The Taylor Yard G2 River Park Project is an effort to transform an abandoned 42-acre former railyard in Northeast Los Angeles into a unique public open space that is reflective of the community’s needs and vision. The G2 Parcel was purchased by the City of Los Angeles in 2017 for the purposes of providing a combination of park space, walking trails, wetlands, wildlife habitat, river access, public recreation, and acres of new publicly accessible open space in the middle of Los Angeles. Due to its former use as railyard, the G2 Parcel is a known brownfield under the regulatory oversight of the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC).
The Taylor Yard G2 River Park Project is a monumental undertaking for both revitalization of the Los Angeles River, and the protection of public health in remediating this known brownfield. The City’s approach to the project is multi-phased, with a goal of interim uses on safe areas of the site open to the public within five years, and complete long-term remediation and build-out of the site in strategic phases thereafter.
The City of Los Angeles’ Bureau of Engineering is the project lead for implementation under the direction of the City Council and Mayor. The California Coastal Conservancy has provided a generous grant to assist with the planning and the project and environmental site assessments. With this grant, the City has hired a world-class consultant team under the leadership of WSP to assist with project design, community outreach and engagement, and environmental site assessments.
The Bureau of Engineering has already hosted a community site tour and public meeting in January 2018 which were attended by over 300 community members. They have solicited public feedback with a community survey that has been widely distributed throughout the community and online. Over 1300 surveys were collected and the input from those surveys is being summarized. In addition, the City has also formed a Community Leadership Committee to provide specific feedback on different phases on the project. The next meeting is scheduled for June 2018.
The LA River Revitalization Master Plan is the City of Los Angeles’ plan to establish the LA River as the ‘front door’ to the City by establishing guidelines and projects that 1) revitalize the river, 2) green river-adjacent neighborhoods, 3) capture community opportunities, and 4) create value for river-adjacent communities. You can find the full plan here: http://boe.lacity.org/lariverrmp/
The Area with Restoration Benefits and Opportunities for Revitalization (ARBOR) Study, or the LA River Ecosystem Restoration Project, is a joint project of the City of Los Angeles and the US Army Corps of Engineers to restore the natural and hydrological processes of the LA River in an 11-mile section from Griffith Park to downtown Los Angeles, and includes the section of the River immediately adjacent to the G2 Parcel. It is considered the most ecologically progressive plan on the River to-date and the only plan that calls for concrete removal. You can find the full study here: http://www.lariver.org/blog/la-river-ecosystem-restoration
Yes, the soil contains some contaminants from historical rail operations, but there is no immediate health risk from the site because the public’s exposure to the soil is minimal. While current site conditions do not pose an immediate health risk, cleanup (remediation) of the soil is necessary before the site can be redeveloped into a park, and for the safety of the environment and people in the area.
The site was historically used for rail operations by Southern Pacific since the 1890’s, including maintenance and fueling beginning in the 1930’s and continued through 2006 when the yard was permanently closed. Since 1985, several soil and groundwater investigations have been conducted at the site. Results of these investigations have identified chemicals in the soil that include: total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH), antimony, arsenic, lead, benzo(a)pyrene, and tetrachloroethene. Chemicals of Concern (COCs) in soil gas include benzene, 1,2-dichloroethane, cis-1,2-dichlorothene, ethylbenzene, naphthalene, tetrachloroethene, trichloroethene, and vinyl chloride. Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are also present in groundwater beneath the site. The groundwater under the site is not used for drinking water.
The City is currently undertaking a comprehensive investigation of soil at the site to determine the nature and extent of contamination. This information will be used to develop a site remediation plan in late 2018 that will be provided to the DTSC for review and approval.
To protect the surrounding community and on-site workers during field activities, field work will be conducted according to a site-specific Health and Safety Plan approved by the DTSC. Dust will be suppressed by spraying water on soil to ensure that the amount of dust generated is minimized, and stockpiled soil will be covered with plastic sheeting. Air monitoring will be conducted to monitor the amount of dust generated and ensure that spraying the soil with water is effective. Most of the excavated soil will be transported to an offsite licensed facility either using rail cars connected to the adjacent rail transportation system or by trucks. All rail cars and trucks leaving the site will be covered, and trucks will also be covered and have their tires brushed and cleaned so no contaminated soil is tracked into the street.