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Pacific Southwest, Region 9: Superfund

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

Watkins-Johnson Company (Stewart Division)

EPA #: CAD980893234

State: California(CA)

County: Santa Cruz

City: Scotts Valley

Congressional District: 15

Other Names:

Bulletin Board

On 10/13/17, this website will no longer be updated. Site information will be migrated to the new web page at: http://www.epa.gov/superfund/watkins-johnson .
EPA appreciates your patience through this transition. If you have questions, please contact EPA staff listed below.


Description and History

NPL Listing History

NPL Status: Final

Proposed Date: 01/22/87

Final Date: 08/30/90

Deleted Date:

The plant on the 3-acre Watkins-Johnson Company (Stewart Division) site began to manufacture industrial furnaces and electrical parts in 1963. The California Regional Water Quality Control Board (CRWQCB) and Watkins-Johnson detected volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) in the on-site soil and groundwater in 1984. The contamination probably resulted from improper handling of hazardous waste generated during plant operations. Access to the site is limited to the public by a fence and controlled gate. Approximately 10,600 people living within a 3-mile radius of the site obtain their drinking water entirely from groundwater sources.

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Contaminants and Risks

Contaminated Media
  • Groundwater
  • Soil and Sludges

Groundwater and soil are contaminated with various VOCs. On-site workers could be exposed to contaminants through direct contact with or accidental ingestion of contaminated soils or groundwater.

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Who is Involved

This site is being addressed through potentially responsible parties' actions.

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Investigation and Cleanup Activities

Initial Actions

Interim Actions: In response to a Cleanup and Abatement Order from the CRWQCB, the Watkins-Johnson Company began an interim program to pump and treat contaminated groundwater in 1986. Current groundwater monitoring data show that the extraction network has successfully stopped the migration of the VOC plume.

Cleanup Ongoing

Entire Site: The remedy selected by the EPA in 1990 includes: installing a soil vapor extraction system; installing a groundwater extraction and treatment system; treating the extracted groundwater with granular activated carbon and discharging the treated groundwater into nearby Bean Creek; and monitoring the groundwater and soil. Construction of the treatment systems was completed in late 1994. Groundwater cleanup will continue until established cleanup goals are met. For this, an optimization of the groundwater remedy was completed and the report is being finalized.

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Cleanup Results to Date

Construction of all remedies is complete. Pumping and treating contaminated groundwater has reduced the size of the plume and the threats posed to the nearby population. The soil vapor extraction and treatment system has reduced VOC concentrations in the soil so that they no longer present a threat to the groundwater.

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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.

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Community Involvement

Public Meetings:

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Public Information Repositories

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

Scotts Valley Branch Library,
251 Kings Village Road
Scotts Valley, CA 95066

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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EPA Site Manager
Dana Barton
US EPA Region 9
Mail Code SFD
75 Hawthorne Street
San Francisco, CA 94105
EPA Community Involvement Coordinator
Alejandro Diaz
US EPA Region 9
Mail Code SFD
75 Hawthorne Street
San Francisco, CA 94105
EPA Public Information Center
State Contact
Daniel Niles

California Regional Quality Control Board
Central Coastal Region
895 Aerovista Place, Suite 101
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401-7906
PRP Contact
Philip E. Smith
7628 Thorndike Road
Greenboro, North Carolina 27409
Community Contact
Other Contacts
Scott Carson
Santa Cruz County Environmental Health
701 Ocean Street, Room 312
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
After Hours (Emergency Response)
(800) 424-8802

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Watkins Johnson PN - 3rd 5YR.pdf