El Dorado County to Perform Soil Testing for Diamond Springs Parkway Project

by Placerville Newswire / Jun 03, 2016 / comments

(Creighton Avila, Placerville, CA) – The El Dorado County Community Development Agency, Transportation Division (Transportation Division) will soon be performing soil sampling and testing as part of a Phase II Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) for the Diamond Springs Parkway Project (Project). The soil sampling will occur within the general vicinity of Diamond Springs Parkway, a proposed new roadway connecting Missouri Flat Road with State Route 49 near the town of Diamond Springs.

The Diamond Springs Parkway is a future four-lane, divided roadway connecting Missouri Flat Road to State Route 49 (SR-49). The primary purpose of this project is to improve traffic safety and operations on portions of State Route 49 in the vicinity of Diamond Springs. The new road will provide parallel connection from 
SR-49 to US-50 that will relieve traffic congestion through the historic town of Diamond Springs. The project will also improve safety on Diamond Road/SR-49 by reducing residential driveway access with the provision of a new frontage road. The project is planned for completion in phases and is identified in the County Department of Transportation Adopted 2012 Capital Improvement Program. (See project numbers 72375, 72334, and 72368)

A Phase I ESA was prepared in January 2009 for 63 parcels potentially impacted by the Project, and determined that there was potential for contaminants in the area. The purpose of the Phase II ESA is to further investigate if specific contaminants are present within areas of the Project site that have been previously identified to potentially contain hazardous substances and/or petroleum products. In accordance with the California Environmental Quality Act, an Environmental Impact Report has been prepared and was adopted by the County in 2011, which included Mitigation Measures requiring the Transportation Division to conduct soil sampling and testing to determine the extent of soil contamination within the Project site and establish necessary remediation actions, in coordination with the Environmental Management Division. The Phase II ESA currently underway will satisfy these requirements.

It is known that the proposed Diamond Springs Parkway will be constructed on sites historically used for a variety of industrial purposes, such as lime processing, automobile dismantling, railroad maintenance, as well as agricultural use. Earlier this year, the County issued several press releases advising the public to avoid contact with stormwater in the vicinity of the El Dorado Trail near the end of Stage Court due to high alkaline levels. The cause of the high alkaline water is believed to be due to contact with residual processed lime from the former Diamond Lime Plant that operated in the area from approximately 1933 to 1977.

The Transportation Division is coordinating the Phase II ESA work plan with the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board (CVRWQCB), who maintains regulatory jurisdiction over the investigation and remediation of the former lime plant site. Any remediation actions proposed by the County for the Project will be reviewed by the CVRWQCB prior to implementation.

For additional information regarding the Diamond Springs Parkway Project Phase II ESA, please contact the Transportation Division at (530) 621-5900. Please check the Project’s web page at http://www.edcgov.us/diamondspringspkwy/ for future updates specific to the Phase II ESA.