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Pacific Southwest, Region 9: Superfund

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

Amco Chemical

EPA #: CA0001576081

State: California(CA)

County: Alameda

City: Oakland

Congressional District: 08

Other Names: DC Metals

Bulletin Board

The next AMCO CAG meeting will be on Monday, March 3rd, 2014 from 6:30- 8:30pm. It will be held at the Mandela Gateway Apartments Community Room at 1350 7th St. in Oakland.

Links

http://www.facebook.com/epa.amco
www.southprescottcommunityforum.org

Description and History

NPL Listing History

NPL Status: Currently on the Final NPL

Proposed Date: 04/30/03

Final Date: 09/29/03

Deleted Date:

In English and Spanish. En ingles y en español.
SITE DESCRIPTION: The Former AMCO Chemical Facility (Facility) is located at 1414 3rd Street in Oakland, California, one block south of the West Oakland Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) station. The Facility is bordered on the north by a vacant lot owned by BART, on the west by residences, on the south by 3rd Street, and on the east by Nelson Mandela Parkway (formerly Cypress Street). The size of the Facility property is approximately 160 - 200 feet by 226 feet (about 0.9 acre). The Cypress (I-880) Freeway corridor crosses just to the south, passing over 3rd Street near the southeast corner of the property. The current land use at the Facility is light industrial; land use in surrounding areas is a mix of commercial/light industrial and residential. The nearest residences are immediately adjacent to the Facility along 3rd and Center Streets.

DESCRIPCION DEL SITIO: La Corporación AMCO Chemical (instalación) operaba en el 1414 calle Tercera de Oakland, California a una manzana al sur de la estación de West Oakland del Bay Area Rapid Transit (siglas en inglés BART). Los límites de la instalación son los siguientes: por el norte hay un lote baldío propiedad de BART, al oeste hay residencias, al sur está la calle Tercera, y al este el límite es Nelson Mandela Parkway (antiguamente la calle Cypress). El tamaZo de la instalación es de aproximadamente 160-200 pies por 226 pies (más o menos 0.9 acre). El Corredor del Cypress (I-880) Freeway cruza donde AMCO Chemical operaba, por la porción sobre la calle Tercera, cerca de la esquina sudeste de la propiedad. El uso actual del terreno en la instalación es de la industria ligera; en los alrededores el uso es una mezcla de comercio/industria ligera y residencial. Las residencias más cercanas están adyacentes al sitio por la calle Tercera y calle Center.

OPERATIONAL HISTORY: Prior to the 1960s, the AMCO Chemical Site (Site) was used by a variety of businesses including an Anheuser Busch Store House (around 1911), a bottle and rag dealer (around 1931), and Walter Cole Tank Works (around 1951). From the 1960s to 1989, the Site was owned and operated by AMCO as a chemical distribution facility. Bulk chemicals were off-loaded from a rail spur onsite and stored in drums and storage tanks before being transferred to smaller containers for resale. Bulk chemical storage facilities included 12 aboveground tanks, two underground tanks, and numerous drums. The drums and tanks were removed from the Site in 1989. AMCO facility buildings that remain on the property include an office, a warehouse, and small storage sheds. Historical buildings that no longer exist at the Site include an ice house, formerly located on the north side of the property, and a large shed, formerly located at the western edge of the property. The warehouse was used to store drums and for the transfer of chemicals into smaller containers. The ice house was used for drum storage. From 1989 to 1998, DC Metals used the property, along with a few nearby properties on Center Street, as a scrap metals yard. DC Metals operations closed down in November 1998 and metal scrap was removed from the Site. The Site is currently leased to Cable Moore, Inc., and is used primarily for cable storage.

