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Release Date: 9/26/1995
Contact Information: Lois Grunwald, U.S. EPA, (415) 744-1588

In anticipation of another heavy rainfall season, U.S. EPA is aggressively moving on four actions to safeguard the Casmalia Resources Hazardous Waste Management site near Santa Maria, Calif. The improvements include new and expanded treatment systems, the release of some 200 million gallons of currently ponded rainwater and the establishment of off-site air and groundwater monitoring systems.

In more detail, the actions are:


---As part of its current Superfund emergency response
action, U.S. EPA is installing an additional
treatment unit to treat leachate from a landfill
containing pesticides and solvents. The decision to
add the treatment unit was made to minimize the
need to ship leachate off site to a treatment facility
in New Jersey. Instead, the leachate will be treated
and then placed in a pond on site which contains other
treated effluent. The new unit will take about another
two weeks to build, which will be followed by one to two
months of tests. While the system is being constructed
and tested, shipments of leachate will continue. The next
shipment -- expected to be about 200,000 gallons -- is
expected in late October.

---U.S. EPA is also enlarging an existing treatment unit on
site so it can more effectively and more efficiently
handle the influx of groundwater expected from the winter
rains. In addition, the existing piping will be upgraded
and enlarged.


---To prepare for the upcoming winter rains, plans are
underway for the U.S. EPA to make a controlled
release into Casmalia Creek of rainwater currently stored
in three rainfall runoff ponds. The water will be
discharged and monitored in such a way as to minimize any
potential environmental impacts downstream. Between 2,000
and 4,000 gallons a minute will be released into the
stream, eventually emptying 200 million gallons in one to
two months. The exact rate of discharge is being
developed in coordination with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service to minimize downstream impacts.

---U.S. EPA is in the process of designing a new monitoring
system to test for any off-site groundwater or air
impacts from the Casmalia site. The new system will be in
place probably within the next few weeks.


---In response to concerns from the community to establish
an emergency response plan in the event of an emergency
at the site, the U.S. EPA will work with the community to
revise the Emergency Response Plan to ensure that it
includes up-to-date information on the state, local and
federal responsibilities at the site.

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