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Pacific Southwest, Region 9: Superfund

Serving Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, the Pacific Islands, and Tribal Nations

Casmalia Resources

EPA #: CAD020748125

State: California(CA)

County: Santa Barbara

City: Casmalia

Congressional District: 23rd and 24th

Other Names: Casmalia Resources Hazardous Waste Management Facility

Bulletin Board

The remedial investigation (RI) was completed on April 26, 2011. Work continues on the feasibility study (FS) to identify and evaluate remedial alternatives for the Casmalia Resources Superfund Site.

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Description and History

NPL Listing History

NPL Status: Final

Proposed Date: 06/14/01

Final Date: 09/13/01

Deleted Date:

Site Description

The Casmalia Resources Superfund Site (Site), formerly the Casmalia Resources Hazardous Waste Management Facility, is an approximately 252-acre, inactive commercial hazardous waste treatment, storage, and disposal facility located in Santa Barbara County, California. This Site is located 10 miles southwest of the City of Santa Maria, 1.2 miles north of the Town of Casmalia, and four miles from the Pacific Ocean.

Site History

Between 1973 and 1989, the Site accepted approximately 5.6 billion pounds of waste into 92 waste management or treatment facilities. These facilities included landfills, ponds, shallow wells, disposal trenches, and hazardous waste treatment units. During its operational history, more than 10,000 businesses and government entities sent commercial hazardous waste to the Site. The waste material accepted at the Site included sludges, pesticides, solvents, acids, metals, caustics, cyanide, and nonliquid polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). The facility owners and operators were Casmalia Resources, Hunter Resources and Kenneth H. Hunter, Jr.

Facing multiple regulatory enforcement actions, the facility's owners and operators stopped accepting shipments of waste material in 1989. In 1991, the owners and operators abandoned any further efforts to properly close and clean up the Site. At that time, conditions at the Site presented imminent and substantial endangerment to human health and the environment. From 1992 to 1996, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) used Superfund authorities to take emergency actions to stabilize the various waste management or treatment facilities on the Site. These actions included installing and operating systems for collecting, treating, and disposing of contaminated subsurface liquids, controlling the flow of storm water, and stabilizing the landfills.

Images Documents

Figure 1 - Aerial View Showing Location of Casmalia Resources Disposal Site - JPG
Figure 2 - Aerial View of Site - GIF
Additional Photos Casmalia Site - JPG

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Contaminants and Risks

Contaminated Media
  • Groundwater
  • Surface Water
  • Air
  • Soil and Sludges
  • Environmentally Sensitive Area

Wastes found at the Casmalia Resources Superfund Site have include material with toxic properties. However, cleanup actions at the Site are designed to stabilize and provide long-term containment in perpetuity. Waste products generated from ongoing, interim operations (e.g., contaminated groundwater extraction) are being contained and treated on-site or shipped off-site for treatment and disposal.


Although there were historical releases of contaminants to the air during active commercial landfill operations, operations have long since been discontinued and the landfills have been capped or are otherwise being controlled. In addition, older environmental systems that might have been vulnerable to releases have been upgraded or replaced, and EPA has been performing or overseeing continuous improvements to site operations, maintenance, and monitoring practices. Any further contaminant releases to the air are considered unlikely. Without a complete chemical exposure pathway, human health exposure from Site–related contaminants is considered to be negligible. A detailed Human Health Risk Assessment (HHRA) was completed as part of the Remedial Investigation and is included as part of the final Remedial Investigation report.

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Who is Involved

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Investigation and Cleanup Activities

In 1997, EPA entered into a judicial settlement (consent decree) with the Casmalia Steering Committee (“CSC”), a group of 54 of the largest generators of waste disposed at the Site. The CSC members generated approximately half of the waste disposed of at the site. The consent decree specifies four phases of work:

• Phase 1 -- Site maintenance, groundwater monitoring, and contaminated liquids management activities for specified periods of time, construction of the pesticides/solvents landfill cap, the planning and design of three additional landfill caps, conducting site investigations, and design of permanent site-wide response actions;
• Phase 2 -- continuation of site maintenance, groundwater monitoring and liquids management activities after Phase 1, construction of the four additional landfill caps, construction of additional permanent site-wide response actions, and five years of operation and maintenance of the permanent responses;
• Phase 3 -- thirty years of Site operation and maintenance and;
• Phase 4 -- the long-term maintenance of the Site once after the 30-year operation and maintenance period is over.