HISTORIAL DE OPERACIONES: Antes de los años sesenta, el sitio albergó una gran variedad de negocios, incluyendo un almacén de Anheuser Busch (hacia 1911), un comerciante en botellas y trapos (hacia 1931), y Walter Cole Tank Works (hacia 1951). Desde los años sesenta hasta 1989 los duenos y operadores del local era AMCO, dedicado a la distribución de productos químicos. Los productos químicos se transferían desde los vagones del tren, con sus propios apartaderos en el sitio, hasta los tanques de almacenamiento, para después poner el producto en tanques y bidones pequeños para su venta. Para el almacenamiento del producto químico voluminoso contaban con 12 tanques sobre tierra, dos tanques bajo tierra y varios bidones. Los bidones y los tanques los sacaron del sitio en 1989. Los edificios que utilizaba AMCO que aún existen consisten de una oficina, un almacén y unos cobertizos pequeños. Los edificios históricos que ya no existen en el sitio consistían en una casa refrigerador (ice house) que se situaba en la parte norte de la propiedad y un cobertizo grande que se situaba anteriormente a la orilla del límite oeste de propiedad. El almacén era el lugar donde se guardaban los tanques y donde se transferían los productos químicos a bidones pequeños. La casa refrigerador la usaban para almacenar los bidones. Desde 1989 hasta 1998 DC Metals utilizó la propiedad, junto con otras propiedades adyacentes por la calle Center, como yarda para chatarra de metal. En 1998 DC Metals cerró su negocio y la chatarra la sacaron toda. Hoy la propiedad la alquila Cable Moore, Inc., quien la usa para almacenamiento de cable.

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Contaminants and Risks

Contaminated Media
  • Groundwater
  • Air
  • Soil and Sludges

In 1996, investigations performed on behalf of PG&E and the California Department of Transportation documented the presence of chlorinated solvents and other contaminants such as vinyl chloride along 3rd Street, south of the Site. Subsequent investigations confirmed the presence of chlorinated solvents and other contaminants, including vinyl chloride, in soil, soil gas, and groundwater on or near the Site. Some of these chlorinated solvents are human carcinogens. Sampling has indicated that the Site poses no immediate threat to residents; however, there is concern that contaminants from the Site may pose a potential threat if nothing is done. It is important to note that the groundwater beneath the Site is not being used by the community as a drinking water source.


Las investigaciones hechas en 1996 por parte de PG&E y el Departamento de Transportación de California documentaron la presencia de solventes clorados y otros contaminantes como cloruro de vinilo por la calle Tercera, al sur del sitio. Investigaciones posteriores confirmaron la presencia de solventes clorados y otros contaminantes, entre ellos cloruro de vinilo, en el suelo, en el gas de suelo, y en el agua subterránea dentro o cerca del sitio. Algunos de estos solventes clorinados son carcinógenos humanos. Las muestras que se han tomado indican que el sitio no plantea riesgo a los residentes; sin embargo, se considera que si no se hace nada para remediarlo, existe la posibilidad de que los contaminantes en el sitio causen una amenaza potencial. Es importante comprender que al agua subterránea debajo del sitio no se utiliza en la comunidad como agua para beber.

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Who is Involved

The Site is being addressed using federal funds. EPA is currently investigating parties that we believe may be responsible. Under the Superfund process, EPA may seek to have any identified PRPs to conduct some or all of the reponse actions at the Site and reimburse EPA for its costs. In some cases where EPA is unable to identify financially viable PRPs, EPA may continue to use federal funds to address contamination at the Site.



    El Sitio está siendo investigado usando fondos federales. Estamos actualmente investigando a los que creemos fueron responsables. Como parte del proceso Superfondo, la EPA pudiera obligar a los que se han identificado como responsables, a completar algunas o todas las obras y medidas correctivas en el sitio y también obligarles a reembolsar todos los gastos de la EPA. En algunos casos cuando la EPA no pueda identificar financiamiento por PRPs viables, la EPA continuará su uso de fondos federales para tratar con la contaminación del sitio.

