Facebook took the first steps toward expanding its Menlo Park, Calif., headquarters to the former Tyco Electronics site across the Bayfront Expressway from its main campus, submitting a plan to the state for cleaning up soil that is contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and other toxic chemicals.
The Palo Alto Daily News reported that prior to Tyco Electronics, the site was used as a chemical handling and storage operation by Raychem, and Chip Gribble, project manager for the state Department of Toxic Substances Control, told the newspaper on the subject of PCBs:
It’s a fluid that in the past was commonly used in electrical equipment and was used in the chemical process that was conducted out here long ago with the Raychem company.
Facebook Spokesman Tucker Bounds told the Daily News the social network hopes to break ground next year and place employees in new buildings on what the company calls its West Campus by 2015, adding:
This is part of the process of moving forward. It’s an exciting time for us.
Facebook’s plan is to erect five buildings, each two to four stories high, clustered around a central courtyard, and including open spaces, landscaped areas, and a five-level parking garage, and the company intends to remove the contaminated dirt and replace it with clean soil, the Daily News reported.
According to the Daily News, the Department of Toxic Substances Control indicated that it will back Facebook’s plan and drafted a “negative declaration” allowing the company to proceed without a full environmental study.
The newspaper added that the agency will hold a public meeting on the plan Aug. 22 at 6:30 p.m. PT at the Belle Haven Senior Center in Menlo Park, and the 30-day comment period expires Sept. 6.