents in opposing the university preferred plan for expanding its overloaded hazardous-waste facility.

The university for more than twenty years has operated the Canyon Chemical Facility in the hills above the Memorial Stadium, where 110 tons of chemicals and low-level radioactive waste generated each year by the labs on campus are packaged. The facility stores the materials for up to 90 days until trucks transport the containers to recyclers and dumps around the country.

With the amount of scientific research increasing on campus and more demanding regulations on waste handling, the university needs a more sophisticated and roomier facility.
The draft environmental impact report released last month identified a site one-quarter of a mile away from the current facility as the best spot for expansion.

But community advocates say the site is too close to houses and in an area prone to fires, earthquakes and mudslides.
Berkeley Fire Chief Cary Cates, speaking in the video agreed: If the university is successful in locating the site here, it will be contrary to the efforts made by the city to mitigate fire hazards.”

Community advocates have called on the university to respond to its waste-handling problems by reducing the amount produced and by putting the new transfer station facility on campus close to labs.

“We do want to replace the current facility, but we are responsive to the community,” said Michael Dobbins, the university director of physical and environmental planning.”

“It’s important for the public to understand that the Callaghan Hall site (on campus) is a serious option that we are studying more over the next few weeks.”

Public Hearings on the draft environmental impact report are scheduled for September 29. The City Council earlier opposed putting a new waste facility in Strawberry Canyon. The council is expected to vote Tuesday to show the video at its meeting September 27, 1994

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