EPA directs Texaco to resume California Superfund site cleanup

The US Environmental Protection Agency has ordered Texaco Inc., which Chevron Corp. acquired in 2001, to assess soil and ground water contamination and evaluate additional cleanup options for the Pacific Coast Pipeline Superfund site in Fillmore, Calif.

Nov 6th, 2009

Nick Snow
OGJ Washington Editor

WASHINGTON, DC, Nov. 6 -- The US Environmental Protection Agency has ordered Texaco Inc., which Chevron Corp. acquired in 2001, to assess soil and ground water contamination and evaluate additional cleanup options for the Pacific Coast Pipeline Superfund site in Fillmore, Calif.

Texaco operated the 52-acre site northwest of Los Angeles as a refinery from 1920 to 1951, contaminating soil and ground water with heavy metals and volatile organic compounds, EPA said on Nov. 4. It said the company cleaned up on-site waste disposal pits in 1986 and, in 1993 under the chemical waste Superfund program, pumped and treated the ground water under EPA’s direction.

Benzene is the primary contaminant in the ground water, the federal environmental regulator said in a unilateral administrative order. The benzene plume, which extends 100 yards off the site, does not threaten drinking water wells but concentrations remain above drinking water standards, it added.

The soil has low levels of lead and semivolatile chemicals, such as naphthalene, which also need to be addressed, according to EPA. It said it is updating the Pacific Coast Pipeline Community Involvement Plan to identify opportunities for communication with the public about upcoming activities at the site.

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

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