For more details about the site clean-up plans, you may contact one of the EPA’s Remedial Project Manager listed below.

Initial Actions

Response Actions taken at the Site include:

o Capping one landfill in 1999 (with additional corrective construction in 2001);
o Capping a second landfill in 2001;
o Capping two additional landfills in 2002;
o Installing and operating a ground water collection and treatment system;
o Consolidating and managing numerous waste water collection and containment impoundments; and
o Implementing numerous Site improvements such as slope stabilization, minimizing the amounts of infiltrating rainwater, improving contaminated liquids control, and improving access to Site areas.

Site Studies

The Remedial Investigation (RI) Work Plan was approved in June, 2004. RI field activities began during the summer of 2004. More than 2,700 locations were investigated and sampled for more than 600 different chemicals of concern. An Interim Progress Report (IPR) was completed and data gaps were identified as part of a second phase of RI Field sampling. Based on the Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study (RI/FS) developed from this Work Plan, final response actions will be selected. These response actions may include capping an additional landfill, closing surface water impoundments, removal of pooled DNAPL, capping additional waste disposal areas, and the installation of ground water control and treatment systems.

The CSC submitted a Draft RI Report in May 2008. EPA and the Casmalia interagency committee reviewed the draft and provided comments to the CSC in October 2008. Community representatives from the nearby town of Casmalia and their consultant provided input to the review of the Draft RI Report. The CSC submitted a revised draft RI report at the end of January 2010.  EPA, the interagency committee (IAC), and community representatives reviewed the revised draft and provided extensive comments on June 17, 2010.  EPA and the CSC worked together using an over-the-shoulder review process to develop a revised document. EPA issued its approval of the RI report on April 26, 2011.

Meanwhile, the CSC submitted a draft Feasibility Study (FS) on February 28, 2011. EPA and the interagency committee conducted a detailed technical review and provided comments on the draft. The CSC submitted a revised draft FS Report on October 31, 2011. EPA and the interagency committee are reviewing the Revised Draft FS Report and are coordinating with the CSC to complete the FS.

See Site Description and History above.

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Cleanup Results to Date

Landfill Final Covers Installed


A landfill cover (also known as a cap) is designed to provide long-term protection for people and the environment from direct exposure to the hazardous waste contained beneath it. The cap also provides a hydraulic barrier to rainfall, preventing it from leaching through buried hazardous waste and generating additional groundwater contamination --thereby reducing long-term site maintenance costs. A multi-layered landfill cover has been installed on three of the four landfills.

Pesticides/ Solvent Landfill

During the summer of 1999, the CSC constructed a cover system over the Pesticides/Solvents Landfill and a storm water run-off control system. Following construction, EPA deemed that both the cover system and the run-off control system had construction deficiencies and corrective action was necessary. Corrective action work began during summer 2001 and was completed in January 2002.

Heavy Metals and Caustic Cyanide Landfills

In cooperation with EPA and the State of California, the CSC constructed the final cover systems for the Heavy Metals Landfill in 2001 and the Caustic/Cyanide Landfill and Acids Landfill in 2002.

PCB Landfill

The PCB Landfill will be used to contain any contaminated soils and sediments from other portions of the Site during the final phase of response activities; therefore, the PCB Landfill will receive its cover following the completion of these activities.

Surface and Groundwater Monitoring and Treatment Programs Continue

In early 2001, the CSC issued a report regarding site-wide groundwater contamination. The EPA and CSC are continuing their extensive groundwater monitoring program. The goals of this program are to monitor the extent of groundwater contamination and the progress of the on-going site groundwater extraction and treatment system.

Approximately 255 wells are checked for water level elevations on a routine basis. In addition, water from 66 groundwater wells and 5 ponds is sampled annually or semi-annually and analyzed in an environmental laboratory for various chemical contaminants. Chemically affected ground water is treated on-site.

The groundwater treatment system uses granular activated carbon (GAC) to remove organic contaminants from the groundwater collected in the Perimeter Source Control Trenches. Treated water is discharged to an on-site pond for evaporation. Two wells, Gallery Well and Sump 9B, collect contaminated liquids from the Pesticide/Solvent Landfill (PS Landfill). The Gallery Well and Sump 9B liquids are pumped into a holding tank and transferred to a tank truck for transport to an off-site treatment and disposal facility.

