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EPA Halaco Superfund Site Report

EPA Halaco Superfund Site Report

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Published by: VCStar on Feb 25, 2011
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02/25/2011

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  UNITED STATES ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCYREGION IX75 Hawthorne StreetSan Francisco, CA 94105
 
 
February 22, 2011
 
Halaco Superfund Site:  EPA testing results on The Nature Conservancy property inOxnard, California
 
The attached report provides the results of soil and sediment testing on property owned by TheNature Conservancy (TNC) in Oxnard, California.  The report includes a description of thetesting effort, a complete tabular summary of results, and figures depicting key results.  Thetesting is part of the remedial investigation (RI) performed by the U.S. EnvironmentalProtection Agency (EPA) for the Halaco Superfund Site in Oxnard, California.  Halaco operatedan aluminum and magnesium metal smelter at the Site from 1965 to 2004.
 
Testing 
 
A total of about 170 soil and sediment samples were collected on TNC property in May andJune 2010 to define the nature, areal extent, and depth of contamination.  Samples werecollected from the surface and at a depth of two feet, and analyzed to determine theconcentrations of copper, lead, radium, thorium, zinc, and other metals in Halaco
’s
wastematerials.   EPA also inspected the unpaved portion of McWane Blvd. for the presence ofHalaco
’s
wastes.
 
Findings
 
Based on the testing, EPA has concluded the following:
 
 
Copper, lead, zinc, and other metals from Halaco
’s
waste materials have contaminatedportions of TNC property.  Radium and thorium are at background
(“naturally
-
occurring”)
levels at the majority of the property.
 
The highest metals concentrations were found closest to the Halaco waste pile in lowerelevation areas.  The impact is limited primarily to shallow soils and sediments.
 
Lower but still elevated concentrations of metals appear to extend eastward across muchof TNC property, most likely due to windblown erosion of wastes.
 
Waste material also appears to have affected soils in a ditch and pond immediately northand northeast of the waste pile.  The extent and depth of the impacted soils have yet to bedetermined.
 
R
 
 
  
 
EPA has completed a
preliminary (“
screening level
”)
risk assessment that suggests thatthe contaminated soils and sediments on TNC property pose the greatest risk to theendangered least tern and snowy plover, which could ingest contaminated sediment,invertebrates, and fish from the property.  The magnitude of this risk is uncertain,however, because the screening levels used in the assessment are not site-specific andare
, based on EPA’s experience at other sites,
likely to overestimate the risk.  EPA wantsto limit remediation to areas where it is clearly warranted.  This approach will minimizesecondary impacts on wildlife (e.g., from temporary loss of habitat if contaminated soilsare excavated) and minimize costs.
 
 
The contaminated soils and sediments may also pose a risk to those who engage inactivities that create significant dust (e.g., dirt bike riding in contaminated areas).
 
Next Steps
 
EPA plans additional work to complete its evaluation of the extent of contamination on TNCproperty and the risks posed by the contamination to human health and the environment:
 
 
EPA plans to collect and analyze additional samples on the northern portion of TNCproperty, in areas where the 2010 testing did not determine the full extent ofcontamination.  This testing is planned for late spring or early summer 2011.
 
 
EPA will collect and analyze aquatic invertebrates, terrestrial invertebrates, and fish, andconduct
laboratory “toxicity tests”
to develop site-specific soil and sediment cleanuplevels protective of fish and wildlife at the Site.  This testing should result in a moreaccurate assessment of the risks and lead to less destruction of wildlife habitat. Thistesting is planned for late spring or early summer 2011.
 
After completion of the additional testing, EPA will work with TNC to identify cleanup optionsand develop a cleanup proposal for TNC property.  EPA will then seek and consider publiccomments on its cleanup proposal, and adopt a cleanup plan for the property.
 
If you have comments or seek additional information, please contact me atpraskins.wayne@epa.gov or 415-972-3181.  Additional information is available athttp://www.epa.gov/region9/halaco  Sincerely, Wayne PraskinsEPA Project Manager   
 
Enclosure (
Solid Matrix Sampling and Analysis Results for the NCL-East and NCL-NorthAreas, Halaco Superfund Site Remedial Investigation,
February 2011)
 
SOLID MATRIX SAMPLING AND ANALYSIS RESULTS FOR THENCL-EAST AND NCL-NORTH AREASHALACO SUPERFUND SITEREMEDIAL INVESTIGATIONOXNARD, CALIFORNIA
EPA CONTRACT NO. EP-S9-08-04EPA TASK ORDER NO. 015-RIRI-09X6CH2M HILL PROJECT NO. 385135Prepared forU.S. Environmental Protection AgencyRegion 975 Hawthorne StreetSan Francisco, California 94105Prepared byCH2M HILL325 East Hillcrest Dr., Suite 125Thousand Oaks, California 91360February 2011

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