EPA Cleanup Plan Proposed for Casmalia Resources Superfund Site

The Casmalia Resources Superfund Site in Santa Barbara County, CA is in for an overhaul. In December 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed a comprehensive cleanup plan to deal with contaminated soil and groundwater at the former hazardous waste treatment, storage, and disposal site.

The facility shuttered in 1989, and was listed on the National Priorities List in 2001, following years of issues including operational problems, discharges of waste materials, abandonment, and concerns from neighboring communities.

EPA Recommends Cleanup Plan

The EPA is ready to make the Casmalia Resources site safe for the local community. The Agency expects construction on its proposed plan to take five years and costs to total approximately $60 million. Operations and maintenance costs are expected to run approximately $4.1 million per year.

The multifaceted plan involves several actions, including:

  • Contaminated hotspot removal
  • Engineered capping systems
  • Groundwater collection and treatment systems
  • Natural breakdown of groundwater contaminants (at select locations)
  • Long-term surface water management
  • Source reduction
  • Land use controls
  • Ongoing monitoring and maintenance to ensure onsite containment

Casmalia Resources Superfund Site History

Located in Northern Santa Barbara County, the 252-acre Casmalia Resources Superfund Site was previously used as a commercial hazardous waste treatment, storage, and disposal facility. From 1972 until 1989, a massive 5.6 billion pounds of waste was accepted across 92 waste management and treatment areas on facility grounds. During this time, more than 10,000 businesses and government entities sent commercial hazardous waste to the site, including sludges, petroleum wastes, pesticides, solvents, acids, metals, caustics, cyanide, and non-liquid polychlorinated biphenyls.

Operations that went on at the now-inactive facility caused a host of serious damage to the environment, including the contamination of soil, soil vapor, surface water, sediment, and groundwater with hazardous chemicals. The site owners and operators halted all efforts to properly close and clean up the site in 1991. Conditions were deemed an imminent and substantial risk to human health and the environment, so the EPA used emergency Superfund authorities to intervene from 1992 to 1996. The Agency has been managing or overseeing cleanup efforts at the site since 1997.

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