Initiation of Site-Wide Investigation and Study: Remedial Investigation/Feasibility Study

Ongoing remedial investigative (RI) work in 2006 and 2007 included continued data collection and analysis as well as the development of a groundwater flow computer model for the site. The MODFLOW model uses sophisticated computer programs to simulate actual site hydrologic conditions. After proper set-up and calibration have been achieved, the model will provide valuable information to help characterize current groundwater conditions, assess potential future clean-up alternatives and help design future response actions.

EPA and the CSC conducted a detailed geophysical investigation to characterize the subsurface structure of the Site, particularly the P/S Landfill. In December 2005, the CSC undertook extensive geophysical fieldwork under EPA oversight. The geophysics field work and follow-up analysis apply a technology called seismic refraction technology with tomographic inversion. Seismic refraction uses sound waves to assess underground geologic features. EPA has worked with the CSC to complete the evaluation of the geophysical models and analyses and incorporate the results into the Draft RI Report.

EPA approved the final RI Report the CSC on April 26, 2011.

The CSC has submitted two drafts of a feasibility study report that identifies and evaluates remedial alternatives based on the 9 criteria described in CERCLA (CERCLA 9-point criteria). The FS divides the site into areas, and proposes and evaluates numerous cleanup alternatives for each area. EPA is currently evaluating six (6) possible sitewide alternatives, including the No Further Action alternative, and will work with the interagency committee and community to continue to review the draft feasibility study.

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Potentially Responsible Parties


Potentially responsible parties (PRPs) refers to companies that are potentially responsible for generating, transporting, or disposing of the hazardous waste found at the site.


Financing the Cleanup

In 1992 EPA assumed the role of the lead regulatory agency after the facility's owners and operators claimed financial difficulty and abandoned any further efforts to clean up the Site. EPA responded by undertaking emergency response action activities, while concurrently seeking voluntary participation in site work by former customers of the facility. To clean up, close and care for this site, EPA estimates it will cost $284 million (in 1999 dollars). Sources of funding for these response actions include the trust fund established by the former owners and operators, as well as settlements with “potentially responsible parties” (explained below) and government funding.

Potentially Responsible Parties

The term potentially responsible parties (PRPs) refers to people, organizations and companies that are potentially responsible for generating, transporting, or disposing of the hazardous waste found at the site. The PRPs at the Casmalia Site include the former owners and operators and generators and transporters of waste disposed of at the site.

During the years of the Casmalia facility’s operation, the facility accepted waste from thousands of private businesses and government agencies. One of the EPA’s major responsibilities is to create an equitable process to ensure that each of these parties pays its share of total site costs -- both for the expenses that EPA has incurred already, and for future improvements and maintenance at the site. The current estimate of these expenses is $284 million, based on an engineering cost estimate prepared in 1999. EPA expects that the cost estimates will be updated as work progresses towards selection of a final cleanup approach.

EPA is working with PRPs to enter into settlements to help fund ongoing and future cleanup activities the site. To date EPA has settled with over 1,150.Casmalia PRPs. EPA refers to these as "Cashout" settlements, because under the settlement terms the PRPs pay into an account to finance the work. Over 1,000 of these entities are referred to as de minimis contributors because they sent relatively small amounts of waste to the site. The remaining parties include the former owners and operators and customers that are referred to as “major” waste generators. These settlements have generated over $110 million in funding for response actions at the site.

Settlements

On September 5, 2000, the EPA settled with 430 of PRPs , making approximately $26.1 million in settlement proceeds available for work at the site.

In December of 2001, the EPA negotiated a settlement with the State of California regarding the State's liability for wastes that the various State departments and agencies shipped to Casmalia. The settlement with the State was for $15.9 million.

On September 29, 2003, a group of 24 de minimis Casmalia customers settled with the EPA. These parties sent 1.6% of the waste to the site, and they settled for a total of $8.2 million dollars.

On July 22, 2003, the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California approved a settlement with a group of 41 major waste generators, and on August 14, 2003, the same court approved settlements with 3 additional major parties. These 44 parties sent a combined total of 10.9% of the waste to the site, and paid a combined total of $31.9 million.

Naturally, the former owners and operators are expected to apply their own resources to the site’s cleanup as well. To that end, in 1997 the United States filed suit in federal district court against Casmalia Resources, Hunter Resources, and Kenneth H. Hunter, Jr., the facility owners and operators. On February 14, 2002, the owner/operators settled with the EPA for $6.9 million, and the court entered the settlement on November 22, 2002. In May of 2005, the EPA negotiated two (2) settlements with trustees for the estates of George and Mario Castagnola's who were Limited Partners of Casmalia Resources. The settlement was for $400,000.

