Example Cleanup: Removal of Polychlorinated Biphenyls from Hillside 140

Location of Hillside 140
  • Two cleanups of radioactive materials were completed in the 1970s and 1980s following the standards of the day. Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) were not then regulated.
  • In 2008, LANL accelerated the cleanup of PCBs directly south of residences in the town site.
  • Project managers had dozens of meetings with residents and took hundreds of samples.
  • Workers shoveled, picked, and vacuumed PCB waste from the steep hillside. Rocks that did not fit in the vacuum hoses were zipped on wires to the canyon bottoms. The project removed over 1400 cubic yards of waste.
  • Two catchment basins were installed in the canyon bottom above the streambed to catch runoff.
  • Water and sediment is sampled periodically for contaminants. If PCB waste is present, it is shipped to licensed disposal facilities.
  • Removing the source is one of three defenses in depth: removal of, sampling for, and controlling contaminants.

Vacuuming PCB contamination from Hillside 140
Vacuuming PCB contamination from Hillside 140

Stormwater catchment basin below Hillside 140
Stormwater catchment basin below Hillside 140

Removing PCB-contaminated dirt with giant vacuums
Removing PCB-contaminated dirt with giant vacuums

PCB-contaminated dirt transported by zipline
PCB-contaminated dirt transported by zipline



Contact Us | Careers | Bradbury Science Museum | Emergencies | Inside LANL | Maps | Site Feedback | SSL Portal | Training

Operated by Los Alamos National Security, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy's NNSA © Copyright 2011-12 LANS, LLC All rights reserved | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy