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U.S. EPA deletes Salinas, Calif. facility from federal Superfund list

Release Date: 5/3/2005
Contact Information: Lisa Fasano, 415-947-4307

SAN FRANCISCO – Last week the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency formally removed the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company Superfund Site in Salinas, Calif. from the federal Superfund list.

The delisting action closes out the 18-year site investigation, cleanup and monitoring of the former Firestone property that began in February 1987, when the site was placed on the federal Superfund list. The state of California's Department of Toxic Substances Control served as the lead oversight agency.

“California has done an excellent job to ensure that this former industrial property no longer poses an ecological or public health threat,” said Keith Takata, Superfund division director for the EPA’s Pacific Southwest Region. “It is a watershed moment whenever we can cross a Superfund site off the list.”

The EPA solicited comments from the public on its proposal to delist the site. The EPA received no comments during the 30-day comment period, which closed in mid-March.

Under the oversight of the California Department of Toxic Substances Control and the state Regional Water Quality Control Board, Firestone conducted a thorough groundwater investigation. From that a pump and treat cleanup plan was put in place to remove chlorinated solvents and other chemicals that contaminated groundwater at the site.

"The successful cleanup of this site and the de-listing are clear examples of what can be done when state, local, and federal environmental regulators work together with a cooperative responsible party to address contamination," said B.B. Blevins, director of California's Department of Toxic Substances Control. "The 256-acre parcel has been turned into an industrial park containing warehouses surrounded by agricultural lands."

The EPA issued the Record of Decision in 1989 that formally documented the final cleanup decisions for the site. By 1992, groundwater cleanup levels were achieved and until 1998 Firestone continued to monitor the groundwater ensuring it met the established cleanup levels.

Between 1963 and 1980, the Firestone Tire and Rubber Company owned and operated a tire manufacturing facility on a 256-acre parcel of land located at 340 El Camino Real. During the facility’s operation, Firestone released chlorinated solvents and other chemicals to the soil and groundwater at the site.

The site was sold in 1981 and has been redeveloped into the Firestone Business Park, an industrial and warehouse park. Firestone started investigating the contamination at the site in March 1983.