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West Covina Landfill Area To Be Used For Recreational Facilities

Release Date: 5/10/2004
Contact Information: Francisco Arcaute , U.S. EPA, (213) 452-3378

     U.S. EPA Action helps pave way for 'Big League Dreams' sports complex

     LOS ANGELES   On Friday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency modified a BKK Landfill cleanup plan to allow recreational use of 70 acres of the 583-acre site in West Covina, Calif.

     The modification of the landfill's groundwater cleanup plan paves the way for redeveloping a part of the 70 acres into a "Big League Dreams" sports complex.  The EPA released the modified groundwater cleanup plan for the landfill along with responses to public comments.  Although no waste is believed to have been disposed in this 70-acre area, the EPA is requiring ongoing monitoring to ensure protection from past disposal activities in other areas of the property.    

      "We worked closely with the city of West Covina to get this land back into productive use while ensuring protection of public health.," said Wayne Nastri, the EPA's regional administrator of the Pacific Southwest region.  "Today's announcement paves the way for local residents to play  ball."  
     Development projects that focus on outdoor recreation activities are appropriate for the 70-acre area and safe for public use.  To ensure public safety, the revised plan calls for a three-phased monitoring program consisting of pre-construction, post-construction and long term-monitoring of any development of the 70 acres that involves a park or playground.

     The city of West Covina purchased approximately 158 acres of the BKK facility in 2003, including the 70 acres that are the subject of the EPA's modification.  The original cleanup plan included a restriction for parks and playgrounds.  The EPA's removal of the restriction for these 70 acres, and incorporation of monitoring protections, will allow the city to redevelop part of the area into a sports complex.

     The 70 acres subject to the EPA's remedy modification are located to the west of a former solid waste landfill, along Azusa Avenue.  Between 1987 and September 1996, BKK operated a lined solid waste landfill on another 170 acres at the property.  From 1972 to 1984, approximately 190 acres of the 583-acre site was operated as an unlined hazardous waste landfill.