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Investigation and Cleanup Activities

Initial Actions

EMERGENCY RESPONSE: Concern about environmental conditions at and near the Site arose in June 1995 when utility workers encountered strong chemical odors while digging in the area. Preliminary sampling at the Site and on 3rd Street, south of the Site, indicated the presence of vinyl chloride and other chlorinated solvents in soil, soil gas, and groundwater. We first became aware of the Site in 1996 when the California Department of Toxic Substances Control requested our assistance. We began a preliminary assessment of the contamination by sampling soil gas at the Site and determined that a response to remove the contamination was necessary. Our Emergency Response Program (ERP) moved in quickly to set up a system to remove the contaminants from the groundwater and soil gas (vapors in the soil). In February 1997, we began operating a treatment system to remove vinyl chloride-contaminated groundwater and soil vapors. This treatment system was a dual-phase groundwater and vapor extraction system with a thermal oxidation treatment unit. The system operated until July 1998, when we turned it off in response to community concern over potential exposure to contaminants from the system’s exhaust stack. During the installation and operation of the treatment system, we were able to gain additional information about the source and nature of the contamination. Based on this information, we determined that the Site did not pose an immediate threat to the public, but did pose a potential long-term risk.
RESPUESTA DE EMERGENCIA (ERP, según sus siglas en inglés): Surgieron inquietudes sobre las condiciones medioambientales del sitio cuando unos trabajadores de una empresa de servicio público escarbaban por la zona y se encontraron con olores a fuertes químicos. Se tomaron muestras en el sitio por la calle Tercera, al sur del sitio y se determinó la presencia de cloruro de vinilo y otros solventes de clorados en el suelo, en el gas de suelo y en el agua subterránea. La primera vez que supimos del sitio fue en 1996 cuando el California Department of Toxic Substances Control (la agencia para el control de sustancias tóxicas) pidió nuestra ayuda. Comenzamos con una evaluación preliminar de la contaminación tomando muestras del gas de suelo del sitio y determinamos que era necesario tomar medidas para remover los contaminantes. Nuestro Programa de Respuesta de Emergencia (ERP, según sus siglas en inglés) rápidamente instaló un sistema para sacar los contaminantes del agua subterránea y gas de suelo (vapores en la tierra). En febrero de 1997, comenzamos la operación de un sistema de tratamiento para remover el cloruro de vinilo del agua subterránea y vapores de suelo. Este sistema de tratamiento es de doble fase para extracción de agua y tierra que consiste de una unidad de extracción con sistema para oxidación térmica. Este sistema operó hasta 1998, lo clausuramos por inquietudes de la comunidad sobre el potencial de contaminación por el tubo de escape. Durante la instalación del sistema de tratamiento pudimos entender un poco más sobre la raíz del problema y la razón de la contaminación. Con esta nueva información determinamos que el sitio no representaba una amenaza inmediata al público, pero que sí pudiera representar un riesgo a largo plazo.

Initial Actions

PRELIMINARY ASSESSMENT/SITE INVESTIGATION (PA/SI):
To verify that residents near the Site were not at risk from the contamination, we sampled the soil and groundwater at the Site, and the air from the crawlspaces of several adjacent homes. Sampling took place in December 1998, September 1999, and April 2000. High levels of vinyl chloride and other chemicals were found in soil and groundwater at and near the Site. In the September 1999 sampling, very low levels of vinyl chloride were found in crawlspace air at homes next to the Site, and in soil gas at one home. However, vinyl chloride was not found in the crawlspace or soil gas of the homes during previous or later sampling. Based on the available information, we do not believe that the very low levels of vinyl chloride found in 1999 could affect the health of people living in those homes. The findings of these investigations are summarized in detail in a Preliminary Assessment/Site Investigation (PA/SI) report, which can be found at the Site repositories. Additional sampling of groundwater, soil gas, and residential crawlspace air was conducted in August 2002 following the PA/SI. The results of this sampling event, which indicated no detectable levels of vinyl chloride in any of the two crawlspaces or four backyards where soil gas was sampled, are consistent with the results of the previous monitoring events. Sampling activities, referred to as Routine Site Monitoring, will be conducted periodically to verify that nearby residents are not being exposed to contamination. Based on the high levels of contamination in groundwater and soil at the Site, EPA Region 9 recommended in January 2001 that the Site be added to the National Priority List (NPL) of federal Superfund sites. On April 30, 2003 the proposal to list the AMCO Chemical Site on the NPL was published in the Federal Register. This marked the start of a 60-day period for public comment on the proposed listing. Since we did not receive significant objections to the proposed listing, the Site was officially added to the NPL on September 29, 2003.

