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Release Date: 9/5/1996
Contact Information: Paula Bruin, U.S. EPA, (415) 744-1587

  (San Francisco)--The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) announced it has decided on an amendment to the plan for cleaning up contaminated soils at the Koppers Superfund site, Oroville, Calif.

     The amendment affects both the soil cleanup standards and the cleanup technologies selected in the 1989 record of decision. The state of California concurs with the amended remedy.

     The amended plan will base the soil cleanup levels on continued industrial, rather than future residential, use of the site. The revised plan was first proposed after several discussions with local land use planning authorities, local officials and the community.  The cleanup will protect workers at the site, and deed restrictions will prevent future residential development of the Koppers property.

     U.S. EPA reevaluated soil cleanup standards and technologies that were selected in 1989 when the original cleanup decisions for the Koppers site were made.  Further analysis and studies found that the chosen cleanup technologies were not successful in reducing contaminant levels to the residential cleanup standards.

     The revised soil cleanup plan calls for contaminated soils to be excavated and placed in an on-site landfill.  The excavated areas will then be filled with clean soil.  Beazer East Inc., the company responsible for financing the cleanup, has already begun construction of the landfill cell.  Excavation of contaminated soil will begin later this year and should be completed within 12 - 18 months.  After all the soil is placed in the landfill, a final cap consisting of a heavy duty liner and protective soil layer will be placed over the top of the landfill cell.

    As part of U.S. EPA's overall cleanup plan, two groundwater treatment plants have been built to clean up contaminated groundwater and prevent any further migration of contaminants from the Koppers property.

     The Koppers site is located just south of Oroville near State Route 70.  Wood treating operations have been used at the site since 1948.  Chemical handling procedures, wood treatment and storage operations resulted in soil and groundwater contamination.  The groundwater, surface water and soils have been contaminated with pentachlorophenol (PCP), dioxins, polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons, chromium and arsenic.

     In 1984, the Koppers site was added to the National Priorities List (NPL).  The NPL is the list of uncontrolled hazardous waste sites nationwide which pose the greatest threat to human health and the environment.  Sites on the NPL qualify for federal long-term cleanup efforts.

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