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Ascon Landfill

Complaints

Background

The Ascon Landfill site in Huntington Beach is a vacant, 38-acre piece of land that served as a disposal site from 1938 to 1984. Much of the waste came from oil drilling operations and construction projects, and was disposed in open lagoons and pits that were eventually covered with solid materials. The California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) is the lead regulatory agency in charge of overseeing all cleanup activities at the site.

South Coast AQMD has been actively engaged at the Ascon Landfill through its enforcement program. In response to public complaints, the agency has been in the field regularly conducting dust and odor surveillance and collecting air and dust samples, as needed. In May 2019, two Notices of Violations were issued to the project manager of the site, Project Navigator, for public nuisance due to odors and for failing to immediately forward complaint information to South Coast AQMD, as required by the site’s work plan. Notices of Violations can lead to financial penalties, among other things.

South Coast AQMD inspectors conduct surveillance operations in the vicinity and have required Project Navigator to expand its monitoring operations during earthmoving activities by installing an additional three PM10 monitors on the perimeter of the site as well as providing monitoring data on a more regular basis. In addition, inspectors regularly conduct onsite inspections to verify compliance with several South Coast AQMD rules and permit conditions for air pollution control equipment.

On June 6, 2019, in response to a public complaint, inspectors confirmed odors emanating from the landfill of the type and magnitude that would warrant work to stop. A notice was sent to Project Navigator instructing all excavations operations at the site to cease until mitigation measures were implemented.

Additionally, South Coast AQMD has met with members of the Huntington Beach City Council and representatives from DTSC and provided technical guidance. The Huntington Beach Fire Department has also agreed to assist our sampling efforts and have been issued special canisters that will be used to collect samples.

Following a public meeting held on June 6, 2019, DTSC has ordered all work at the site to cease, until further notice, while a series of additional protective measures are being evaluated.

Notices of Violation:

  • P65516 (PDF) -date of violation, May 2, 2019

  • P65518 (PDF) - date of violation, January 30, 2019


Laboratory Results (by sample collection date)

  • Lab Report 1915502 (PDF) - Samples of particles were taken at various locations using glass plates. Samples were analyzed for contaminants of concern, such as lead, nickel and arsenic. - June 4, 2019

  • Lab Report 1915503 (PDF) - Initial samples of cement were taken from the landfill and tested for asbestos. DTSC is conducting additional asbestos sampling at the site. - June 4, 2019

  • Lab Report 1912324 (PDF) - Canisters were used to obtain grab samples of the air during an odor event and taken back to the laboratory for analysis. - May 2, 2019


Sampling Survey

Ascon Landfill Sampling Survey:
On Friday, May 24, 2019, canisters were used to take four grab samples of the air at locations surrounding the landfill.  Three sampling locations located downwind of the landfill were selected based on the history of odor incidents and wind direction, and also included one upwind sample (see below for more details on the locations). The four canister samples were taken back to the laboratory for comprehensive analysis. 


Sampling locations

 map of Ascon Landfill air quality sampling canistersMap: Canister Sampling Locations

Upwind: 

1. West of site, south of Surveyor Circle 

Downwind: 
2. East of site, Magnolia St. & Hamilton Ave.
3. Northeast of site, by Edison High School, corner Magnolia St. & Hamilton Ave.
4. East of site, between John H. Eader Elementary School & Banning Branch Library, Banning Ave. & Starfire Ln.



Complaints

South Coast AQMD continues to encourage the public to call our complaint line at 1-800-CUT-SMOG (800-288-7664) to report odors, dust, or any other outdoor air quality concern. The agency continues to attempt to respond to each and every complaint received. More guidance and helpful tips when calling the complaint line can be found at: www.aqmd.gov/home/air-quality/complaints.

 

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South Coast Air Quality Management District

21865 Copley Dr, Diamond Bar, CA 91765

909-396-2000

 

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