EVALUACION PRELIMINAR/INFORME DE INSPECCION (PA/SI, según sus siglas en inglés): Para asegurar que no había riesgos de contaminación para los residentes cercanos, tomamos muestras del suelo y del agua subterránea del sitio y también de debajo de algunas residencias adyacentes al sitio. Esas muestras se tomaron en diciembre de 1999, y en abril del 2000. Niveles elevados de cloruro de vinilo y otros químicos se descubrieron en el suelo y el agua subterránea en y cerca de el sitio. En septiembre de 1999 encontraron niveles bastante bajos de cloruro de vinilo por debajo de las residencias que se encuentran cerca del sitio y en el gas de suelo de una de las casas. Por lo tanto, el cloruro de vinilo no se había descubierto ni en el gas suelo ni por debajo de las casas durante las muestras previas. Por lo que se sabe hasta el momento, no creemos que los bajos niveles de cloruro de vinilo que se descubrieron en 1999 pudieran afectar a personas viviendo en esas casas. El resumen detallado de esas investigaciones está en el informe del PA/SI del sitio que se pueden encontrar en el depositario de documentos para el sitio. Después del PA/SI, se tomaron muestras del agua subterránea, gas de suelo y por debajo de las residencias, en agosto del 2000. Los resultados de esas muestras indicaron niveles poco perceptibles de cloruro de vinilo debajo de dos casas y de las yardas de otras cuatro residencias, igual a los resultados de las muestras anteriores. Estas labores de tomar muestras, llamadas Monitoreo Rutinario del Sitio, se llevarán a cabo periódicamente para asegurar que los residentes no estén expuestos a la contaminación. En enero del 2001, debido a que se descubrieron altos niveles de contaminación en el agua subterránea y el suelo del sitio, la EPA Región 9 recomendó que el sitio se incluyera en la Lista Nacionales de Prioridades (NPL, según sus siglas en inglés) de sitios federales Superfondo. En abril de 2003 la propuesta de incluir el sitio AMCO Chemical a la NPL se publicó en el Registro Federal. Desde ese día el público tuvo la oportunidad por 60 días de comentar sobre esa propuesta. Puesto que no hubo quejas sumamente serias para su inclusión a la lista, el sitio oficialmente se incluyó en la NPL el 29 de septiembre, 2003.

Site Studies

REMEDIAL INVESTIGATION (RI): The draft report presents the findings of the Remedial Investigation (RI) that was performed at the AMCO Chemical Superfund Site (the Site) from September 2004 to November 2006. Field activities associated with the RI are ongoing, and this report will be updated to include data collected between November 2006 and the completion date of the feasibility study. The RI report will be finalized once the feasibility study is completed.

The purpose of the RI is to characterize the nature and extent of contamination at the Site, and to gather the data necessary for a baseline human health risk assessment (HHRA). The results of the RI and the HHRA will be used to support the feasibility study for the Site and, ultimately, the selection of any remedial actions.