In September 2004, the EPA settled with 193 more de minimis parties, who paid a total of $12.1 million.

In April 2006, the EPA settled with another 257 de minimis parties for $4.3 million, and finalized settlements with 26 additional de minimis parties that had previously received offers, raising another $1.8 million.

In 2009, EPA settled with 135 de minimis parties in two settlements that raised another $2.9 million.

In 2011, EPA entered into a settlement with 49 de minimis parties and collected $1,211,317 that will be allocated to response activities.

In 2012, EPA entered into a settlement with 290 de minimis parties and collected $2,077,592 that will be allocated to response activities.

In 2013 and 2014, EPA has continued to work with de minimis parties, seeking financial settlements that will be allocated to site response activities.

Funds received from these settlements will be applied to Casmalia Resources site related work. Meanwhile, EPA will continue to offer "Cashout" settlements to other PRPs.

Anyone who would like documents associated with the settlement process may download a Document Order Form by clicking the link below called Settlement Documents and fax it to Karen Goldberg's attention at (415) 947-3570, or call (415) 369-0559, extension 10 to request copies.

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Documents and Reports


Hide details for Administrative RecordsAdministrative Records
Non-Time-Critical Removal AR
Hide details for Fact SheetsFact Sheets
09/01/96EPA Reaches Agreement with Coalition of Entities Site Work to Begin Immediately (in English)
01/01/98Casmalia Consent Decree Accepted by Court (in English)
10/01/98Construction of Pesticides/Solvents Landfill Cover Begins, (in English)
07/01/99Landfill Cover Construction Begins /
Empieza la construcción de la cubierta del relleno sanitario (in English y en español)
12/01/991) Landfill Cover Near Completion (in English)

2) Construcción de la tapa o cubierta del relleno sanitario de plaguicidas/solventes (en español)
04/01/001) Proposed Small Party Settlement Nets $27 Million for Casmalia Work (in English)

2) Construcción de la tapa o cubierta del relleno sanitario de plaguicidas/solventes (en español)
05/01/00Announcement of Public Hearing on the Proposed Administrative Order on Consent for the de minimis settlement for the Casmalia Disposal Site /
Anuncio de audiencia pública acerca de la orden administrativa en consenso que ha side propuesta para el acuerdo de minimis en la facilidad de eliminación de Casmalia (in English y en español)
04/01/01U. S. EPA Proposes Remedy For Three Landfills./La EPA Propone Remedio Para Tres Vertederos
02/01/02Site Construction Update - EPA Proposes Settlement with State
04/01/02EPA Proposes Settlement with Casmalia Resources, Hunter Resources and Kenneth Hunter, Jr. Living Trust
09/01/021) Landfill Cover Project Nears Completion
(in English)

2) Se Acerca la Finalizacion del Proyecto de Cubierta Para Vertedero (en español)
03/01/031) EPA Proposes Cashout Settlements with Major Waste Generators (in English)

