On this page:
- What Has Been Done to Clean Up the Site?
- What Is the Current Site Status?
- Activity and Use Limitations
- Sampling and Monitoring
- Green Remediation
- Emergency Response and Removal
- Enforcement Information
On related pages:
The Casmalia Resources Superfund Site is an inactive, 252-acre commercial hazardous waste treatment, storage and disposal facility in Northern Santa Barbara County, CA. The site was formerly called the Casmalia Hazardous Waste Management Facility. The former facility’s operations caused contamination of soil, soil vapor, surface water, sediment and groundwater with hazardous chemicals. In the early 1990’s EPA response teams used Superfund authorities to take early actions to protect human health and the environment. Under EPA oversight, the site investigations, cleanup work, physical improvements, and long-term operations and maintenance (O&M) have been ongoing.
Note: The Casmalia Resources Superfund Site is separate from the town of Casmalia.
What Has Been Done to Clean Up the Site?
The site is being addressed through federal, state and potentially responsible party (PRP) actions. Multiple actions have been taken to manage contamination at the site, and routine site maintenance and monitoring are ongoing. Early actions have included closure of landfills, reconsolidation of former waste management units (WMUs), operation of liquids capture trenchs to prevent off-site movement of groundwater contamination, and construction of waste management features.
What Is the Current Site Status?
The Record of Decision (ROD) was signed by the EPA Administrator on June 28, 2018. The ROD formally selects the cleanup approach for the site. The next steps include engineering design and then construction. The 2-volume ROD is available on this website at Volume 1 and Volume 2.
As background, EPA approved the site’s Remedial Investigation (RI) Report in April 2011. The RI explains the nature and extent of contamination at the site. EPA approved a Final Feasibility Study (FS) Report in April 2016. The FS Report studies different ways to clean up and manage contamination at the site. Meanwhile, ongoing subsurface liquids extraction and site monitoring and maintenance continues under active EPA oversight. In November 2017, EPA issued a Proposed Plan for public input. The Proposed Plan presents a proposed final cleanup and closure approach (remediation) and ways to manage contamination at the site.
Activity and Use Limitations
At this site, activity and use limitations that EPA calls institutional controls are in place. Institutional controls play an important role in site remedies because they reduce exposure to contamination by limiting land or resource use. They also guide human behavior. For instance, zoning restrictions prevent land uses – such as residential uses – that are not consistent with the level of cleanup.
For more background, see Institutional Controls.
EPA uses institutional controls (ICs) at this site. Institutional controls are non-engineering actions, such as administrative or legal controls, that play an important role in site remedies. ICs can reduce exposure to contamination by limiting land or resource use. They also guide human behavior. Some examples include: zoning restrictions or environmental covenants to prevent inappropriate land uses, such as residential uses, or uncontrolled construction that are not consistent with the level of cleanup.
At the Casmalia Resources site, land and water use restrictive covenants, which run with the land, have been recorded for the former facility property and several adjacent properties to control land use and limit access. These ICs help notify people about the Superfund site and prevent exposures to waste materials.
Sampling and Monitoring
Approximately 400 monitoring wells and probes have been installed at the site. Remedial site investigations included extensive sampling of soils, surface water, groundwater, pond sediments, and soil vapor. Routine environmental monitoring continues with comprehensive sampling events conducted two times per year.
Please see technical documents on this web site for further details.
Green remediation practices were considered in evaluating alternative site management approaches as part of the feasibility study (FS). The green impacts assessment in the FS includes electricity, fuel usage, water usage, and air emissions for (1) remedial construction, (2) materials, manufacturing, and transport; and (3) operations and maintenance (O&M) activities.
Emergency Response and Removal
From 1992 to 1996, EPA response teams used Superfund authorities to stabilize and maintain the site. Beginning in 1997, potentially reponsible parties (PRPs) performed early actions under EPA oversight to contain waste materials and improve site management. Actions included closure and capping of four out of five onsite landfills and construction of liquids waste storage and treatment systems.
The site contains approximately 300 chemicals of concern, including VOCs, SVOCs, & Inorganics. Capped landfills and former waste management units contain PCBs, pesticides, solvents, acids, metals, caustics, and cyanide. Impacted media include soil, soil vapor, NAPL (both DNAPL & LNAPL), surface water, sediment, and onsite groundwater. Dense and light non-aqueous phase liquids (NAPL) are liquids contaminants that can be particularly difficult to remove and treat. Groundwater contamination has been contained onsite within the 252-acre landfill property boundaries by extraction systems, containment trenches, and natural attenuation.
In 1999, EPA prepared a comprehensive, but preliminary, cost estimate for future response actions at the site. EPA estimates it could cost approximately $284 million (in 1999 dollars) to stabilize, clean up, close and manage contamination for this site. The FS report included cost estimates for each alternative to clean up and manage the contamination, as well as costs for 30 years of maintenance. Sources of funding for these activities include a trust fund established by the former owners and operators, settlements with “potentially responsible parties” (explained below), and government funding.
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 of the facility and their customers, namely 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 has been 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. To date EPA has also settled with a group of 54 parties that sent approximately half of the waste to the site. These parties are performing work in part with their own funds and in part with funds that EPA has collected from other PRPs.
EPA has also settled with over 2,000 Casmalia Resources PRPs who have paid into an account to finance the work. Over 1,900 of these entities are referred to as de minimis contributors because they sent relatively small amounts of waste to the site. These de minimis settlements have generated over $63 million in funds for site related response actions. The remaining parties include the former owners and operators and customers that are referred to as “major” waste generators who have collectively paid over $56 million. Altogether, these settlements have recovered over $119 million to help fund response actions at the site.
New AOC: Effective November 14, 2017, Administrative Order on Consent (AOC) 99-02(j) for the Casmalia Resources Superfund Site is final. This AOC resolved the liability of 57 parties with a settlement value of $590,772. A copy of the AOC can be found here.
Table of Settlements: A table listing settlements that have been completed, including the recent AOC 99-02(j), is included below.
|Casmalia Resources Superfund Site - Settlements|
|PRP Group||Date||Volume (Pounds of Waste)||Number of Parties||Cashout Recovery ($)||Percentage of Site Waste|
|Casmalia Steering Committee (CSC)*||Jun-97||3,048,278,302||54||$0||54.43%|
|Casmalia Negotiating Committee Majors||Sep-03||551,126,608||41||$28,553,979||9.84%|
|State of California||Nov-02||230,572,660||1||$14,958,120||4.12%|
|Owner/Operator (Hunter Resources Inc.)||Nov-02||92,084,601||1||$6,957,000||1.64%|
|Baumgartner Oil Company||Jul-03||45,556,310||1||$2,309,085||0.81%|
|Crosby & Overton Inc.||Jul-03||11,672,662||1||$590,975||0.21%|
|Casmalia Limited Partners||Jun-06||N/A||$400,000|
|* The CSC is also performing and funding work at the site pursuant to a 1997 consent decree|
|** AOC: Administrative Order on Consent|