Soil Program

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By its very nature, soil is less dynamic than air or water. Soil based contaminants may remain for decades without active mitigation measures, creating a persistent hazard to human health and the environment.

Soil and fill material are to be sampled and analyzed prior to any import to or export from any UCSF location.

Due to the large volumes often associated with construction activities and difficulty of soil clean up efforts, soil import / export often represents a significant financial risk to the university. Environmental Programs strongly recommends using native soils in place where appropriate, but understands that soil import / export is essential to the successful completion of large construction projects.

Specific programs managed by UCSF Environmental Programs include:

  • Soil Export - Removal of any UCSF soils to an off site location or disposal facility
  • Soil Import - Importing fill material for use on UCSF land
  • Mission Bay Development Area Soil Reuse and Transport - Several site specific rules apply to use, reuse, transport and export of Mission Bay native soils

Contact Environmental Programs if you have questions or concerns relating to observed or potential soil contamination or import, export and transportation of fill material.

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Soil Export

Soil Export Guidelines

All soil being offered for export from UCSF locations , regardless of the presence or absence of contamination, may only be shipped to a location approved by the Office of Environment, Health & Safety (OEH&S) in collaboration with the project’s responsible party.Soil may not be exported to residential or K-12 school sites.                        

Clean Soil / Fill for Export

Clean, recyclable material such as soil, rock, and blacktop may be exported to a certified recycling facility upon approval by OEH&S; each shipment must be accompanied by a signed document from the receiving site. Export of uncontaminated soil to commercial, industrial, or roadwork sites is acceptable.

Transportation of soils to or from any non-UCSF location not previously approved by OEH&S must be reviewed and approved by OEH&S (Environmental Programs) prior to export. The following requirements must be met:

  1. Each load of soil exported from UCSF must be documented with time, date, driver, and approximate volume or weight.
  2. The delivery of each load of soil to the export site must be accepted by a responsible party prior to placing that soil on the site.
  3. Acceptance must be documented by a signed receiver from the responsible party, identifying the acceptance of the soil and approval for placement on their property.
  4. This documentation may be performed using a standard receipt form with appropriate copies.
  5. Completed documents are to be returned to the project manager for record retention.

Site workers and UCSF personnel must be on the alert for any odors, discolorations, physical changes, or other clues and abnormalities that may indicate soil contamination.With any indication of soil contamination, grading and excavating must be stopped, and UCSF Environmental Programs must be contacted immediately.Until the issue is addressed, soils are not to be moved off-site, and excavation must cease.      

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Contaminated Soil / Fill for Export                                  

Contaminated soil may need to be removed to a hazardous waste disposal site and shipped under a Hazardous Waste Manifest. Environmental Programs will make this determination.

Contaminated soils that meet the criteria for landfill disposal may be removed to a solid waste landfill after filing an appropriate application and receiving approval from the landfill operator.

If contaminated soil is discovered at an export location

The project manager must be notified immediately by the contractor of any claim that contaminated soil was received from UCSF or the site’s refusal of acceptance.The project manager should immediately contact UCSF Environmental Programs.

  1. Further grading, excavating, or loading of trucks must be stopped at the UCSF project site until a determination regarding contamination can be performed.
  2. A representative from UCSF must visit the export site immediately and identify the soil in question.It is important that the soil in question not be combined with other soils at the export site. Any soil in question must not be deposited on the export site.
  3. The soil should be returned to the UCSF site and stockpiled away from the working area, on plastic sheeting, and cordoned off with traffic tape until it can be analyzed and properly handled.
  4. All suspected contaminated soil from UCSF must be removed from the export location to an appropriate disposal site, or brought back to the UCSF site of origin as soon as possible.
  5. All trucks in route must be returned to the project site for a determination regarding contamination.

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Soil Import

Soil Import Guidelines

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The following general requirements apply to fill materials brought from off-campus locations or from locations on campus generated from ongoing or previous excavations.

  1. Notify UCSF Environmental Programs prior to the import of any soil or fill material to a UCSF site.
  2. A “Phase I” investigation shall be conducted of the source of the fill prior to any material being imported or relocated on campus. The primary purpose shall be to identify the potential for soil contamination and the potential extent of that contamination of concern.
  3. The fill must not be from an industrial area, an area undergoing environmental clean-up or remediation, a demolition site, an area with expected contamination, unpaved parking areas, former service stations, solvent cleaning establishments, paint-related facilities, or similar locations with high potential for soil contamination.
  4. Acceptable soils shall be obtained from residential locations, undeveloped locations, previously evaluated and approved areas, or areas of “virgin” soils, such as deep excavations. Soils from agricultural areas should be used with caution due to potential pesticide contamination or presence of manure or decomposed organic material.

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Mission Bay Development Area Soil Reuse and Transport    Mission Bay Constructiont

Contaminated soils generated from construction and grading within the Mission Bay Development Area are allowed to be reused within the Mission Bay Development Area without triggering hazardous waste laws, per a decision issued by the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) in 1997. A copy of the full text of that decision is included here, RMP - Soil Reuse.

Transport of native Mission Bay Development Area native soils must be done by a certified hazardous materials hauler and shipped under a Bill of Lading.

Any off site export of Mission Bay Development Area native soils will likely be subject to hazardous waste laws and regulations and should be treated as such until a soil analysis confirms otherwise.

Contact Environmental Programs for more information on transportation restrictions and manifesting.

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