Lead Cleanup of West Oakland Neighborhood

On March 16, 2011, SFS Chemical Safety Inc. entered into a contract with the EPA to manage and complete a residential cleanup project in the South Prescott are of West Oakland. The project, which is anticipated to be completed in two years or less, involves setting up a Field Office in the area, and conducting remediation services at approximately one hundred and fifty yards adjacent to South Prescott area homes.

The project is being split into three phases. The initial phase involves establishing the Field Office, currently targeted to be placed at an empty lot on Center Street and remediating approximately six demonstration backyards in the area. Target completion of this phase is early summer, 2011.

The second and third phases will immediately follow the first phase and involve the remediation of approximately one hundred and forty-five backyards in the area.

The EPA has designed an innovative approach to the remediation of this neighborhood. Unlike similar projects in the past where contractors were hired to dig and haul lead contaminated soil away and replace with clean soil, the EPA has directed Chemical Safety to hire crews that will rototill the soil and mix it with a natural fish bone product that will reduce the levels of lead in the soil.

The project will be performed using green technologies, local labor and local contractors. The field office will be powered by solar energy, there will be no chemicals used in this work, and materials and supplies will be carried by Bio-diesel and electric vehicles.


Lead poisoning is the most common and serious environmental disease affecting young children, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).


Workers at a lot in the South Prescott neighborhood
where fish bone was applied to tainted soil

Apatite, a mineral found in fish bones, has been found to be
helpful in reducing health risks from lead-contaminated soil.

New Hires from Cypress-Mandela at the EPA field office
in West Oakland


Maggie O’Donnell, president of SFS Chemical Safety, of
Emeryville, California, sifting some bone meal her company is using
to neutralize lead contamination in a West Oakland neighborhood.

Workers mix decaying fish bone with lead-contaminated soil to
neutralize the poison in the ground

One of the electric vehicles used at the project