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Pacific Southwest, Region 9: Superfund

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

Halaco

EPA #: CAD009688052

State: California(CA)

County: Ventura

City: Oxnard

Congressional District: 23

Other Names:

Bulletin Board

EPA Has Completed Testing

The EPA is now evaluating cleanup options for contaminated soils, sediments, and groundwater at the site. The first cleanup proposal is expected in 2015.

These testing reports are available in the "Documents and Reports" section below.

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Description and History

NPL Listing History

NPL Status: Final

Proposed Date: 03/07/07

Final Date: 09/19/07

Deleted Date:

Halaco Aerial


    The Halaco site (Site) is located in coastal Ventura County at 6200 Perkins Road, Oxnard, CA 93033. Halaco Engineering Company operated a secondary metal smelter at the site from 1965 to 2004, recovering aluminum, magnesium, and zinc from dross, castings, cans, car parts, and other scrap metal. The Site includes an 11-acre area containing the former smelter, and an adjacent 26-acre waste management area where wastes were deposited. The Site includes a portion of the Ormond Beach wetlands, one of the few remaining wetlands in the area and home to several endangered or threatened species.

    During its 40 years of operation, Halaco produced a large quantity of waste (i.e., slag) containing residual metals from the smelting process. From about 1965 to 1970, Halaco discharged waste into unlined settling ponds in or adjacent to the Oxnard Industrial Drain. From about 1970 to 2002, Halaco deposited wastes into unlined earthen settling ponds east of the smelter. More than 700,000 cubic yards of waste remain on-site.
    In 2002, Halaco filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. In 2006, after Halaco ceased its operations, the bankruptcy was converted to a Chapter 7 (liquidation) bankruptcy. Members of the Haack family retain ownership of the 11-acre smelter area, but in 2006, Alpha and Omega Development LLC purchased the 26-acre waste management area. Future use of the properties remains uncertain.

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Contaminants and Risks

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

Most waste remains on-site, including more than 700,000 cubic yards in the waste management area and 50,000 cubic yards buried in the 11-acre area where the smelter operated. Elevated levels of aluminum, barium, beryllium, cadmium, chromium, copper, lead, magnesium, manganese, nickel, and zinc are present in the wastes and in some affected soils and sediments. Several areas also contain elevated levels of thorium and radium. Waste material has moved into the underlying groundwater and sediments in a portion of the Oxnard Industrial Drain.

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Who is Involved

EPA added the Site to the Superfund National Priorities List (NPL) on September 19, 2007.

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Investigation and Cleanup Activities

Initial Actions

Initial Actions

February 2006: The State of California sent a letter to EPA titled "Halaco Request for Federal Action" (see "Legal Documents" below).

July 2006: EPA reached agreement with site owners to conduct a "removal action" to remove drums and other hazardous substances, fence the waste pile, and install a silt curtain and straw wattles. The agreement is titled "Halaco Administrative Settlement Agreement and Consent Order" (see "Legal Documents" below).

January 2007: The State of California supported adding the Halaco Site to the Superfund National Priorities List (NPL).

March - June 2007: EPA and its contractors implemented additional measures to stabilize and secure the Site and limit off-site migration of contaminated wastes. The work included re-grading the waste pile to reduce the steepness of its slopes, placing erosion control matting over the wastes, moving waste material from the smelter parcel to the waste management area, and improving Site security. Some Halaco waste material in the wetland area to the south of the smelter parcel was excavated and moved to the waste management area.

For more information on the stabilization efforts completed in 2006-2007, go to: http://www.epaosc.net/halaco

2007 - 2009: After adding the Site to the Superfund National Priorities List (NPL) in September 2007, EPA began its Remedial Investigation to determine the nature and extent of contamination at the Site, identify human health and ecological risks posed by the contamination, and identify areas needing remediation. In February 2009, EPA distributed a "Preliminary Plan for Additional Sampling and Analysis Activities" and two preliminary site studies (described below). This plan summarizes historical information on environmental conditions at the Site and identifies “data gaps” that must be addressed before remediation can occur.

February - March 2010: EPA demolished two abandoned industrial buildings at the Site in accordance with the "action memo" signed in January 2010. The two buildings were used by Halaco Engineering Co. until 2004. The buildings were in poor condition, and portions of the buildings were at risk of collapse. More details on the condition of the buildings and the levels of contamination inside the buildings are available in the Structural Evaluation Report and the Halaco Buildings Removal Assessment, available in the “Documents and Reports” section below, under "Technical Documents." Photos of the demolition effort and progress reports prepared while the work was underway are available on EPA's website at: http://www.epaosc.org/HALACOSTRUCTURES

Ongoing: EPA has been working with the property owners and interested community members to improve site security, and maintain the improvements made by EPA in 2007 to limit off-site migration of wastes.

Site Studies

Site Studies

From 1970 - 2004: Various State, local and Federal agencies sampled and chemically analyzed soil, sediment, groundwater, surface water, and/or air at or near the Site.

