Gray Panthers of San Francisco
October 2007 Newsletter

No Bioweapons Facility at Site 300
in Tracy, California


The good news is that community outrage and protest have taken Lawrence Livermore National Lab’s (LLNL) Site 300 out of contention as a home for a research facility in biological weapons planned by the Department of Homeland Security. Thousands of letters, emails, petitions and phone calls opposing the National Bio and Agro Defense Facility, “tipped the scale,” said Marylia Kelley, executive director of Tri-Valley CARES which organized the opposition. This “represents a huge community victory.”

Site 300, southwest of Tracy, was designated as a Superfund site in 1990 after 35 years of testing high explosives material had polluted the soil and groundwater with a mixture of chemical and radioactive wastes. The contamination there is among the worst in the country and is a source of increasing concern as new housing is built in adjacent areas—5500 houses are planned near the fence line.

But the bad news is that rather than stop the testing and begin the arduous and expensive process of cleaning up the site, LLNL still hopes to enlarge activities in the area. With the bio-warfare research facility out of the picture, the lab and the University of California are now campaigning to increase the annual limit for detonated explosives 8-fold, from 1,000 pounds to 8,000 pounds. The daily limit would rise from 100 to 350 pounds. And because the larger blasts would blow the walls out of the contained firing facility, LLNL plans to detonate in the open, releasing depleted uranium and tritium, the radioactive hydrogen of the H-bomb, into the air.

Community protest caused the San Joaquin Air Pollution Control District to rescind its decision to allow testing of 350-pound bombs on the site. LLNL hadn’t mentioned in its application that depleted uranium and other hazardous materials would be released into the atmosphere. However, the permit is still under consideration.

For information on the campaign to stop the testing visit the website of Tri-Valley CARES’ at or call (925) 443-7148.


Read recent articles in the SF Chronicle and the San Jose Mercury on UC being fined for Lawrence Livermore labs sending large shipments of anthrax in improperly closed vials, resulting in exposure to lab workers.

Read Tri-Valley CAREs August 2007 article "Community Victory: No Deadly Pathogens for Site 300"

Read Tri-Valley CAREs May 2007 newsletter describing Lawrence Livermore's plans for open-air tests

Read Scott Ritter's "Weapons of Mass Destruction in Our Midst" on bioweapons.




(back to October 2007 Newsletter front page)