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Aerial View of BKK Landfill depicting varying
stages of planned and final post-closure.
On October 18, 2004, the BKK Corporation has notified the Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) and the United States Environmental Protection Agency that it does not have sufficient funds to continue operating and maintaining the closed Class I (hazardous) landfill and leachate treatment plant beyond November 17, 2004. As a result, on November 18, 2004 DTSC began implementing and emergency response action by hiring Engineering Remediation Resources Group, Inc. (ERRG) as an operator to ensure continuity of essential landfill operations and maintenance of the facility located at 2210 South Azusa Avenue, West Covina, California.
Engineering Remediation Resources Group, Inc. has extensive experience designing, building and running landfill systems. One or more DTSC personnel are also at the BKK landfill site Monday through Friday, to oversee this emergency response work. DTSC is working in close coordination with local, state, and federal agencies to ensure that they are kept informed of all aspects of the emergency response actions on an ongoing basis. Copies of Orders and other documents related to the BKK facility can be found on DTSC's web site at:http://www.dtsc.ca.gov/HazardousWaste/BKK/index.html
The following sections will keep you updated on all related BKK landfill operation components related to the Emergency Response Operations including links to the various responsible agencies overseeing landfill operations.
BKK LANDFILL SITE HISTORY OVERVIEW
The BKK Landfill facility encompasses approximately 583 acres in the heart of West Covina - a city in Southern California with a population of over 100,000 residents. The site is located at 2210 South Azusa Avenue in West Covina.
The site consists of a closed 190-acre hazardous waste landfill (Class I Landfill) where hazardous waste and municipal solid wastes were disposed of between 1972 and 1987, and an adjacent inactive 170-acre municipal solid waste landfill (Class III Landfill) which operated from 1987 to 1996. Approximately 3.4 million tons of liquid and solid hazardous wastes were disposed of in the Class I Landfill during its operation period.
BKK LANDFILL CLOSURE AND POST-CLOSURE MAINTENANCE
Closure of the Class I hazardous waste landfill was completed in 1989 and certified closed by DTSC in 1991. DTSC now regulates the post-closure care and maintenance of the Class I landfill.
BKK is required to monitor and perform post-closure environmental care of the Class I landfill pursuant to the terms of an Interim Status Document and the Operation Plan approved by DTSC. The standard post-closure period is 30-years.
Landfill Gas - For the control of any emissions and migration of landfill gas from the landfill into the ambient air, or off-site through soils, an extensive landfill gas collection system is in operation at the site. The system is monitored routinely by BKK and the agencies.
Surface Water - The surface water controls divert rainfall run-off away from the site to prevent erosion of the cover soil and infiltration of rainwater through the cover soil into the buried waste within the landfill. Grading and installation of a surface and underground drainage network system accomplish this. The grading and surface controls are frequently monitored and maintained.
Soil Cover - The landfill has an engineered clay cap cover of soil over the waste to help prevent the escape of landfill gases and infiltration of rainwater. The clay cap is also landscaped with vegetation to help protect the clay cap from erosion.
Leachate Treatment Plant: BKK has been operating the Leachate Treatment Plant (LTP) under the terms of a hazardous waste facility permit that became effective June 30, 1987. The LTP is necessary to properly treat and remove hazardous waste elements from the liquids generated in the landfill. BKK is required to continue to operate the LTP pursuant to the LTP Permit. The treated liquid is recycled and used for irrigation on the Class I landfill.
WASTE MANAGEMENT ENFORCEMENT AGENCY FOR THE CITY OF WEST COVINA
The Waste Management Enforcement Agency for the City of West Covina (WMEA) is an agency designated by the City and certified by the California Integrated Waste Management Board (CIWMB) to enforce the State's solid waste Class III (non-hazardous waste) landfill regulations within the City.
The WMEA is responsible for the implementation of the City's Waste Management Enforcement Program Plan as an Enforcement Agent to the CIWMB. The Agency ensures that any solid waste facility, landfill, material recovery facility or Transfer station operating in the city is operated and maintained in accordance with State laws and regulations. The WMEA is responsible for the enforcement of permits, closure plans, notice and orders, agreements, and other enforcement issues and documents pertaining to solid waste facilities in the City of West Covina.
In addition, the WMEA is responsible for solid waste management enforcement activities and performing professional, supervisory, and technical work in managing the activities of the BKK Landfill operations. These include weekly inspections, monitoring, complaint investigation, regulatory reporting, agency coordination and the performance of related work as required.
