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DTSC is Clearing the Way for New Retail Development

Developers have big plans for one of the last large pieces of available land in South San Jose – but not until the state Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) makes sure it is clean enough to build on.

DTSC is supervising the cleanup of about 15 acres slated to become a Costco warehouse store and gas station. The property is part of the 76-acre Great Oaks Master Plan, which is being incorporated into an overall transit village consisting of homes, open space, businesses and three transit stations.  

Environmental investigations found elevated levels of arsenic in the soil, likely stemming from past agricultural uses. It was an orchard for many years, but the area around it has become commercial. IBM once owned a large campus that is next door.

As a key first step, Costco and DTSC signed an agreement under California’s Land Reuse and Revitalization Act. This Act protects buyers of properties that meet specific restrictions and that require an environmental cleanup from certain liabilities.

The proposed cleanup plan calls for removing and consolidating about 11,000 cubic yards of contaminated soil under the foundation of the building. Here’s a link to the work notice.

This project fits with one of DTSC’s main missions: To clean up and reuse contaminated property and protect public health.