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Closure of Former Chemical Plant

By June 13, 2023News

BEC is please to announce that a final No Further Action (NFA) determination has been issued for the former American Potash and Chemical Corporation facility located southeastern Los Angeles.  The issuance of this NFA completes the post-sale requirements of a family trust that had acquired the site decades earlier without understanding the significance of the potential environmental liabilities associated with the presence of a historic chemical manufacturing facility.  In summary, BEC’s work, performed in conjunction with an environmental law firm, allowed the family trust to complete the sale of the valuable real estate asset and to complete post-sale environmental obligations with regulatory agency blessing in order to help shield the family trust from future liabilities.

Between the late 1940s and 1968, this facility was used for various industrial purposes including chemical storage/manufacturing, pesticide and herbicide storage/manufacturing petroleum fuel storage, and various chemical-mixing activities.   These historical facilities were demolished in the early 1970s and a new warehousing facility was constructed at the Site.  No effort to evaluate the releases associated with the former manufacturing operations was made during the construction of the warehousing facility.  The site was acquired in the 1970s by a family trust and at the time little to no environmental due diligence was done as was standard given the time frame.  However, in 2010 when the family trust attempted to sale the property, a potential buyers implemented a limited soil and vapor sampling program.  This program identified the presence of high levels of various volatile organic compounds (VOCs), including  1,2-dibromo-3-chloropropane (DBCP),  1,2-dibromoethane (EDB),  toluene, ethylbenzene, xylenes, tetrachloroethene (PCE) and trichloroethene (TCE).  The buyer subsequently backed out of the purchase and the family trust was left to deal with a substantial environmental liability and no buyers for the real estate asset.

Between 2910 and the current date, BEC worked in conjunction with environmental attorneys to:

  1. Conduct multi-media (soil, soil vapor, groundwater and indoor air) site-wide investigations;
  2. Negotiate with the City and EPA regarding a phase remedial approach to allow the Site to be sold as quickly as possible while working towards final site closure;
  3. Implement soil removal activities under City and EPA direction to address metals, petroleum hydrocarbons, polynuclear aromatics (PNAs), polychlorinated bisphenols (PCBs) and pesticides in shallow soil;
  4. Installation of a TSCA cap and site wide cap to limit exposures to post removal soils;
  5. Plan for longer term remedial action (vapor extraction) to address deeper VOC impacts;
  6. Obtain an insurance policy that would kick in if groundwater impacts were later determined to be present;
  7. Negotiate with the new buyer to allow for continued use of the site for warehousing purposes while implementation of the vapor extraction program;
  8. Post-sale (2014) implementation of the vapor extraction program;
  9. Implementation of post soil vapor rebound testing and two rounds of indoor air testing to document the lack of significant risk due to indoor air intrusion;
  10. Development of Site Conceptual Model and post closure monitoring protocols to support the NFA;
  11. Negotiation of final land use covenants.

The final NFA for the Site was issued on May 31, 2023.