The hydrogeology beneath the Site was studied as part of the RI to help evaluate the fate and transport of the site-related contaminants. The Site is underlain by two unconsolidated aquifers that are separated by a regional aquitard. The results of the RI indicate that groundwater contamination is limited to the upper aquifer. The upper aquifer is composed of fill and native sand and silty sand deposits with thin layers of silt and clay (Merritt Sand), and is approximately 55 to 70 feet thick. The Merritt Sand is underlain by a competent confining layer consisting primarily of lean clay (Older Bay Mud.) The Older Bay Mud is generally 50 to 90 feet thick in the vicinity of the Site. The lower aquifer (Alameda Formation) consists of variable fluvial and marine sediments. Its thickness below the site is unknown.

During the RI, the shallow water table fluctuated from approximately 2.5 to 6.5 feet below ground surface (bgs). In the dry season (May through October), flow generally appears to be toward the southwest; in the wet season (November through April), flow is generally to the south. Gradients are relatively flat in the vicinity of the Site, but are typically steeper north of 3rd Street, ranging from 0.006 to 0.008 feet per foot (ft/ft), and shallower south of 3rd Street, ranging from 0.001 to 0.003 ft/ft. Total dissolved solids (TDS) in groundwater south of 3rd Street generally exceed the Regional Water Quality Control Board’s Basin Plan criterion of 3,000 milligrams per liter (mg/L) for drinking water as a beneficial use.

To achieve the objectives of the RI, samples of light non-aqueous-phase liquid (LNAPL), groundwater, soil, soil gas, air, and produce were collected and analyzed in accordance with the 2004 Sampling and Analysis Plan (SAP) and subsequent modifications. Based on the history of the site and surrounding areas, samples of various media were collected from temporary and/or permanent locations both on and off the former AMCO facility, and were analyzed for some or all of the following: volatile organic compounds (VOCs), semivolatile organic compounds (SVOCs), metals, pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), dioxins/furans, cyanide, general chemistry, and physical parameters.

Over 200 individual contaminants were detected in groundwater, soil, soil gas, and air during the RI, with 98 of those identified as contaminants of concern (COCs). The COCs include VOCs (chlorinated and petroleum hydrocarbons), SVOCs, organochlorine pesticides, PCBs, metals, and dioxins/furans.

Key findings of the RI are as follows:

· Several feet of LNAPL were observed floating on groundwater beneath the central area of the former AMCO facility. The LNAPL consists primarily of VOCs, including tetrachloroethene (PCE) and trichloroethene (TCE), but also contains SVOCs, pesticides, and dioxins/furans. The LNAPL is serving as the primary continuing source of contamination to groundwater, soil, and soil gas.
· The highest concentrations of contaminants in groundwater and soil gas (primarily VOCs) were generally observed in the central and south-central areas of the former AMCO facility, corresponding with the known locations of former chemical storage units and buried distribution piping. However, other distinct areas of elevated contamination concentrations in groundwater and soil gas were observed beneath the large vacant lot on Center Street and beneath the UPRR/Amtrak yard south of the facility, suggesting that separate releases of contaminants have occurred in these areas.
· Groundwater contaminant concentrations beneath the central and south-central portions of the former facility decrease rapidly with depth. The concentrations in the deepest monitoring wells at the site are low or below detection levels, indicating that dense non-aqueous-phase liquid (DNAPL) has not migrated below approximately 20 to 30 feet bgs at the site.
· The VOCs identified as key contaminants (chlorinated solvents and petroleum hydrocarbons) are undergoing significant biodegradation in groundwater. However, data suggests that the down gradient edge of the VOC plume is expanding despite the naturally occurring biodegradation.
· 1,4-Dioxane, a highly mobile and recalcitrant contaminant, has widely migrated in groundwater from the site, and it is expected to continue migrating. Other contaminants mobilized in groundwater are soluble arsenic, iron, and manganese. Other metals, organochlorine pesticides, PCBs, and dioxins/furans generally have limited mobility in the environment, and the extents of these compounds are limited to the immediate vicinities of their historic suspected source areas.
· The lateral extent of groundwater contamination in the mid and deeper zones has not been fully delineated to the current screening levels.
· Several contaminants in groundwater currently exceed risk criteria for the ingestion pathway; however, groundwater is not currently used nor is it likely to be used in the future as a source of drinking water.
· The distributions of contaminants in soil are less centralized and more widespread than in groundwater, suggesting multiple industrial, non-industrial, and non-point sources. Many contaminants in soil, particularly lead, exceed risk criteria for industrial and residential receptors.
· Elevated lead concentrations were detected at several residential properties adjacent to or near the former AMCO facility. The concentrations of lead detected in the soil posed an immediate risk to residents, particularly children. A soil removal action to address the lead contamination was performed at all residential parcels occupying the same block as the former AMCO facility.
· Several VOCs were detected above screening levels, but within the acceptable risk range in residential soil gas, crawlspace air, and ambient air. No VOC detections exceeded acute reference concentrations, indicating that there is no immediate health threat to residents. The primary source of the VOCs in residential soil gas and air is groundwater, not soil.
· At the former AMCO facility and off-facility locations, the concentrations of several contaminants in soil, soil gas, and groundwater would pose an unacceptable risk to site workers. However, the current concrete pavement at the former AMCO facility and off-facility locations provides a protective layer that isolates workers from the contaminated soil, soil gas, and groundwater underneath.
· Several VOCs were detected above screening levels, but within the acceptable risk range in crawlspace air samples collected from the facility office. No VOC detections exceeded acute reference concentrations, indicating that there is no immediate health threat to workers.
· Concentrations of metals and VOCs in sampled homegrown produce are below levels of concern for ingestion.

