Riverside Questions About Contaminated Site

RIVERSIDE, CA – City officials are questioning the state toxics department about new data on a former sewer plant site on which homes are planned.

Known as the agricultural park, the 59.5-acre property at Jurupa and Rutland avenues in the city’s Arlanza neighborhood was the site of a sewer plant that closed in 1965.

In 2003, a sewage sludge spill from an old tank led to the discovery that the site was contaminated with cancer-causing chemicals.

City officials are seeking answers from the state agency about whether the site remains contaminated and how the state plans to address any problems.

In November, state officials said those new tests showed small amounts of contamination in several spots, but they planned further study because of conflicting results in some cases. The federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) assisted in the testing.

On Tuesday, Feb. 2, council members will discuss the request that state officials address them about the site. Among the questions in a city report, officials want to know what additional cleanup the state recommends, how the state will address neighbors’ concerns about off-site contamination and whether the state would indemnify the city in case of a lawsuit over the planned homes.