DID YOU KNOW
The rainy season has arrived in Southern California. Early last week, Ascon received just over ¾” of rainfall. Rain totals are shown in live weather streaming on the Ascon website, including daily rain and the season total. The first number under “rain” is the daily total (since midnight) and the “season total” reflects the calendar year-to-date.
Inspections were conducted by the Ascon Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) team before, during, and after the recent storm event. There is historical ponding from street runoff on Magnolia due to an undersized city storm drain near Ascon and on Hamilton due to a lack of storm drain inlet infrastructure and street grading; however, no stormwater was observed leaving the Site during this event.
Stormwater inspections onsite and next to Ascon are conducted monthly by the City of Huntington Beach. Since the project mobilization began in December 2018, no violations have been issued to the Site by the City’s stormwater inspector or the Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board to whom the SWRCB delegates enforcement. In accordance with SWRCB requirements and the Ascon SWPPP, field samples are collected each day during SWRCB-qualifying storm events when discharge occurs. Historical stormwater monitoring and sampling results have been below SWRCB-established screening levels. This documents that stormwater management is effective in preventing sediment and potential contaminants from leaving the Site. Learn more in our stormwater management explainer.
PROJECT STATUS: The Ascon team submitted workplans to DTSC on October 12 and 14 for their technical review in preparation for the onsite pilot testing phase, following the agency’s direction on September 8. DTSC’s review and final approval of the workplans will help determine the next steps toward completion of the cleanup. It is anticipated the pilot testing phase will begin in early 2023—pending DTSC approval and receipt of permits—following public notification and a DTSC-hosted community meeting.
During this time, the Ascon Site regular maintenance activities and inspections by multiple agencies remain ongoing, and onsite and offsite air monitoring continue 24/7. There are ongoing technical discussions with DTSC, and DTSC continues weekly onsite and offsite inspections and meetings with the Ascon project manager.
MAINTENANCE: Regular maintenance is conducted within the Site and around the perimeter fence areas, including gate areas.
- DTSC is the lead regulatory agency for the Ascon project and conducts weekly inspections at Ascon and independent air monitoring checks in nearby neighborhoods. Their inspection reports can be found on the online DTSC database, Envirostor.
- The City of Huntington Beach continues its regular stormwater inspections of Ascon. Ascon remains in compliance with State Water Resource Control Board and City of Huntington Beach stormwater pollution prevention requirements.
- Regular inspections are conducted by Orange County Vector Control of the onsite detention basins and other areas of the Ascon site where water may be detained. Active mitigation measures by Vector Control are protective of the community, as well as onsite workers, to prevent mosquitoes and other pests.
SECURITY: 24-hour onsite security continues. Security is not always visible at the entrance gates. In addition to 24/7 onsite security, there are regular visits by air quality technicians, Site inspectors, and Site maintenance personnel. Unannounced visitors without official business or agency oversight of Ascon are not permitted to enter the Site. Trespassers will be reported to the Huntington Beach Police Department and DTSC.
You may see: You may see flashlights or headlights from a limited number of vehicles at night conducting inspections and providing security at the 38-acre Site.
In an emergency: If you see or hear something that appears urgent, please call the Huntington Beach Police Department at 911 first, then the Ascon community information line, 714-388-1825. Calls to the Ascon information line are automatically logged and relayed by text and email to the Ascon team.
- Bonfires in beach fire pits at Huntington State Beach can generate a smoky odor, sometimes noticeable in the Ascon neighborhood.
- There are automobile storage activities that may generate noise or dust unrelated to Ascon at the former tank farm property, south of Ascon and adjacent to Magnolia Street.
- Orange County Public Works continues work on the Sheet Pile Repair Project in the Huntington Beach Channel, south and southwest of Ascon, and the Talbert Channel, east of Ascon, which is expected to be an intermittent activity over the next two years.
Air monitoring continues 24/7 both on the Ascon Site and at community locations, which includes dust data at upwind and downwind stations on the Ascon Site documenting effective dust control measures.
Where to find 24/7 air monitoring data and live stream weather: Sitewide and neighborhood air monitoring data and live streaming weather conditions from the Ascon site are found on the Actively Monitoring Air Quality page on asconhb.com. Analytical data are first analyzed by a certified outside laboratory, then validated, and then submitted to DTSC and shared on their online document database, Envirostor. To view archived air monitoring results posted by DTSC on Envirostor — including weekly field inspections by DTSC that include air monitoring observations — click on “Community Involvement Documents” and scroll to “Updates and Information.”
SEE SOMETHING? HAVE A QUESTION? Call our information line: 714-388-1825 or email us at [email protected]
DRONES: Drone flights over Ascon can create worker and Site safety issues. Ascon recently experienced a drone crash into a perimeter power line, flown by a private flyer. Please don’t fly drones over sensitive onsite equipment and the power lines along the perimeter of Ascon. We appreciate the community’s assistance.
ENTRANCE AND EXIT GATES: Entering the Ascon site is prohibited to those who are not authorized. The community is asked to keep a safe distance from both entrance and exit gates at Ascon, and refrain from parking, walking, or standing in these areas. The gates on Magnolia Street and Hamilton Avenue may open unexpectedly for workers conducting air monitoring and site inspections, as well as supply delivery and removal. Signage outside Ascon also provides reminders that there is periodic vehicle entry and exit in the gate areas.
PEDESTRIANS: Your safety is important! Pedestrians have been observed walking next to Ascon along Magnolia and Hamilton streets (adjacent to the concrete fence base where there currently is no sidewalk). With the resumption of in-person school, we ask families to talk about this with those who may walk these areas on their way to and from school. We encourage pedestrians to observe public pathway signage and use the sidewalks on the east side of Magnolia and the north side of Hamilton.
PHYSICAL DISTANCING: Work at Ascon continues to be conducted under Site safety protocols regarding COVID-19 and the current RSV (respiratory virus announced as a public health emergency in Orange County on November 1, 2022). These ongoing protocols and procedures maintain job safety for the Ascon team. These practices apply to air quality professionals and other team members who may be outside the fence conducting work. We ask for the community’s support of these practices by maintaining physical distancing to allow these professionals to focus on their work and stay safe.
Have a Question or Concern?
Please contact the Ascon community information line at 714-388-1825 or email [email protected] If there is a potential emergency, please call 911. Find information about Pit F and view telemetry air monitoring data here. Sign up for AsconAlert, an opt-in community alert system for the Ascon project here.
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