Pre­lim­i­nary cleanup plan for de­funct land­fill is OKd

Los Angeles Times - - CITY & STATE - By Ben Brazil ben­jamin.brazil@la­ Twit­ter: @ben­brazilpi­lot Brazil writes for Times Com­mu­nity News.

A pre­lim­i­nary step to­ward the fi­nal cleanup of the long-de­funct As­con land­fill in Hunt­ing­ton Beach can be­gin af­ter the city zon­ing ad­min­is­tra­tor ap­proved the plan this week.

Owner Can­nery Hamil­ton Prop­er­ties was re­quest­ing a de­vel­op­ment per­mit for aban­don­ment of two oil wells be­neath one of the five la­goons on the 38-acre site on the south­west cor­ner of Mag­no­lia Street and Hamil­ton Av­enue.

Zon­ing ad­min­is­tra­tor Ricky Ramos ap­proved a host of ac­tions for the aban­don­ment, which in­cludes so­lid­i­fy­ing the la­goon with 4,000 tons of con­crete.

The As­con land­fill op­er­ated from 1938 to 1984, ac­cord­ing to the city.

The fi­nal cleanup will come in 2018, but the oil well aban­don­ment is needed be­fore that, said Mary Urashima, who helps with pub­lic in­for­ma­tion on the project.

A large por­tion of the waste stored at the site came from oil drilling un­til 1971, when the land­fill be­came a de­pos­i­tory for con­struc­tion de­bris, ac­cord­ing to the As­con land­fill’s web­site.

In 2003, the state de­manded cleanup of the site’s five waste-filled la­goons and six oil wells.

About 160,000 tons of ma­te­rial have been re­moved dur­ing the last decade, said project co­or­di­na­tor Ta­mara Zeier.

The site — bor­dered by homes, Edi­son Park and Edi­son High School — has raised health con­cerns among some res­i­dents.

A few at­tended Wed­nes­day’s zon­ing ad­min­is­tra­tor meet­ing to voice con­cerns about the cleanup process.

Res­i­dent Richard Miller said he wor­ried that tox­ins could spread to the wa­ter ta­ble when the com­pany ex­ca­vates dur­ing the well aban­don­ment.

“I don’t know what’s in­side there,” Miller said. “It shouldn’t be touched.”

Zeier said there would be min­i­mal ex­ca­va­tion.

Urashima said that there aren’t drink­ing wa­ter wells in the area, and that the com­pany is mon­i­tor­ing the ground­wa­ter.

Res­i­dent Richard Smith said he was con­cerned that the area might be de­vel­oped af­ter it is cleaned up. He said he hopes the site could be pre­served as open space.

Urashima said that al­though the land was zoned res­i­den­tial in 1992, there are no de­vel­op­ment plans.

Zeier said the work is ex­pected to start in July. The so­lid­i­fi­ca­tion will take about two months and the well aban­don­ment process about three months.

Don Kelsen Los An­ge­les Times

THE 38-ACRE As­con land­fill in Hunt­ing­ton Beach op­er­ated from 1938 to 1984. Much of the waste stored at the site came from oil drilling un­til 1971, when the land­fill be­came a de­pos­i­tory for con­struc­tion de­bris.

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