Feds release report on Petaluma River junk
Published: Thursday, July 14, 2011 at 5:29 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, July 14, 2011 at 5:29 p.m.
Federal authorities released a tally Thursday of junk removed from the Petaluma River last month to clean up environmental and navigational hazards on the waterway.
Included were 11 boats; three structurally unsound piers; three abandoned barges; one shed used for drug use; three vehicles; and a collection of televisions, engines, tires, asbestos, oil, batteries and other hazardous waste.
More than 60 marine batteries were collected, as were numerous gas cans, refrigerators, electrical equipment and dozens of cans of old paints, varnish, adhesives and household chemicals.
Two sunken vessels — a houseboat and a 28-foot sailboat — were removed from their muddy graves under the Highway 37 bridge. That effort, on June 16, took eight hours, a huge crane and a 40-yard debris bin, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Sonoma County sheriff's deputies organized the effort with Petaluma police and state and federal agencies. The EPA handled the hazardous waste and CalRecycle removed the solid waste.
The cleanup was expected to cost $1.2 million, with $800,000 from the EPA. Any proceeds CalRecycle can recoup from recycling recovered materials — mostly metal — funds future cleanup programs.
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