PRC 421-2 Topsoil Removal Pilot Program

May 15, 2020 | Oil and Gas

What is Planned?

On September 10, 2020, the California State Lands Commission, in conjunction with contract engineering teams, will perform a +/- 9-day topsoil removal pilot program on the PRC 421-2 caisson. The objective is to determine the effectiveness and efficiency of the “Hydro-Ex” pressure wash and vacuum system to loosen and remove the top 3.5’ of soil from the caisson.  Prior to excavation, another contractor will remove the existing 18” concrete pad previously used to support a well pumping unit.

This pilot program will provide essential information that will lead to the development of a work plan for full removal of the two 1930s vintage caissons and piers offshore Goleta, which is anticipated to occur early next year.

The “Hydro-Ex” method can work between structural members within the caisson, leaving them in place and retaining structure stability until the caisson can be fully demolished and removed. The pilot program will test the efficiency of the system for full caisson soil removal. This system, if viable, will decrease the disturbance to the beach during the full removal of the caissons.

What to Expect During the Pilot Program?

  • Work crews will be onsite from 6:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. (excluding weekend days).
  • For safety purposes, beach access near the worksite and beneath the piers may be intermittently restricted (daylight hours) while soil removal work is occurring.
  • Equipment will include the Hydro-Ex pressure system and ancillary equipment and trucks, which will access the site using the road adjacent to the piers. There is no work or equipment planned on the beach.
  • Staff will secure impermeable barriers around the site to ensure full containment of any loose soils or liquid.
  • An Environmental Monitor will be onsite to ensure there is no harm to nearby environmentally sensitive resources.
  • All personnel will follow COVID-19 precautionary procedures.
  • Site safety and security personnel will be onsite during project work.


Contact Sheri Pemberton, California State Lands Commission
916.477.0691 |