2006: EPA completed a multimedia study as part of its site assessment and stabilization efforts. The study included laboratory analysis of approximately 129 soil, sediment, and waste samples, 10 surface water samples, 14 groundwater samples, and 35 air samples. Results are summarized in the January 10, 2007, "Integrated Assessment" report (see "Technical Documents" below).

June 2007: EPA completed additional testing of waste materials buried in the southeast corner of the former smelter to determine the levels of thorium, radium, and metals in the materials.

2007 - 2008: EPA prepared the "EPA Testing Plan for the Halaco Superfund Site" (see "Technical Documents" below), which summarizes information on Halaco's operations and waste disposal practices, summarizes past testing in each of more than 16 areas of the Site, compares past test results to human health and ecological screening levels for contaminated soils and sediments, and proposes soil testing, water testing, and other sampling and analysis activities intended to provide the majority of the information needed to complete the Remedial Investigation.

2007: EPA completed a preliminary study of surface water and groundwater movement at and near the Site to better determine the extent and movement of Halaco's wastes, and a screening-level assessment of human health and environmental risks posed by Site related contamination. See "Technical Documents" below. The studies are part of the "Remedial Investigation" of the Site.

2009: The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) completed a draft report summarizing its investigation of the public health implications of exposure to contamination from the Halaco Site. Key findings were that activities that create a lot of dust (e.g., dirt bike riding in contaminated areas) pose a public health concern but that the following exposure pathways pose no public health concern:

  • Exposure to the soil in the nearby agricultural fields and neighborhoods.
  • Short-term exposure when trespassing on the Halaco site.
  • Visiting the Nature Conservancy Land, Ormond Beach, or the wetlands.
  • Swimming in the Oxnard Industrial Drain.
Other findings and the complete Public Health Assessment report are available at: http://www.ehib.org/project.jsp?project_key=HALA01

2009-2010: EPA completed an Engineering Evaluation and Cost Analysis (EE/CA) and proposed demolition of two abandoned industrial buildings at the Site. The evaluation made use of data collected during several days of testing inside the buildings in October 2009 (summarized in the "Building Assessment Report"). After considering public comments on its EE/CA report, EPA decided to proceed with the demolition work. The EE/CA report, Building Assessment Report, EPA’s response to comments, and its decision to proceed with the removal (the "Action Memorandum") are available below in the “Documents and Reports Section.” The demolition work was completed in March 2010.

2009 - 2013: From October 2009 through 2011, EPA completed a major field effort that included soil, soil gas, sediment, groundwater, and surface water testing needed to fill data gaps related to the sources, nature, extent, and movement of contamination at the Site. The objectives of the testing included:
  • determining if contaminants other than metals are present in Halaco’s wastes;
  • determining the extent to which waste materials are in contact with surface or groundwater;
  • evaluating the potential for the production of ammonia and other gases in the waste areas.
  • delineating the extent of contamination in the Nature Conservancy properties, the Oxnard Industrial Drain, and the Ormond Beach lagoon;
  • identifying any other areas adjacent to the Halaco properties contaminated by Halaco’s operations; and
  • determining the extent of groundwater contamination resulting from Halaco’s waste disposal practices.

Between 2001 and 2013, EPA completed a series of six reports summarizing the results of the testing. The reports, available in the "Documents and Reports" section below, describe testing completed on: 1) The Nature Conservancy (TNC) property to the east and north of the Halaco waste pile, 2&3) the wetlands and beach to the south of the Halaco Properties (two reports), 4) sediments in the Oxnard Industrial Drain (OID) and lagoon, 5) the Halaco properties; and 6) surface water and groundwater at the site. The reports and transmittal letters include a description of the testing effort, a complete tabular summary of results, figures depicting key results, and a short discussion of the significance of the test results and next steps.

2011: In June 2011, EPA and its contractors completed a focused field effort to collect data needed to better evaluate risks to birds, fish and other wildlife at the site and identify cleanup levels for contaminated soils and sediments. The effort included the collection and analysis of sediment, fish, and insect samples. Laboratory analysis of the samples is complete and data analysis is underway. A report providing the results of this effort is expected in mid-2014.

2013-2014: In late 2013, EPA completed a supplemental groundwater investigation to the north of the Halaco Properties to determine the northern extent of groundwater contamination and factors affecting the movement of contaminated groundwater across the Site. The investigation included the installation and sampling of additional groundwater monitoring wells. A report providing the results of this effort is expected in mid-2014.

2010 - 2015: EPA is evaluating cleanup options for contaminated soils, sediments, and groundwater at the site, including reuse of the waste materials and excavation of contaminated soils and sediments in less contaminated parts of the site. Cleanup is likely to be needed at the smelter property, the waste management area, the Nature Conservancy property, the lagoon area, and the groundwater. The first cleanup proposal is expected in 2015.

If needed, EPA will implement additional interim measures to control off-site movement of contaminated waste, groundwater, surface water, and air.

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Cleanup Results to Date

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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.


EPA has identified the following parties as PRPs at the Site: Clarence W. Haack (former owner and operator); the Clarence W. Haack Living Trust (current owner); John M. Haack (current owner); Robert D. Haack (current owner); John David Gable (former operator); and MagPro, Limited Liability Company (successor to Halaco). The U.S. Department of Justice, on behalf of EPA and other Federal agencies, has also filed a proof of claim in the Halaco bankruptcy to recover past and future environmental response costs at the Site.

