Must make sense in Tracy

The Tracy City Council voted on Tuesday to oppose the UC/Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory proposal to build a level-4 biowarfare laboratory at Site 300, a nearby bomb-testing site owned by the Department of Energy and managed by UC/Lawrence Livermore.

At the same meeting, the council voted to support trebling the amount of explosives that can be used on Site 300.

Both votes were 3-1.

Site 300 is outside the Tracy city limits.

Presumably, the two votes make sense in Tracy.

Bill Hatch

Tracy Press
Council votes against proposed bio-lab...John Upton
Councilwoman Irene Sundberg, Councilwoman Evelyn Tolbert and Councilman Steve Abercombie voted Tuesday night to oppose a proposal by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory to build the bio-lab at Site 300 in the hills southwest of Tracy, even though the council has no jurisdiction over the site. Acting Mayor Suzanne Tucker voted against opposing the lab... University of California Vice Provost for Research Lawrence Coleman asked Tracy City Council to not take a position on the bio-lab until the Department of Homeland Security provides more information later this year. The University of California operates Lawrence Livermore for the Department of Energy. Sundberg criticized Lawrence Livermore for taking too long to clean Site 300 contaminants...You’ve got no money to clean it up. And now you want to put more stuff in my backyard. Activist Bob Sarvey played an audio tape from a Nov. 15 public forum on the bio-lab, in which Lawrence Livermore spokeswoman Susan Houghton acknowledged that human errors could occur at the bio-lab and that homeowners might need to warn potential homebuyers about the facility. Stockton resident Mike Robinson, president of the San Joaquin County Farm Bureau, and Livermore resident Darrel Sweet, a past president of the California Cattleman’s Association, said the agricultural industry supports building the bio-lab at Site 300 in part because it would help speed up detection of exotic diseases in California’s agricultural stock.

Tracy votes down controversial bio lab...Jake Armstrong
The Tracy City Council voted late Tuesday night to oppose the University of California's bid to locate a federal laboratory that would research incurable diseases on a high-explosives test range southwest of the city...called the National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility. In a twist of irony, moments later, the council by the same margin voted to support an increase in the amount of explosives used in tests on the range known as Site 300, a 7,000-acre parcel owned by the U.S. Department of Energy and operated by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Air pollution regulators in December gave Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory approval to more than triple the amount of explosives it uses in its outdoor tests at Site 300. The San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control Hearing Board was set Wednesday to hear an appeal of the permit, which allows the laboratory to use 350 pounds of explosives a day and up to 8,000 pounds a year. However, the board voted to continue the hearing to next month in order to handle a request for public documents. Tracy council does not have jurisdiction over Site 300, which is just outside city limits, the city's opposition to the bio lab will be put into a letter to U.S. Department of Homeland Security officials who are evaluating more than a dozen proposals from universities and laboratories seeking to win the facility. The lab would also research incurable pathogens in an area of the strictest containment level, or Bio-Safety Level 4. Other factors that will influence the final decision are a local work force with experience running high-level bio-safety labs and access to multiple forms of transportation from the site, Kelly said. The 18 contenders for the bio lab face a Feb. 16 deadline to submit more information on their proposals to DHS, which plans to visit the sites and make final recommendations sometime from March to May. Environmental impact studies on a short list of sites will begin in July, with a finalist being named in October 2008. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2010, and the bio lab is expected to be up and running as early as 2013.