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U.S. EPA, Halaco Engineering agree to initial cleanup at site in Oxnard

Release Date: 07/31/2006
Contact Information: Francisco Arcaute, (213) 244-1815

LOS ANGELES - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently settled with four parties of the now defunct Halaco Engineering Company and agreed to stabilize and secure the former smelter site near Ormond Beach in Oxnard, Calif.

John M. Haack, Robert D. Haack, Clarence W. Haack, and the Clarence W. Haack Living Trust are named in the agreement requiring a time-critical removal action to protect public health and the environment and to control hazardous substances onsite.

“This is an important first step in evaluating this site,” said Dan Meer, Superfund chief of response, planning and assessment for the EPA’s Pacific Southwest region. “We will be working with the responsible parties as they perform work under our agreement.”

Located at 6200 Perkins Road, Halaco Engineering Co. is currently in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. Halaco Engineering Co. operated at this location for almost 40 years and is responsible for the actual or threatened releases of hazardous substances at this location, including heavy metals, radioactive isotopes, flammable liquids, corrosive liquids and solids.

The Halaco Engineering Co. site is adjacent to the Pacific Ocean and is surrounded by sensitive ecosystems including the Ormond Beach Wetlands and Lagoon, which are habitat for multiple threatened or endangered species. As part of its legacy, Halaco left behind a 28-acre waste management pile that includes an estimated 400,000 cubic yards of waste and abuts wetlands and lagoon.

The EPA determined that a time-critical removal action was needed at this site to given the unsecured nature of the facility, the evidence of rampant trespass and vandalism, and the existence of uncontrolled hazardous substances onsite. The removal action at the site will include the following activities:

    • Implementing site security measures which may include security guard service, repair, replacement, or installation of chain link fencing, and posting of warning signs;

    • Identifying and mitigating sources of radioactive contamination in excess of EPA residential screening levels;

    • Containing or stabilizing all hazardous substances and process solids from the smelter area and waste management unit;

    • Sampling, characterizing, removing, and consolidating for disposal all liquid and solid wastes from containment structures, buildings, tanks, drums, small containers, and pit sumps.

In addition to performing the time-critical removal action, the settling parties agreed to pay the EPA for all future response costs related to this removal action at the facility.

On June 19, 2006, EPA also initiated a two-week integrated site assessment sampling event to determine if other short-term and/or long-term actions are necessary to stabilized the site. The EPA’s integrated assessment report will become final in Fall 2006 and be available for public review.

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