The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt announced a comprehensive final cleanup plan for contaminated soil and groundwater at the Casmalia Resources Superfund Site in Santa Barbara County, California. Construction of the proposed cleanup projects is estimated to take five years and cost approximately $60 million.
“Over the course of the last year, EPA has taken action to accelerate remediation efforts at Superfund sites across the country, including the Casmalia Superfund site,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt.“Adding the Casmalia site to my emphasis list of sites requiring immediate, intense action, and signing this Record of Decision, demonstrates my commitment to ensure Superfund sites are addressed as quickly and safely as possible. The final cleanup plan utilizes the most effective cleanup technologies and will ensure the Casmalia site will be addressed in a comprehensive and lasting manner.”
EPA’s final remedy includes: removal of contaminated liquids and soils, engineered capping of waste disposal areas, design and construction of upgraded groundwater collection and treatment systems, natural breakdown of groundwater contaminants at some locations, long-term surface water management, source reduction, land use controls, and ongoing monitoring and maintenance to ensure onsite containment. Annual operations and maintenance costs are estimated at $4.1 million per year.
EPA selected the remedy after consulting with the California Department of Toxic Substances Control, the Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board, and community stakeholders. EPA also collaborated with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife for protection of special status wildlife species, including the California red-legged frog and the California tiger salamander.
“As the former Santa Barbara County supervisor who requested EPA’s designation of Casmalia as a Superfund site more than 25 years ago, this is an especially meaningful milestone,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Mike Stoker. “Casmalia is a wonderful example of how successful the Superfund process can be when local, state, and federal partners collaborate in the name of protecting public health and revitalizing land.”
The Casmalia Resources Superfund Site is a 252-acre former commercial hazardous waste management facility, which accepted about 5.6 billion pounds of wastes from over 10,000 generators between 1973 and 1989. The waste management operations included landfills, surface impoundments, evaporation pads, waste spreading areas, injection wells, and burial trenches. These disposal operations contaminated the soil, air, surface water, and groundwater on the property with many different types of hazardous chemicals. The former hazardous waste treatment, storage, and disposal facility closed in 1989, and the site was placed on the National Priorities List in 2001. Although the site has been stabilized and poses no immediate risks to the public, cleanup work, monitoring, and ongoing maintenance of the site will provide long-term community protection.
In 1997, EPA reached a settlement with the Casmalia Steering Committee (CSC), a group of 54 companies that sent large volumes of waste to the facility. Under that settlement, the CSC will conduct the final remedy with EPA oversight. The work will be funded from financial settlements with many entities that sent waste to the site. The CSC has been working on site actions under EPA oversight since 1996.
On April 16, 2018, the Casmalia Resources site was added to the EPA Administrator’s Emphasis List to spur action on cleanup and redevelopment efforts. The list represents sites that will benefit from targeted, immediate, and intense Agency attention.
For more information about the Casmalia Resources Superfund Site, please visit: https://www.epa.gov/superfund/