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U.S. EPA Prioritizes Cleanup of Casmalia Superfund Site

Contact Information: 
Nahal Mogharabi (

LOS ANGELES – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency released an updated Administrator’s Emphasis List of Superfund sites. The list represents sites identified by the Regions with concurrence from the Administrator that will benefit from his targeted, immediate and intense attention. The Casmalia Resources site in Santa Barbara County, Calif., was added to the list to spur action on cleanup and redevelopment efforts.

“We are making tremendous progress expediting sites through the entire Superfund remediation process,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “The updated Emphasis List reflects our commitment to addressing Superfund sites as quickly and safely as possible.”

The Casmalia Resources Superfund Site is a 252-acre former commercial hazardous waste management facility, which accepted about 5.6 billion pounds of wastes from over 10,000 generators between 1973 and 1989. Operations at the site contaminated soil, air, surface water and groundwater on the property with many different types of mixed hazardous chemicals.

EPA hopes to finalize a comprehensive cleanup plan and Record of Decision that includes: contaminated hotspot removal, engineered capping systems, groundwater collection and treatment systems, natural breakdown of groundwater contaminants at some locations, long-term surface water management, source reduction, land use controls, and ongoing monitoring and maintenance to ensure onsite containment. Construction of the proposed cleanup plan is estimated to take five years to complete.

In the Pacific Southwest Region, the updated Emphasis List no longer includes the Anaconda Copper Mine in Nevada as cleanup activities progress and completion of specific milestones and timelines have benefited from the Administrator’s influence. The Orange County North Basin in Orange County, Calif., remains on the list.  

In elevating EPA’s focus on the Superfund program, Administrator Pruitt has been at the helm of efforts to streamline and improve the program, and accelerate the cleanup and reuse of America’s most contaminated sites. Administrator Pruitt has visited the Anaconda Copper Mine as part of his effort to ensure timely decisions for cleanup of the sites to protect the health and environment of surrounding communities.

Nationwide, the updated Emphasis List no longer includes the San Jacinto River Waste Pits in Texas. In addition to the Casmalia site in California, the Delaware Sand & Gravel Landfill site in Delaware, and St. Regis Paper Company site in Minnesota were also added to the list to spur action. The updated Administrator’s Emphasis List, like the initial Emphasis List, identifies Superfund sites that will benefit from Administrator Pruitt’s direct engagement. The Emphasis List is intended to be dynamic. Sites will move on and off the list as appropriate. At times, there may be more or fewer sites based on where the Administrator’s attention and focus is most needed. 

The initial list– consisting of 21 sites across the country – was released on December 8, 2017 in direct response to the Superfund Task Force Recommendations. It is anticipated that this list will be revised quarterly.

EPA remains dedicated to addressing risks at all Superfund sites, not just those on the Emphasis List. The Task Force Recommendations are aimed at expediting cleanup at all Superfund sites and Administrator Pruitt has set the expectation that there will be a renewed focus on accelerating work and progress at Superfund sites across the country.

The Task Force, whose work is ongoing, has five overarching goals:

  • Expediting cleanup and remediation;
  • Reinvigorating cleanup and reuse efforts by potentially responsible parties;
  • Encouraging private investment to facilitate cleanup and reuse;
  • Promoting redevelopment and community revitalization; and
  • Engaging with partners and stakeholders.

The Task Force will provide the public with regular updates as it makes progress on the Administrator’s Emphasis list and other Task Force activities

The updated Administrator’s Emphasis List can be found here.


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