TRACY (CBS13) – A new housing development in Tracy could bring thousands of people to the city, but an environmental group says where it will be is not safe.
The 5,500 homes in the Tracy Hills development will sit a mile from a military explosives testing site.
In a remote part of San Joaquin County, sitting in the Altamont Pass hills, the City of Tracy plans to build thousands of houses – enticing Bay Area commuters to call Tracy Hills home.
The housing and commercial development out here is not a new plan. It’s been in the works since 1993. So what’s the hold up?
The plans were continuously defused because of what sits on the other side of the hill.
Lawrence Livermore Labs runs a high-explosive testing range for the military known as Site 300.
“The reason why Site 300 is out in the middle of nowhere is because they explode high explosives there,” said Scott Yundt for Tri-Valley CARES.
Yundt is an attorney with Tri-Valley CARES. The non-profit receives a grant from the Environmental Protection Agency to monitor cleanup activities at Site 300.
“Since it was listed on the US EPA’s Superfund list, a national priorities list of the most contaminated sites in the country in the early 90s, we’ve monitored that clean up,” Yundt said.
Tri-Valley CARES says it has serious concerns about building homes so close to Site 300.
“There’s also contaminated ground water and contaminated soil near the firing tables,” Yundt said.
The EPA says there should be no impact from Site 300 to future Tracy Hills homeowners.
And the City of Tracy says the houses will not be using groundwater.
“All of the infrastructure – sewer, water, roads – we’ll provide,” said the City of Tray’s development services director Andrew Malik.
John Stanik, one of the developers, says in a statement that “Tracy Hills has been subject to years of extensive and comprehensive environmental review … There is no contamination or significant noise impacts.”
Bob Sarvey disagrees on the noise. He lives two and a half miles from Site 300.
“They were exploding large charges of depleted uranium and explosives. That was something that concerned me,” Sarvey said. “At one point they actually blew the windows out of my home with one of the blasts.”
But would future homeowners be told they’re moving a mile from an EPA Super fund site?
California law only requires disclosure for impacts within a one-mile radius. Regardless, developer John Stanik says “we will be including disclosure information to buyers.”
Tri-Valley CARES says it wants a more thorough environmental review before breaking ground.
“The thing we’re asking for is a more in-depth analysis of the potential impacts of this development being right next to Site 300,” Yundt said.
But Tracy will have its final review of the project in February – and the houses can start going up early next year.