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U.S. EPA MAKES PRELIMINARY DECISION TO CAP MCCOLL SUPERFUND SITE

Release Date: 7/18/1995
Contact Information: Paula Bruin, U.S. EPA, (415) 744-1587

  (San Francisco)--The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
(U.S. EPA) has announced a preliminary decision to cap all of the
approximately 100,000 cubic yards of hazardous waste at the
McColl Superfund site, Fullerton, Calif.  Following further
public comment, a final decision will be made in September.


     "After extensive testing and reviewing the impacts on the
community, we believe capping this site provides sufficient
health protection, is the most viable technical solution, and is
responsive and sensitive to the the community's concerns about
noise and odors," said Jeff Zelikson, U.S. EPA regional hazardous
waste management director.  "We want to make a decision that the
community surrounding the McColl site supports and that
satisfactorily addresses the environmental problems posed by the
site as quickly and effectively as possible."  


     The decision calls for the McColl Site Group (MSG), the oil
companies responsible for the contamination, to design and build
a multilayer, impermeable cap that will provide an approximately
seven and one half foot thick protective cover.  The cap will
prevent water from getting into the waste and emissions from
escaping into the atmosphere.  Underground walls will be
installed to minimize movement of water into the waste or
migration of contaminants outward.  Retaining walls will be
placed on the slopes to provide stability and strength to the
natural contours of the site.  A monitoring system to detect
future migration of the waste to adjacent areas also will be
installed.  The McColl Site Group will be required to provide
long-term security and conduct routine site maintenance in
perpetuity.


      U.S. EPA's preliminary decision was made after reviewing
the results of the full-scale solidification test the Agency
ordered the McColl Site Group to perform this spring.  The tests
were conducted to neutralize and solidify the upper portion of
the sumps to determine if they could meet the Agency's
performance criteria for the cleanup.  The tests showed that most
of the Agency's goals were met, but there was uncertainty about
the ability to control odors and temperatures during the
solidification process.
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       The Agency will make the final decision in September after
public comment which ends August 28.  The public may comment by
calling Mike Montgomery, the project manager, at (415) 744-2242
or submitting written comments to:
   
    Mike Montgomery
    Remedial Project Manager (H-6)
    U.S. EPA, Region 9
    75 Hawthorne St.
    San Francisco, CA 94105


     Design of the cap could begin in September.  The Agency
estimates that the cleanup could be concluded in two to three
years at an estimated cost of $30 million.


     The 22-acre McColl Superfund site was used during the early
1940s as a waste disposal facility.  Waste sludge, a highly
acidic by-product of oil refinery operations, was dumped at the
site.  Over the years the waste was covered by oil drilling muds
and top soils.  The 12 sumps are filled with nearly 100,000 cubic
yards of highly acidic sludge and soils.  The waste periodically
seeps to the surface through fissures in the covering.


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