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Release Date: 8/11/1998
Contact Information: Dave Schmidt, U.S. EPA, (415) 744-1578

     (San Francisco)-- To halt the spread of contaminated groundwater, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) is proposing a plan to contain waste and control a polluted groundwater plume at the BKK Landfill (BKK) in West Covina, Calif.  The groundwater beneath BKK is not currently used as a drinking water source.
     "We believe this plan is the best way to protect the groundwater for future uses, and to minimize the further spread of contaminated groundwater from BKK," said Julie Anderson, U.S. EPA's Waste Management Division director.  "We encourage the community to participate in upcoming public meetings and let us know what they think of our plan."

     The public is invited to attend community meetings and public hearings to comment on the plan on Friday, September 11 from 7 to 9 p.m. at St. Martha's Catholic Church, 444 N. Azusa Ave. in Valinda; and on Saturday, September 12 from 10 a.m. to noon at West Covina City Hall, Community Room, 1st floor, 1444 W. Garvey Avenue in West Covina.
     The plan calls for BKK to install about 57 new wells that will extract groundwater and leachate at the site. Leachate is a contaminated liquid that forms as water passes through the waste in the landfill. By extracting leachate and groundwater, the wells will contain the waste and minimize further movement of contaminated groundwater off the site. The contaminated groundwater will be treated to remove volatile organic compounds (VOCs) by a leachate treatment plant that already exists on site. The treated water will be used for irrigation of the closed hazardous waste landfill.

     According to U.S. EPA's proposed groundwater remediation plan, BKK will monitor groundwater levels and chemistry to determine the effectiveness of the groundwater extraction system.  Also, BKK will continue routine groundwater monitoring to evaluate water quality, track contaminant migration, and identify new releases of contaminants should these occur.

     In compliance with an order from U.S. EPA, BKK was required to investigate the nature and extent of contamination and to evaluate options to prevent the further spread of contaminants from the site.  After reviewing BKK's report on these options, U.S. EPA prepared its own preferred plan, which is now being released for public comment.   Following a 60-day comment period on the proposed groundwater plan,  EPA will consider public comments and decide which option to use. After U.S. EPA selects the best option, that plan will be incorporated into the State Department of Toxic Substance Control's (DTSC) post-closure permit for the landfill, and BKK will then be obligated to implement that option.
     As required by the earlier U.S. EPA order, BKK will also submit a health risk assessment of the landfill site for U.S. EPA approval.  U.S. EPA will consider this information in preparing a plan to minimize air emissions from the landfill.

      The 190-acre BKK landfill accepted hazardous waste from 1972 to 1984. During that time, about 3.9 million tons of liquid and solid hazardous waste were disposed of there. BKK also operated an adjacent municipal solid waste landfill from 1987 to 1996. This landfill stopped accepting waste in September 1996 and is undergoing closure.

     The groundwater is polluted primarily with volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are used as coolants in refrigerators, as cleaning solutions for dry-cleaning, and for degreasing oily material, among other uses.  To date, over 200 monitoring wells have been installed at BKK. Groundwater samples collected from these wells during the past ten years have been used to determine the nature and extent of groundwater contamination.  

     Documents on the newly-released groundwater plan are available at the West Covina Public Library. Written comments must be mailed and postmarked by October 9, 1998 and sent to:  

     Carmen Santos, U.S. EPA Project Manager
     U.S. EPA, Mail Code WST-5
     75 Hawthorne St.
     San Francisco, California  94105-3901
     (415) 744-2037

     They can also be e-mailed to:  

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