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Morgan Hill
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August 12, 2020

Perchlorate clean-up plan

The Santa Clara Valley Water District Board of Directors is
holding a special session today in Gilroy today to receive the
Perchlorate Working Group
’s new plan to clean up the 10.5-mile long perchlorate plume in
South Valley.
The Santa Clara Valley Water District Board of Directors is holding a special session today in Gilroy today to receive the Perchlorate Working Group’s new plan to clean up the 10.5-mile long perchlorate plume in South Valley.

The Working Group is made up of the Water District, the Perchlorate Community Action Group of San Martin and the cities of Gilroy and Morgan Hill. Its plan calls for the Regional Water Quality Control Board to issue a cleanup order to Olin next year.

The strategy proposes containment of the plume of perchlorate stretching from south Morgan Hill to the Santa Clara-San Benito counties border, long-term replacement of the community’s water supply and a cost-recovery plan for the Water District and City of Morgan Hill, which have spent nearly $5 million to clean up perchlorate.

The strategy includes several remedial measures by Olin Corp., whose former road flare-manufacturing firm in south Morgan Hill is responsible for the contamination.

If the Water District board approves the plan, the strategy will be submitted to the Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board for its consideration as part of a Cleanup and Abatement Order to Olin. The cleanup order is expected to be released within a few months.

“This is an important step to achieve resolution for the residents of Morgan Hill,” said Morgan Hill City Manager Ed Tewes. “We are anxious to see the plan implemented.”

For Morgan Hill and San Martin residents, whose wells have been contaminated with perchlorate, the plan includes a combination of groundwater cleanup and wellhead water treatment.

“You can’t put a price on our most precious resource,” said Sylvia Hamilton, a 28-year resident of San Martin and chairwoman of the Perchlorate Community Action Group, which has been working with the Perchlorate Working Group and Regional Board to address the community’s needs.

“We need resolution so that current and future generations can enjoy the best that these rural communities have to offer,” Hamilton said.

“Providing the cleanest, safest water to South County residents is one of the District’s highest priorities,” said Stan Williams, CEO of the Santa Clara Valley Water District. “Working together, we have focused on effective, comprehensive solutions to diminish the threat of perchlorate and protect public safety.”

Public comment will be taken.

The meeting is at 1:30pm, in Gilroy City Council Chambers, 7351 Rosanna St. It will be broadcast live on Gilroy Government Channel 17 and rebroadcast on Morgan Hill community access Channel 19.

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