Superfund Information Systems: Site Profile

Superfund Site:

WESTERN PACIFIC RAILROAD CO.
OROVILLE, CA

Redevelopment

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About the Superfund Redevelopment Initiative

This nationally coordinated effort provides EPA and its partners with a process to return Superfund sites to productive use. Learn more at Superfund Redevelopment Initiative.

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Redevelopment at the Site

The 90-acre Western Pacific Railroad Co. (WPRR) Superfund site is located outside of Oroville, California. The site began operating as a rail yard in the 1880s. Activities at the site included welding, painting, machining and fueling locomotives. These activities occurred in a 10-acre area known as the Fueling Area. In 1970, WPRR stopped activities and leased the Fueling Area to an independent railcar company until 1991. WPRR, and the next owner, Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR) Co., continued to use some of the site until 1991, when UPRR dismantled or demolished the remaining structures. EPA added the site to the Superfund program’s National Priorities List (NPL) in 1990 because of contaminated on-site groundwater. UPRR installed two groundwater treatment systems in 1994 and 1997 and removed contaminated soil in 1998. After determining that UPRR had successfully cleaned up the site, EPA deleted the site from the NPL in 2001. Currently, the Fueling Area is inactive, but the rest of the site has a maintenance shop, a small classification yard and an active rail line. UPRR leases a public drinking water well, which is located on the site just west of the Fueling Area rail line, to California Water Service.

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Economic Activity at the Site

As of December 2017, EPA did not have economic data related to on-site businesses, or economic data were not applicable due to site use. View information about redevelopment economics at Superfund sites.

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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.

Groundwater on site was contaminated with various volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The surface impoundment was contaminated with heavy metals including arsenic, lead, and chromium. Surface soil in the Fueling Area is contaminated with low levels of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Access the EPA acronym web site - http://iaspub.epa.gov/sor_internet/registry/termreg/searchandretrieve/termsandacronyms/search.do

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