The WMEA's most prominent activities at the BKK Landfill are oversight and implementation of the Class III Final Closure construction activities and Post-Closure maintenance and monitoring activities.
CITY'S LAND ACQUISITION AND LEASE AGREEMENTS WITH BKK
In July 2003, after a year of negotiations with the BKK Corporation, and through cooperative efforts with several Federal and State agencies, the City of West Covina Community Development Commission purchased approximately 230 acres of Non-landfill contaminated property from the BKK Corporation.
The total purchase price was $6,242,000 which includes property surrounding the closed Class I and Class III landfills.
As a condition of the purchase, the Community Development Commission also received environmental liability protection in the form of Prospective Purchaser Agreements from both the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the California Department of Toxic Substances Control.
As a result, the Federal Government and the State of California will protect the City or any of its developers from liability as a result of the existing contamination at the BKK site. The BKK Corporation will remain solely responsible for all clean up of the BKK landfill site and is required to use the land sale proceeds in addition to other monies to complete landfill closure and related landfill clean up, including mitigation of offsite contaminated groundwater.
The purchase of the BKK property has direct benefits which include the redevelopment of former landfill property into a high quality recreational facility and shopping center; enabling the BKK Corporation to complete their landfill closure; adding recreational facilities for the community; providing additional commercial retail development which, in turn generates much needed sales tax and property tax revenues for the City.
The purchase also results in aesthetically improving the outward appearance of the surrounding landfill property along Azusa Avenue.
PLANNED POST CLOSURE DEVELOPMENT
As part of the July 2003 negotiations, the City of West Covina Community Development Commission is proposing the development of the Big League Dreams project -- a ballpark featuring six Major League Baseball replica baseball fields, other athletic fields and restaurants. The City expects Big League Dreams to serve as an example of land reclamation that can be applied to other restricted sites in the region. Additional planned developments are commercial and retail shopping space including a lease agreement to construct an 18 hole public golf course on top of the Class III landfill. The Community Development Commission will also be responsible for conserving 47 acres of Coastal Sage Scrub Habitat for the California Gnatcatcher, which is a federally endangered bird living in the project vicinity.
The purchase of the BKK property paves the way for the City to begin redeveloping a former landfill site into viable commercial and recreation uses that will enhance the community.
PRESS RELEASES AND INFORMATION FACT SHEETS
CAL/EPA Department of Toxic Substances Control-Information Fact Sheets/Public Notices/Project Related Documents
For more information and public documents, please scroll to the bottom of the page.
STATE AND FEDERAL AGENCIES
Cal/EPA California Environmental Protection Agency
The California Environmental Protection Agency (Cal/EPA) Was created in 1991 by Governor's Executive Order. The six Boards, Departments and Office were placed within the Cal/EPA "umbrella" to create a cabinet level voice for the Protection of human health and the environment and to assure the coordinated deployment of State resources. The Cal/EPA restores, protects and enhances the environment, to ensure public health, environmental quality and economic vitality.
ARB Air Resources Board
The Air Resources Board (ARB) regulates sources of air pollution to protect the public from exposure to toxic air contaminants. The Air Resources Board is responsible for attaining and maintaining healthy air quality; conducting research into the causes of and solutions to air pollution; and systematically attacking the serious problem caused by motor vehicles, which are the major causes of air pollution in the State. ARB is a Department of the California Environmental Protection Agency.
South Coast Air Quality Management District
The South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD)is one of 35 local air districts under the responsibility oversight of the Air Resources Board. AQMD is responsible for all of Orange, Los Angeles, Riverside and San Bernardino counties. AQMD's primary responsibility is to control emissions primarily from stationary sources of air pollution including landfills.
AQMD develops and adopts an Air Quality Management Plan, which serves as the blueprint to bring this area into compliance with the federal and state clean air standards. Rules are adopted to reduce emissions from specific types of equipment, industrial processes, paints, landfills and solvents, even consumer products.
CIWMB California Integrated Waste Management Board
The California Integrated Waste Management Board (CIWMB) regulates the processing and disposal of solid waste and landfills to protect human health and the environment. The CIWMB is responsible for managing California's solid waste stream. The Board is helping California divert its waste from landfills by: Developing waste reduction programs, providing public education and outreach, assisting local governments and businesses. Fostering market development for recyclable materials.
CIWMB is a department of the California Environmental Protection Agency.
DTSC Department of Toxic Substances Control
The Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) protects the environment and the public from exposure to hazardous wastes through regulation and overseeing cleanup of hazardous material sites. DTSC protects California and Californians from exposures to hazardous wastes. Approximately 1,000 scientists, engineers and specialized support staff work in nine offices statewide. DTSC is a Department of the California Environmental Protection Agency.