Investigación Correctiva (RI, según sus siglas en inglés):

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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 is currently investigating parties that we believe may be responsible. Under the Superfund process, EPA may seek to have any identified PRPs to conduct some or all of the response actions at the Site and reimburse EPA for its costs. In some cases where EPA is unable to identify financially viable PRPs, EPA may continue to use federal funds to address contamination at the Site.

EPA está actualmente investigando a los que creemos fueron responsables. Como parte del proceso Superfondo, la EPA pudiera obligar a los que se han identificado como responsables, a completar algunas o todas las obras y medidas correctivas en el sitio y también obligarles a reembolsar todos los gastos de la EPA. En algunos casos cuando la EPA no pueda identificar financiamiento por PRPs viables, la EPA continuará su uso de fondos federales para tratar con la contaminación del sitio.

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Documents and Reports


Show details for Administrative RecordsAdministrative Records
Show details for Community InvolvementCommunity Involvement
Show details for Fact SheetsFact Sheets
Show details for Technical DocumentsTechnical Documents

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Community Involvement

Public Meetings: Upcoming Community Meeting: Monday, March 3, 2014. 6:30- 8:30pm at the Mandela Gateway Apartments Community Room. 1350 7th St. Oakland, CA 94607

There are ongoing Community Advisory Group meetings at the Mandela Gateway Apartments community room from 6:30-8:30pm. Please contact Community Involvement Coordinator Sarah Cafasso (info below) for more information.

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Public Information Repositories

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

West Oakland Public Library (Biblioteca)
1801 Adeline Street
Oakland, CA 94607
510-238-7352

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
Steve Calanog
415-972-3075
Calanog.Steve@epamail.epa.gov
US EPA Region 9
Mail Code SFD
75 Hawthorne Street
San Francisco, CA 94105
EPA Community Involvement Coordinator
Sarah Cafasso
415-972-3076
1-800-231-3075
Cafasso.Sarah@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@epamail.epa.gov
State Contact
Lynn Nakashima
510-540-3839
Department of Toxic Substances Control
Cal EPA
700 Heinz Avenue, Suite 200
Berkeley, CA 94710

PRP Contact
Community Contact
Contacto en la Comunidad: Brian Beveridge, CAG co-chair
(510) 510-257-5645
Other Contacts
After Hours (Emergency Response)
US EPA
(800) 424-8802

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