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U.S. EPA Provides Community Update in Kettleman Hills/ Chemical Waste Management required to conduct additional sampling for PCB permit

Release Date: 02/05/2009
Contact Information: Mary Simms at (415) 947-4270,

(SAN FRANCISCO -- 2/5/2009) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency hosted an informational public meeting last night in Kettleman City to provide an update to the surrounding community regarding the current status of the Chemical Waste Management, Inc. polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) disposal permit renewal application.

Based on the EPA’s review of public comments and the risk assessment prepared by Chemical Waste Management for its California Department of Toxic Substances hazardous waste permit, the EPA is requiring Chemical Waste Management to conduct additional sampling as part of the permitting process.

This additional sampling is designed to identify whether congener forms of PCBs are present in air, soil, and vegetation at or near the facility. The site-specific investigation will asses potential human and biological impacts from PCB disposal activities.

Last night’s meeting highlighted the sampling that will be required to determine an impact to the surrounding community. The meeting was conducted in English and also featured real-time Spanish translation.

“The EPA is committed to using sound science in our decision-making to ensure protection of human health and the environment,” said Dr. Patrick Wilson, senior toxicologist for EPA’s Pacific Southwest region.

This additional sampling data will be used to evaluate whether exposure to these pathways could potentially impact human health and the environment and will provide important information to be considered in the permit process.

“We will be steadfast in our commitment to provide for candid and meaningful involvement of the local community during the PCB sampling and permit process,” said Enrique Manzanilla, Communities and Ecosystems Division director for the Pacific Southwest Region. “Last night, our EPA experts provided insight into the additional PCB sampling requirements that the EPA has imposed upon Chemical Waste Management, in an effort to heighten community awareness about this important issue.”

The EPA will continue to provide community updates on this issue and will make new information available to the public by posting it on the EPA website, providing fact sheets, and hosting additional public meetings.

The EPA successfully conducted coordinated community outreach in advance of the public meeting to encourage maximum community participation. More than 125 people participated in the public meeting.

For more information, visit:

Members of the media: If you would like schedule an interview with an EPA subject matter expert please contact Mary Simms at (415) 947-4270,

If you are a member of the public interested in receiving further information, please contact Luis Garcia-Bakarich at (415) 972-3237 or email