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CPI leaks chemicals to storm drain and creek

Original post made on May 20, 2008

CPI (Communication & Power Industries) leaked 40 to 50 gallons of water containing chemicals in the Palo Alto storm drain Monday morning and then into nearby Matadero Creek, according to Palo Alto Fire Marshal Dan Firth.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, May 20, 2008, 2:34 PM

Comments (20)

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Posted by Ada
a resident of Midtown
on May 20, 2008 at 5:11 pm

Shut them down. I know from a man who works for one of such companies in Palo Alto that many do it quietly all the time, but it is kept a secret. He will not come forward for the fear of losing his job.


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Posted by Walter E. Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on May 21, 2008 at 8:57 am

For some reason, my assertion, that you could probably drink that spilled water without harm was removed.
Paracelsus, from his belief that his studies were above or beyond the work of Celsus - the Roman physician from the first century) is also considered "the father" of toxicology.[3] He is credited with the classic toxicology maxim, "Alle Dinge sind Gift und nichts ist ohne Gift; allein die Dosis macht, dass ein Ding kein Gift ist." which translates as, "All things are poison and nothing is without poison; only the dose makes a thing not a poison." This is often condensed to: "The dose makes the poison".


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Rhonda
a resident of Barron Park
on May 21, 2008 at 9:35 am

Hi Walter!!
Let's see, 50 gallons of water at 25 parts per million of metal. That's about 1 penny in total copper. Shut them down? Put hundreds of people out of work for 1 penny? Ada, I got news for you, anytime it rains, pounds of metals hit the drain.


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Posted by pat
a resident of Midtown
on May 21, 2008 at 11:16 am

Shouldn't our "green" council be taking some major action on this ongoing problem?


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Posted by fireman
a resident of another community
on May 21, 2008 at 12:31 pm

Fire station #6, Has a storm drain that runs straight into the creek. There has been many times over many years when oil,gas and any product on the ground has been washed down the drain and into the creek.
The City would not allow ant business in this city or any other City for that matter would not let this happen with a PRIVATE Business, So why is it ok for them?

Yes when it rains so much happens that most of you do not think of. We can not control the rain, we can follow the law and every little bit helps. Shut them down? I do not think so, Just be glad it was not a highly toxic substance, Like the one in the DRILL several months ago. That would have killed people.


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Posted by Walter E. Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on May 21, 2008 at 3:04 pm

One other minor item - for as long as there have been oceans, those oceans have been the ultimate recipient of everything. This sudden sensitivity that has man dumping nothing less than sterile, clarified sewerage into the bay, when natural "organic" forces deposit tons every day of the grossest organic debris in those same waters seems excessively wasteful of assets. A 10 gallon oil spill costs milllions in abatement and fines, yet how much oil is released when a fat goose dies in the bay? The concept of De Mimimus needs to be built into environmental regulations, and legislators and headline writers need a little sign on the wall, reading "So What?"


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Posted by fireman
a resident of another community
on May 21, 2008 at 9:43 pm

Mr Wallis, So what? That is not good for the future or anyones grand children. Not all that goes in the bay should go there. We just soread it everywhere and in a little too lare of an amount. Lots of people living in the same spot. Nice weather? and clean water.. Ever drink the water in Sunnyvale? would you?
Give a Hoot and don't polute.


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Posted by fireman
a resident of another community
on May 21, 2008 at 9:45 pm

?? Oops spread it everywhere.. Every little bit helps... This storm drain goes to the bay, really means something..


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Posted by Donald
a resident of Midtown
on May 21, 2008 at 10:00 pm

The biggest source of copper in the bay is from brake linings on cars. Everytime a driver uses the brakes, small bits of copper fall onto the road, then get washed into the storm drains. If you really want to eliminate copper pollution in the bay, you would eliminate the cars and forget about small sources like CPI. Walter might be happy if we just arranged it so that nobody in cars ever had to stop, so their brake linings would be pristine.


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Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on May 22, 2008 at 6:24 am

Most of us don't drink bay water. The legislation of standards that excede reason is wasteful.


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Posted by Bayland's Lover
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 22, 2008 at 6:45 am

Recently, I have seen at least two pairs of Canada geese with goslings on the lower reaches of Matadero Creek plus several families of ducks. They are nesting down there.

It is a shame that CPI has so little regard for the scares wild life we enjoy in our creeks and Baylands. I urge them to take into account where their spills end up, in a pristine nature preserve called "The Baylands".


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Posted by Concerned Reader
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 22, 2008 at 8:45 am

I happen to know executives of CPI who care very much about the environment and their part in keeping it clean. This article is inflammatory and an example of poor reporting. Did the fire department measure the levels in the creek? How did they determine it was a fifty gallon spill and not a 40 gallon spill as the company (who might have better information) has asserted? And where is the information that I would like to know as a citizen -- at what levels do these chemicals hurt people, plants or animals? It smells of a smear campaign when I read a story like this. No useful information. A retread of a past story without all the facts. Smart readers will surely see this for what it is. A journalistic "stretch" to try to sell papers.


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on May 22, 2008 at 9:36 am

There is a creek up the peninsula somewhere that runs through a shopping center. One section serves as a wishing well, and held hundreds of pennies, nickles and dimes the last time I was there. The bay is not pristine and never was. As for Canada Geese, they are generally considered to be pests. Felix Salton and Disney have a lot to answer for.


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Posted by Big Al
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 22, 2008 at 2:29 pm

to all those readers out there of this post....

you should know that walter is writing his entries while

soaking in bathtub full of round up.

It his secret recipe for eccentricity.

Kitty is out of the bag old chap.

And, you missed a spot!


 +   1 person likes this
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on May 22, 2008 at 5:03 pm

We EE's know better than to blog in the bathtub. Mostly I shower in the accolades of the judicious and dry off with the hot winds of my critics. Ban voyage!


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Posted by Mike
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on May 22, 2008 at 9:04 pm

Walter is hilarious.


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Posted by Big Al
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 23, 2008 at 10:09 am


bathtub comedy/ian



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Posted by Roger
a resident of Barron Park
on May 26, 2008 at 8:18 am

Would like some honest comments on advisability of moving my family into the neighborhood bordering CPI, regarding health issues, risk factors etc. Also, how much harder is it to sell your house if its pretty close to CPI, and what types of disclosures do you need to put out on the table?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Ask Gwen
a resident of Barron Park
on May 26, 2008 at 8:32 am

I'd ask Gwen Luce. She sells half the houses in Barron Park, as well as living there, and has the data on everything. Obviously she is a real estate agent, so has some interest in it, but I doubt anyone else is more informed about the market over on Chimalus. She can also connect you to the Barron Park Association, which probably has the data on some of the risk issues.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Hulkamania
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on May 27, 2008 at 11:43 am

This might explain all the strange looking people in Barron Park.


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