Revised on
08/31/16 03:10pm

LEHR Superfund Site

Contact information

What is LEHR?

LEHR, the former Laboratory of Energy-related Health Research, was the site of sponsored research for the Department of Energy (DOE) from the late 1950's to the late 1980's. UC Davis and the DOE are currently investigating and remediating solid waste landfills and radioactive waste disposal sites at the facility.

For more information about the history of LEHR, see History.

Deed Restrictions and Soil Disturbance Permit

Map of restricted areas

Permit Application for Soil Disturbance at LEHR Superfund Site

EH&S Standard Operating Procedure:  Permitting Soil Disturbance in Restricted Areas, Former Department of Energy Laboratory for Energy-related Health Research

Soil Management Plan (SMP)

Annual Soil Management Plan Training

Contaminants and Risks

Chloroform: Chloroform a chemical compound that is part of a group called volatile organic compounds (abbreviated as VOC). These compounds quickly evaporate at room temperatures; a pail of water containing volatile compounds left out in the sun will soon lose the compounds through evaporation. Chloroform is leaking from an apparently specific source (i.e., buried waste chloroform from research activities) from one of the old waste units at LEHR, and has entered the shallowest aquifer, which lies roughly 40 ft. to 130 ft. below the surface.

Hexavalent Chromium: Chromium is a naturally occurring metallic element that can be found in water and in soil or rocks. It is also present in the food we eat, either in the food itself or in residual soils that might remain on such items as produce. There have been detections of hexavalent chromium in groundwater at LEHR and in the vicinity. At LEHR, hexavalent chromium has been consistently detected in two shallow groundwater monitoring wells (about 55-70 feet deep). The concentrations range from less than 10 ug/L to 350 ug/L. This water is not used for drinking.

Nitrate: Nitrogen is an element essential to living matter. It occurs naturally in the environment in soil, water, and air. Nitrogen is present in many compounds, including ammonia and nitrate. There have been detections of nitrate-nitrogen in groundwater at LEHR and in the vicinity. Over the past few years of groundwater sampling at LEHR, nitrate-nitrogen has been consistently detected in most site wells with results between 2 mg/L and 68 mg/L.

Questions and Comments

UC Davis is committed to keeping the public informed on the happenings of the LEHR site; it is also important that we address any questions or concerns the community may have. To submit any questions, comments, or concerns please e-mail Chris Wright at

For more information and resources: