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Release Date: 1/12/1999
Contact Information: Dave Schmidt, U.S. EPA, (415) 744-1578

     (San Francisco) -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) sent letters today to more than 800 private and public parties inviting them to settle with the government and resolve themselves of all liability at the Casmalia Disposal Site.   The amount of money that the U.S. EPA will require parties to pay if they wish to resolve their liability is based on the quantity of waste each party sent to the Casmalia Disposal Site.  The site, located  near Santa Maria, California, operated as a hazardous waste treatment, storage, and disposal facility in the 1970's and 1980's.  The funds that the U.S. EPA collects will pay for the proper closure and long-term monitoring of the Casmalia Disposal Site.  

     "The participation of these parties is essential to remediating the Casmalia Disposal Site," said Arlene Kabei, associate director of U.S. EPA's western regional Waste Management Division.  "More than 52 of the largest contributors of waste to Casmalia are already financing work at the site.  Other generators that sent waste to Casmalia must help pay the enormous cost of closing this site, which U.S. EPA estimates will be close to $399 million."

     The settlement monies will pay for construction of landfill caps and buttresses, ground water monitoring, site maintenance, and community involvement efforts.  Between 1992 and 1996, the U.S. EPA worked to stabilize conditions at the Casmalia Disposal Site.  In 1996, U.S. EPA negotiated a settlement with 52 waste generators. These waste generators, called the Casmalia Steering Committee, are now completing the construction of a cap for the landfill containing pesticides and solvents, and designing caps for other landfills that will be capped using funds from the more than 800 parties to which the U.S. EPA today sent settlement offers.  

     During 16 years of operation between 1973 and 1989, the Casmalia Disposal Site took in more than four billion pounds of waste.  The facility's owner/operators accepted a wide variety of industrial wastes including pesticides, solvents, acids, metals, cyanide, non-liquid PCBs, and other hazardous waste from about 10,000 different parties.  In the early 1990s, the facility's owner/operators abandoned efforts to properly close and remediate the site.  In addition to seeking funds from those parties that sent waste to the Casmalia Disposal Site, the U.S. EPA is vigorously prosecuting its lawsuit against the former owner/operators, namely, Kenneth H. Hunter, Jr., Casmalia Resources, and Casmalia Disposal.  For more information, members of the public are invited to call
the following toll-free number: 1-800-394-2670.

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