Our Safety Commitment
Nothing is more important to our team than the health and safety of the Huntington Beach community as we engage with our neighbors to finish the cleanup of the Ascon Landfill Site.
We listened and heard the serious concerns about odors and dust that have been shared by our neighbors. Our team wants a safe cleanup for the community and we are taking action.
We are implementing several enhancements at the Ascon Site to ensure there are multiple layers of safety in place for our Ascon team and the local community, including new and expanded air monitoring and improved fencing next to residential streets.
We are also reviewing additional odor control measures that could be implemented before cleanup work resumes at the Ascon Site, including tenting and enclosures. All Site work is conducted under the oversight of DTSC.
16-Foot Barrier Fence
We have installed a 16-foot barrier fence along northern and eastern portions of the Site that reduces noise and dust offsite. The northeast corner of the barrier fence will be completed once work is approved by DTSC.
Following completion of the cleanup, we will install a new residential-quality perimeter fence.
We are researching the feasibility and alternatives for tenting and enclosures that will help us better control odors and dust during our work. We are studying odor and dust management practices across the country to identify the available technology and working with regulatory agencies to review proposed tenting solutions. Any tenting option will need to account for the unique challenges, terrain and stormwater management at the Ascon Site.
Enhanced Air Quality Monitoring
New and expanded air monitoring includes using proven and widely-used technology to collect air samples – both on the Site and in the surrounding neighborhood – and then analyzing those samples to ensure air quality meets conservative, health-protective screening levels.
Learn more about air monitoring enhancements, and view air monitoring results.
Enhanced Stormwater Management and Monitoring
We are conducting proactive field work to prepare the Site for the rainy winter season. This includes implementing best practices for stormwater management after rain. Surface runoff from rainfall is directed to swales or detention basins on the Site and, in the event of large-scale rain events, discharged to the City storm drain system by permit. The Site is inspected regularly by the City stormwater inspectors and weekly by the Ascon stormwater expert to maintain compliance with the Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board permit.
Learn more about stormwater management and monitoring.
Soil Cover Stabilization
We have implemented new measures to stabilize excavated areas onsite to prevent odor and provide additional dust control. This includes applying a non-toxic odor suppressant material that binds to loose soils and forms a shell.
As part of the cleanup, an engineered, multi-layer environmental cap will be installed and native, drought- tolerant vegetation will be planted, after which the Site is considered stabilized and will not produce odor.
Opt-In Community Alert System
Keeping the community informed in case of unexpected events or an emergency is a top priority at Ascon. We are implementing an opt-in alert system to rapidly notify the community should there be Site activities or impacts to neighbors of immediate concern. The alert system gives direct information to the community for things like lane closures, after-hour activities or major contingency issues at the Ascon Site, all in coordination with local authorities. We will update the community when the opt-in alert system launches.
We are continuing semi-annual sampling and testing of groundwater. Sampling and investigations conducted since 2002 found the impacts to shallow groundwater are contained within the Site boundaries. All results are submitted to DTSC.
Learn more about groundwater monitoring.
Frequently Asked Questions
No. According to a July 12, 2019 statement by DTSC: “Ongoing air monitoring at the Site has not found any chemicals above levels that present a public health concern. The health protective monitoring levels are set to protect members of the community, including children and other vulnerable people.”
Most substances that cause odors in outdoor air are not at levels that can cause long-term health effects. Air data collected to date on the Site and in the surrounding neighborhood confirmed that, even when odors have been identified, there have not been any chemicals at levels that present a risk to the community. However, we recognize there have been serious concerns about odors from our neighbors, and we are taking action to reduce odors in future work.
No, the Ascon Site has no impact on drinking water. Due to the influence of sea water, groundwater near the Site is not suitable for drinking. There are no drinking wells within miles of the Site.
No. Groundwater testing at the Ascon Site as far back as 1982 has shown impacts to groundwater are limited and are not leaving the Site.
As part of the effort to protect against the spread of coronavirus, we are following the guidance of public health officials. What that looks like for us, right now is: support personnel are working from home, project personnel remain on the job to maintain Site critical operations, maintenance, security and protect public safety. Those working on Site critical operations are following all recommended best practices guidelines for social distancing, hand washing, and sanitized work spaces.
Our safety commitment to you has not changed: Nothing is more important to our team than the health and safety of the Huntington Beach community. The situation with coronavirus is quickly evolving. We will keep you updated as this situation moves forward and regarding onsite actions.
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