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SD Officials Say More Oversight Needed in Qualcomm Contamination Clean-Up

The city of San Diego says regulators aren't being careful enough in checking if petroleum from a tank farm is re-contaminating the ground under the Qualcomm Stadium parking lot. The city wants to use water under the lot to supply 5,000 homes. KPBS Reporter Amita Sharma has more.

Cleanup of the Qualcomm parking lot is under way from gasoline spills dating back to the 1980s at the terminal north of the stadium. But the city says wells on the lot have shown high levels of petroleum contamination. The city thinks that may be an indication of ongoing leaks.

Kinder Morgan owns the terminal and is responsible for the cleanup. The company says the spike in the well contamination was not real but the result of lab errors. 

City officials want to know how such mistakes could happen and why the state water quality control board - which is overseeing the cleanup - didn't catch the errors.

A water board official would say only that the city's conclusions about ongoing leaks are wrong. City representatives will meet with the water board next week.

Amita Sharma, KPBS News.

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Photo of Amita Sharma

Amita Sharma
Investigative Reporter

opening quote marksclosing quote marksAs an investigative reporter for KPBS, I've helped expose political scandals and dug into intractable issues like sex trafficking. I've raised tough questions about how government treats foster kids. I've spotlighted the problem of pollution in poor neighborhoods. And I've chronicled corporate mistakes and how the public sometimes ends up paying for them.

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