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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Residents Cry Foul At Sherwin Williams Clean-up

Re-printed from the E'ville Eye:
September 7, 2011

Sherwin Williams’ Request for Extended Work Hours Denied
A resolution to the noise waiver to extend work hours for the Envirocon clean-up of the Sherwin Williams factory was defeated at this evening’s city council meeting by a 2-3 vote.

An Envirocon representative rationalized that the extension was necessary to make up for a two-month delay in coordinating use of the railway for carting away toxic soil. The extension was needed to avoid the project possibly carrying over beyond the anticipated December 1st deadline and into winter where it could be further delayed by weather. The net benefit of the extended schedule was estimated to be approximately two weeks. 

Mayor Nora Davis reluctantly supported the measure citing that everyone just wanted the project to be over with and the opposition to it was a small but vocal minority or residences. A substitute motion was proposed by Council memberRuth Atkin to allow for weekend use of the less disruptive railway portion but not extend the weekday trucking operation along Halleck St. A compromise could not be reached on this though and the measure was altogether defeated.
Environmental concerns were raised about the clean-up by one resident of the adjacent artist co-op, specifically the accumulation of dust on nearby vehicles and the toxicity levels of it. Our friends at the Secret News have been monitoring the situation closely and more can be read about their concerns here.

Additional concerns were raised by one citizen about the permanent loss of archaeological finds from the clean-up and that the land intersected the historically important shellmound indian burial site. No concrete “next-steps” for testing this dust or preserving fossils were established. Video of the City council meeting should be available for viewing shortly on the City of Emeryville website. More info about the clean up can be found on the DTSC website »


  1. A couple of clarifications - I was there.

    First, I thought Nora was a very strong advocate in favor of granting the extension, there was nothing reluctant about her support.

    Second, the artists co-op rep focussed almost exclusively on the noise and bother issues, and not at all on the toxic dust. I was the one who raised the toxic dust issue.

    Please see my follow up comment on the Secret News to their article on the safety issue.

    I was very surprised that except for the artists co-op rep, no residents came to complain.

  2. Maybe that's because there isn't much to complain about. The contractors on the Sherwin Williams site are complying with all BAAQMD rules. They are even continuously misting the site to control dust.

    And maybe the artist coop rep didn't focus on the dust because that is not relevant to extending that isn't as relevant to extending the construction hours. The dust will be created whether they work on Saturday or not. Noise, traffic, etc. on Saturdays is the real impact. Fortunately, the Council gets that.

  3. This is the first time I've heard of the E'ville Eye. Thanks for posting. Looks like an alternative to the tattler blog, only reasonable rather than incendiary. I think I’m going to start reading that blog instead.

  4. Notice to 11:09 AM-
    The misting doesn't remove the dust. It knocks some of it to the ground where it dries out and then goes airborne again. The mist is not anti-matter regardless of what Sherwin Williams might say.

    To 1:54PM-
    Your hurt my feelings! How about if I promise I'll behave and stop reporting on news in the residents' interest and keep silent on news the corporate elite and City Hall don't want made public? Would you stay with the Tattler then?