SWRCB State Water Regional Control Board
The State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) protects and regulates California's water resources including assessing water quality, regulating wastewater discharge and monitoring irrigation and storm water run-off. The State Board's mission is to preserve, enhance and restore the quality of California's water resources, and ensure their proper allocation and efficient use for the benefit of present and future generations. SWRCB is a department of the California Environmental Protection Agency.
LARWQCB Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board
The Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board (LARWQCB) protects ground and surface water quality in the Los Angeles Region, including the coastal watersheds of Los Angeles and Ventura Counties, along with very small portions of Kern and Santa Barbara Counties. The LARWQCB is one of nine Regional Boards statewide. These Boards are part of the California Environmental Protection Agency.
CITY CONTACT INFORMATION
West Covina - Environmental Programs
West Covina Community Development Commission Director
GLOSSARY OF TERMS
EXTRACTION WELLS: wells used to extract landfill gas.
GAS COLLECTION SYSTEM: system in place to collect and control landfill gases (LFG).
GROUNDWATER: the supply of fresh water found beneath the Earth's surface, usually in aquifers, which supply wells and springs.
HAZARDOUS WASTE: By-products of society that can pose a substantial or potential hazard to human health or the environment when improperly managed. Possesses at least one of four characteristics (ignitability, corrosivity, reactivity, or toxicity), or appears on special EPA lists.
HAZARDOUS WASTE LANDFILL: An excavated or engineered site where hazardous waste is deposited and covered.
LANDFILL: 1. Sanitary landfills are disposal sites for non-hazardous solid wastes spread in layers, compacted to the smallest practical volume, and covered by material applied at the end of each operating day. 2. Secure chemical landfills are disposal sites for hazardous waste, selected and designed to minimize the chance of release of hazardous substances into the environment.
LANDFILL CAP: Landfill caps are used to: (1) Minimize exposure on the surface of the waste facility, (2) prevent vertical infiltration of water into wastes that would create contaminated leachate, (3) contain waste while treatment is being applied, (4) control gas emissions from underlying waste, and (5) create a land surface that can support vegetation and/or be used for other purposes.
Landfill capping is the most common form of remediation because it effectively manages the human and ecological risks associated with a remediation site.
LANDFILL COMPLEX: Consists of the Landfill sections and appurtenances on the approximately 583-acre site at the BKK Landfill in the City of West Covina.
LEACHATE: the liquid that forms as water percolates or trickles through waste and collects contaminants from the waste.
LEACHATE SYSTEM: system in place to collect, control and convey leachate that is created when water comes in contact with refuse.
MUNICIPAL SOLID WASTE: common garbage or trash generated by industries, businesses, institutions and homes
POST-CLOSURE: The time period following the shutdown of a waste management or manufacturing facility; for monitoring purposes, often considered to be 30 years.
VEGETATIVE CONTROLS: Non-point source pollution control practices that involve vegetative cover to reduce erosion and minimize loss of pollutants.
This section will make available documents related to DTSC's emergency operations since November 2004 including documents located at the Los Angeles County Public Library in West Covina at 1601 West Covina Parkway, West Covina, California, 91790. The library has been a Federal, State and local agency government document repository for many BKK Landfill documents for public review. Attached are the following inventory list of documents;
WEST COVINA PUBLIC LIBRARY DOCUMENTS
To download local copies of Library Documents, please scroll to the bottom of the page.
The following document is located at the West Covina Public Library:
- January 17, 2005 Revised BKK Class III Landfill Closure and Postclosure Plans
If there are any documents the public is interested in reviewing off this list, please call Steven Samaniego at (626) 939-8458 and he will attempt to locate the document (s) for your review.
DEPARTMENT OF TOXIC SUBSTANCE CONTROL DOCUMENTS
DTSC'S Web Site of BKK Documents
CALEPA Continued Operations of BKK Landfill
U. S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY DOCUMENTS
REGIONAL WATER QUALITY CONTROL BOARD - LOS ANGELES REGION DOCUMENTS
Documents for this section will be updated soon.
CALIFORNIA INTEGRATED WASTE MANAGEMENT BOARD DOCUMENTS
Documents for this section will be updated soon.
WASTE MANAGEMENT ENFORCEMENT AGENCY FOR THE CITY OF WEST COVINA
To download local copies of Waste Management Enforcement Agency documents, please scroll to the bottom of the page.
Steven L. Samaniego Inspecting Landfill