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Release Date: 11/21/1997
Contact Information: Lois Grunwald, U.S. EPA, (415) 744-1588

    (San Francisco)--The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) today announced its intent to delete the Coalinga Asbestos Mine, Coalinga, Calif.  from the Superfund National Priorities List (NPL). The NPL is U.S. EPA's list of hazardous waste sites potentially posing the greatest long-term threat to public health and the environment.
     The proposed decision follows findings by the U.S. EPA and the California  Department of Toxic Substances Control that the site no longer poses a significant environmental or human health threat.

      A portion of the Superfund site in the city of Coalinga was cleaned up in April 1992. At this site, at Elm Street near Lucille Avenue, soil contaminated with asbestos and nickel was removed from a depot and secured in a pit with an impermeable cover.  Cleanup at the remainder of the site, located about 16 miles from Coalinga on about 120 acres,  consisted of dismantling a mill and disposing of the debris, constructing a stream diversion to divert water flows away from an asbestos mine tailings pile, grading the mine tailings to reduce the slope of the pile and improve its stability, and growing native vegetation on disturbed areas to reduce erosion. U.S. EPA will conduct reviews of the site periodically to ensure site integrity.

      The Coalinga Asbestos Mine was placed on the NPL in 1984. U.S. EPA identifies and ranks NPL sites according to threats to nearby populations through actual or potential contamination of groundwater, surface water or air. Sites deleted from the NPL remain eligible for cleanup actions in the unlikely event that conditions at the site change and warrant further actions.

     U.S. EPA will receive public comments on the proposed deletion of the site until
December 21, 1997.  Written comments can be sent to:

     Richard Procunier (SFD-7-2)
     U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
     75 Hawthorne St.
     San Francisco, Calif. 94105

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