2) La EPA Propone Resolucion Por Liquidacion Monetaria Con Los Principales Fabricantes de Desperdicios (en español)
06/01/03EPA Proposes Cashout Settlement with De Minimis Waste Generators (English/Spanish)
10/01/03Community Update Meeting /
Reunion para Actualizar a la Comunidad (English/Spanish)
06/01/04EPA Propone una Resolución por Liquidación Monetaria con De MinimisFabricantes de Desperdicios (Spanish)
06/01/04EPA Proposes Cashout Settlement with De Minimis Waste Generators
07/01/05U.S. EPA Proposes Two Cashout Settlements with the De Minimis Waste Generators
05/01/06Remedial Investigation Update
Settlements Bring Additional Funds
Hide details for ImagesImages
Additional Photos
Aerial view
Site Overview
Hide details for Legal DocumentsLegal Documents
07/02/12Casmalia Resources Form W-9 (Request for Taxpayer Indentification Number and Certification)
05/01/13Administrative Settlement Agreement and Order on Consent - De Minimis Contributors, U.S. EPA Docket No. 99-02(h), Appendices B and C, Instruction Fact Sheet, Waste Quantity Review & Ability-to-Pay Information
Hide details for MapsMaps
01/10/08Fig. 1. Location map
Hide details for Technical DocumentsTechnical Documents
08/05/10CASMALIA DISPOSAL SITE BACKGROUND
01/25/11Casmalia Resources Final Remedial Investigation Report - Main Contents, Main Content Figures 1-14, Tables 2-10 & ES1-ES3
01/25/11Casmalia Resources Final Remedial Investigation Report - Appendix A (Background Soil) and B (Soil and Sediment Sample Summary)
01/25/11Casmalia Resources Final Remedial Investigation Report - Appendix C (Soil Vapor Investigation) and D (Surface Water Data)
01/25/11Casmalia Resources Final Remedial Investigation Report - Appendix E (Well and Piezometer Installation)
01/25/11Casmalia Resources Final Remedial Investigation Report - Appendix F (Groundwater Flow)
01/25/11Casmalia Resources Final Remedial Investigation Report - Appendix G (Groundwater Chemistry)
01/25/11Casmalia Resources Final Remedial Investigation Report - Appendix H (RCRA Canyon Outcrop Assessment), I (Gamma Walkover Survey), J (Clay Barrier Investigation), K (CPT Signature Comparison) and L (Geophysical Surveys)
01/25/11Casmalia Resources Final Remedial Investigation Report - Appendix M (UVIF/MIP NAPL Investigations), N (Offsite Well Survey) and O (Monitored Natural Attenuation Evaluation)
01/25/11Casmalia Resources Final Remedial Investigation Report - Appendix P (Biological Species and Habitat Survey Report)
01/25/11Casmalia Resources Final Remedial Investigation Report - Appendix Q (RI Change Forms & Request for Information Forms), R (Data Validation and Data Management), S (RI Daily Activity Reports), T (Baseline Human Health Risk Assessment) and U (Ecological Risk Assessment)
01/25/11Casmalia Resources Final Remedial Investigation Report - Appendix V (Historical Aerial Photograph Review)
01/25/11Casmalia Resources Final Remedial Investigation Report - Appendix W (Historical Topography Review)
01/25/11Casmalia Resources Final Remedial Investigation Report - Appendix X (COPC and EPC Supporting Tables) and Y (Follow-up Work Plans - Phase II and III Remedial Investigation)

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Community Involvement

Public Meetings: The EPA is committed to having the local community involved in the issues surrounding the Casmalia site.

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Public Information Repositories

The public information repositories for the site are at the following locations:

Documents (from 1992-present) related to Casmalia are available for viewing and copying at this location:

U.S. EPA Superfund Records Center
Fourth Floor
95 Hawthorne Street
San Francisco, CA 94105
(415) 536-2000

Documents that predate 1992 can be found at:

U.S. EPA RCRA Records Center
75 Hawthorne Street
San Francisco, CA 94105
(415) 744-2422

A more limited set of key documents is available at:

Santa Maria Public Library
Reference Department
421 S. McClelland St.
Santa Maria, CA 93454
General No. (805) 925-0994

Davidson Library (MC-19010)
University of California Santa Barbara
(805) 893-2731

The most complete collection of documents is the official EPA site file, maintained at the following location:

Superfund Records Center

Mail Stop SFD-7C

95 Hawthorne Street, Room 403

San Francisco, CA 94105

(415) 820-4700

Enter main lobby of 75 Hawthorne street, go to 4th floor of South Wing Annex.

Additional Links

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Contacts

EPA Site Manager
Russell Mechem
415-972-3192
Mechem.Russell@epamail.epa.gov
US EPA Region 9
Mail Code SFD
75 Hawthorne Street
San Francisco, CA 94105
EPA Community Involvement Coordinator
Alejandro Diaz
415-972-3242
1-800-231-3075
Diaz.Alejandro@epamail.epa.gov
US EPA Region 9
Mail Code SFD
75 Hawthorne Street
San Francisco, CA 94105
EPA Public Information Center
415-947-8701
r9.info@epa.gov
State Contact
Chris Sherman



Dan Niles

Patty Velez
916-255-6576



805-549-3355

831-649-2876
CSherman@dtsc.ca.gov



DNiles@waterboards.la.gov

pvelez@wildlife.ca.gov
Department of Toxic Substances Control
Sacramento Field Office

Central Coast Water Board

California Department of Fish and Wildlife
PRP Contact
Corey Bertelsen
805-784-0803
Community Contact
Other Contacts
After Hours (Emergency Response)
US EPA
(800) 424-8802

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