Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are a contaminate that have
been found at elevated levels in certain species of fish in the San Francisco
Bay. When PCBs enter the ocean, aquatic organisms take them up, including species
that humans might consume. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA), PCBs have been found to cause a variety of adverse health effects to
animals, including humans, if ingested.
In order to improve the health of our Bay, aquatic life, and
protect human health, PCBs sources need to be identified and controlled. One common pathway for PCBs to enter the Bay
is through urban stormwater runoff. PCBs
sources are found in certain building materials (e.g., caulks/sealants, thermal/fiberglass
insulation, adhesive/mastic, rubber window seals/gaskets) from building
demolition projects, specifically from buildings that were built or redeveloped
between 1950 and 1980.
The Regional Water Quality Control Board requires that local
agencies, like the County, develop a screening program to keep PCBs from
building materials out of the storm drain systems during building demolition
projects. The Municipal Regional Permit (MRP) requires:
- Developing methods to identify applicable
structures and priority materials before demolition;
- Developing protocols to ensure that PCBs are not
discharged to the storm drain during demolition of these structures; and
- Establishing the legal authority for the
- Download and print the PCBs Screening Assessment Form (Form).
- Once the Form is completed and signed, send the completed Form to CleanwaterSCC@cep.sccgov.org.
- CWP staff will review Form for completeness.
- If Form is complete, CWP staff will send a confirmation letter with an assigned PCB Identification Number (PCB ID#).
- If Form is incomplete or contains errors, CWP staff will notify the applicant to resubmit with corrections.
- Once you receive your confirmation letter with PCB ID#, submit a copy of the letter to the Department of Planning and Development to file with your Demo Permit Application.
If you have any questions, please contact CWP staff at CleanwaterSCC@cep.sccgov.org or (408) 918-4609.
PCBs Screening Protocol
Starting July 1, 2019, all applicants proposing to demolish a building must complete a PCBs Screening Assessment Form. The form will help you determine:
- Whether the building proposed for demolition is likely to have PCBs-containing building materials.
- How to conduct representative sampling of priority building materials (if needed).
- Whether PCBs are present at a concentration equal to or greater than 50 parts per million (ppm) in building materials.
and Additional Resources