The Frontier Fertilizer site

Superfund is the common name for CERCLA, or Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, which was enacted by the United States Congress on December 11, 1980 in response to the Love Canal disaster. This law created a tax on petroleum and chemical industries and provided broad Federal authority to respond directly to releases or threatened releases of hazardous substances that may endanger public health or the environment. Over five years, $1.6 billion was collected and the tax went to a trust fund for cleaning up abandoned or uncontrolled hazardous waste sites. (Wikipedia)

According to the EPA Website there are three "Superfund" sites in Davis:

Davis Transmitter Site

The Davis Transmitter Site was a out-of-blast-radius transmission site for McClellan Air Force Base. There was a radio tower that was the backup in case McClellan got nuked. Just about every AFB has one. It was decommissioned (presumably when McClellan was), and the only reason it's on the Superfund is because they had a septic tank there and anything military automatically goes onto Superfund if there are any groundwater issues. There are also minor runoffs consistant with a military installation (namely, lead). In this case, the pollutant is primarily... airman poop. It was "discovered" in 1988 and had its first and last inspection in 1994. This site is located between County Road 35 and County Road 36 East of Yolo County Grasslands Park. It is visible by all the odd antennas sticking out of the ground. (EPA Database)

Frontier Fertilizer

Located on 2nd Street (aka County Road 32a) between Cantrill Drive and Mace, it is a large fenced-off area which is designated by a extremely faded sign that warns trespassers of danger and to keep out. A public health assessment was last filed in 1995 for this site. (EPA Database). The EPA website contains a narrative describing this site and possibly other information. In a general way, the site has both soil and groundwater contamination due to the production of fertilizers for agriculture. The fence is to keep people away from the surface soil contamination, and there is a groundwater treatment system that is trying to clean up the groundwater. As no one is currently being poisoned from the site, the EPA is not heavily invested in doing treatment any faster (they have other places to spend resources where people are getting sick, or at least the potential is much higher).

The new Target is going to be placed immediately east of this site. One major source of concern surrounding this placement is that it will remove some of the wells that permit the monitoring of the rate of spread of the contamination of the groundwater. Target has said that they will replace the wells, but others say that the new wells may not provide the same quality of information as the originals. The construction of new monitoring wells is being overseen by the EPA. Also see the Frontier Fertilizer Superfund Oversight Group.

Pilau Drum Site

This is another Superfund site, on the UC Davis Campus, but because it is south of I-80 it is technically in Solano County. It was LEHR/Old Campus Landfill which is now called the Center for Health and the Environment on Old Davis Road. This one is particularly interesting because it is the site of the infamous "Radioactive Beagles" that is discussed on the Urban Legends page. It is located south of I-80 at the UC Davis exit, in the area known as South Campus, near the California Raptor Center. (EPA Database)