DAVIS (KCBS) – A former pesticide manufacturing plant in Northern California is just part of a national program aimed at making it more energy efficient to cleanup Superfund sites in the U.S.

The cleanup of the Frontier Fertilizer Superfund Site in Davis would have taken nearly 200 years if done using conventional methods.

But Jared Blumenfeld with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said that by using a new technology called electrical resistive heating, the job can be done a lot faster and cheaper.

“By cleaning these places using solar power, we’re saving money for the taxpayers,” said Blumenfeld. “Our energy bill would come down considerably and we’re able to do it in a much quicker time.”

KCBS’ Larry Chiaroni Reports:

He said the technology was developed to treat highly radioactive waste areas.

“By heating up the soil to a boiling point, they release the toxins from the soil,” said Blumenfeld. “The toxic pesticides then go into the ground water. The ground water then goes into the cleanup system that we have here that’s powered by solar.”

Blumenfeld said the solar powered Superfund site in Davis is the first in the nation to officially go off the grid. But it won’t be the last.

“We’re already using it in Southern California. We’re looking at every site that we work on. We’re trying to replace the diesel in the trucks with biodiesel. Let’s push energy efficiency so we can save money and then put in solar panels,” he said.

Once pollution is removed from the former pond in Davis, the overall cleanup process is expected to take just over 30 years.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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