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Documents and Reports


Hide details for Administrative RecordsAdministrative Records
NON-TIME-CRIITICAL Removal
Non-Time-Critical Removal AR
Removal
Hide details for Community InvolvementCommunity Involvement
09/01/07Community Meeting Flyer
09/24/07Halaco Community Meeting PowerPoint Presentation
10/10/08Halaco Community Involvement Plan- English & Spanish
03/02/09Halaco Superfund Site Community Meeting Notice /
Aviso de Reunión Comunitaria para el Sitio Superfund Halaco
03/11/09Community Meeting - EPA Halaco Powerpoint Presentation
09/17/09Community Meeting - EPA Powerpoint Presentation
03/30/11 Community Meeting - EPA Powerpoint Presentation
10/24/13Presentation made to the Ormond Beach Task Force
Hide details for Fact SheetsFact Sheets
06/01/06Removal Action Planned to Address Immediate Environmental Concerns
02/01/07U.S. EPA Issues Integrated Assessment Report for the Halaco Engineering Company Site (La EPA de EE.UU. publica el Reporte de Evaluation Integrada para el Sitio Halaco Engineering Company)
03/01/07Halaco Engineering Company Removal Action, March 2007
06/01/07Elevated Levels of Radiation Found at Site - Public Must Not Enter the Site
01/16/09The Remedial Investigation: EPA laying the groundwork for cleanup (English) / Investigación de Remediación: La EPA pone la base para la limpieza (Spanish)
02/15/10Building Demolition to Start 2/15 - Major Testing Underway
Hide details for Legal DocumentsLegal Documents
02/21/06Request for Federal Assistance
07/06/06Administrative Order on Consent
Hide details for Technical DocumentsTechnical Documents
01/10/07"Integrated Assessment" Report
10/12/07Structural Evaluation Report
12/12/08Screening-level Ecological and Human Health Risk Assessment, Halaco Site
12/12/08Summary Report- Halaco Emergency Response and Removal Assessment Work- 2006/2007
12/30/08Preliminary Evalution of the Sources, Nature, Extent, and Movement of Contamination in Surface Water and Groundwater, Halaco Site
02/06/09EPA testing plan for the Halaco Superfund Site
10/01/09Halaco Field Sampling and QA Project Plan ("Sampling and Analysis Plan")
12/11/09Halaco Building Assessment Report
02/04/10Engineering Evaluation and Cost Analysis Report / Response to Comments on EE/CA / Action Memorandum for Building Demolition
02/22/11Solid Matrix Sampling and Analysis Results for the NCL-East and NCL-North Areas, Halaco Superfund Site Remedial Investigation, Oxnard, CA (corrected version_03/16/11)
03/17/11 Solid Matrix Sampling and Analysis Results for the Wetlands and Beach Areas, Halaco Superfund Site Remedial Investigation, Oxnard, CA
06/09/11Solid Matrix Sampling and Analysis Results for the Oxnard Industrial Drain and Lagoon Areas, Halaco Superfund Site
08/29/11Solid Matrix and Soil Gas Sampling and Analysis Results for the Smelter Parcel and Waste Management Areas, Halaco Superfund Site
03/15/12Surface Water and Groundwater Sampling and Analysis Results, Halaco Superfund Site
12/20/122nd Addendum to the 2009 Sampling and Analysis Plan
01/01/13“Step-out" Solid Matrix Sampling and Analysis Results and Sediment Chromium Speciation, Halaco Superfund Site

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Community Involvement

Public Meetings: EPA representatives have provided updates on the Halaco Site at meetings of the Ormond Beach Task Force (3/07, 6/08, 1/09, 9/09. 11/10, 3/11, and 9/11), at an EPA-organized public meeting in the City of Oxnard (9/07), to the Port Hueneme City Council (10/07, 10/08), to the Ventura County Board of Supervisors (10/07), at the South Oxnard Revitalization Committee (1/09), to the Oxnard City Council (3/09), at a joint EPA-CA Department of Public Health public meeting in Oxnard (3/09), and to representatives of the His Dream Fulfilled Center and CAUSE (1/10).

Community Involvement Plan: In January 2008, EPA interviewed 27 community members to support development of a Community Involvement Plan for the Halaco site. English and Spanish language versions of the Plan are available by clicking on "Halaco Community Involvement Plan" above.

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Public Information Repositories

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

South Oxnard Library Branch
4300 Saviers Road
Oxnard, CA. 93033
(805) 385-8129
Hours:
Monday - Thursday 9:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
Saturday 9:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.

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
Wayne Praskins
415-972-3181
Praskins.Wayne@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
(800) 231-3075
r9.info@epamail.epa.gov
State Contact
Stephanie Lewis
SLewis1@dtsc.ca.gov
California Dept. of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC)
Chatsworth, CA
PRP Contact
Community Contact
Other Contacts
After Hours (Emergency Response)
US EPA
(800) 424-8802

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