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PG&E Hinkley Chromium Cleanup

Hinkley Compressor Station Chromium Contamination Cleanup

PG&E's natural gas Compressor Station is located approximately two miles southeast of the town of Hinkley and a dozen miles west of Barstow in the Mojave Desert of San Bernardino County. Between 1952 and 1966, PG&E used hexavalent chromium, also known as chromium 6, to fight corrosion in cooling tower water. The wastewater from the cooling towers was discharged to unlined ponds at the site. Some of the wastewater percolated to the groundwater, resulting in hexavalent chromium pollution. The chromium affects an area of groundwater at least eight miles long and two miles wide.  Chromium plume maps through time are listed on the bottom of this webpage.

The First Quarter 2014 Monitoring Report shows that chromium has been detected in groundwater in the northern Hinkley Valley and in theHarper Dry Lake Valley out to the Grasshopper Road area.  The chromium plume is undefined in some areas to the maximum background levels of 3.1 ppb hexavalent chromium and 3.2 ppb total chromium. The Water Board has required PG&E to submit workplans to further delineate the plume in groundwater. PG&E has compiled with these requirements and Water Board staff is evaluating the most recent workplan.

The next monitoring report and chromium plume map is due at the end of July 2014.

PG&E is under orders from the Lahontan Water Board to stop plume expansion and clean up the chromium plume. Monthly monitoring reports by PG&E demonstrate that the chromium plume is currently being contained south of Thompson Road.  Plume containment north of Thompson Road will be required once the Water Board adopts a new cleanup and abatement order later in 2014.

Below are certain documents related to some of these corrective actions. All documents associated with the project are available at the Lahontan Water Board office in Victorville and on the State Water Board’s database called Geotracker at http://geotracker.waterboards.ca.gov/.

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Water Board Orders

Investigative Orders

Cleanup Orders

Discharge Permits

Public Health Information

Other Documents

Chromium Background Study

PG&E Feasibility Study

Map of Chromium Plume

Questions or Comments about the Hinkley Project?