Three Superfund Sites in California Made EPA’s Redevelopment List

Tue Jan 30th, On Environmental Law, by

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) identified Aerojet General Corp., in Rancho Cordova, MGM Brakes in Cloverdale, and Operating Industries Inc. Landfill in Monterey Park, as NPL sites with the greatest expected redevelopment and commercial potential in California. These three California sites are part of a larger national list of Superfund sites EPA hopes will be redeveloped and become catalysts for economic growth and revitalization in their communities. EPA identified these sites because of their significant redevelopment potential based on previous outside interest, access to transportation corridors, land values, and other critical development drivers.

Aerojet General Corp., Rancho Cordova, CA

The Aerojet General Corporation Superfund site is a former rocket propulsion development and testing facility located about a half-mile from the American River near Sacramento. The site is now a 40-acre solar facility that generates 6 megawatts of power. In addition to the solar facility, the site is mixed-use development, including industrial operations, livestock grazing, and commercial activities. Plans for the future include residential in the mix of uses at the site.

MGM Brakes, Cloverdale, CA

The 5-acre MGM Brakes site is a former aluminum brake manufacturing and casting facility located in Cloverdale, west of the Russian River. The site, now vacant, surrounded by mixed-use development, is zoned for service/commercial use, and can support light industrial reuse. Cleanup levels for groundwater have been met and all groundwater monitoring wells have been closed.

Operating Industries Inc. Landfill, Monterey Park, CA

The 190-acre Operating Industries Inc. Landfill site is located in Monterey Park, about ten miles east of downtown Los Angeles. Landfilling operations at the site took place from 1948 to 1984. An innovative landfill gas treatment system converts landfill gas into electricity, meeting more than half the remedial system’s energy requirements. The site, surrounded by mixed general commercial/industrial and residential land use and small pockets of open space, anticipates mixed-use redevelopment, including a retail center and solar development.

The list fulfills one of the recommendations of the Superfund Task Force. The apparent goal of this list is to easily direct interested developers and potential owners to focus on redevelopment training, tools and resources for sites on the NPL. In a recent EPA News Release dated January 17, 2018, EPA stated that it ” will work diligently with developers interested in reusing these and other Superfund sites; will identify potentially interested businesses and industries to keep them apprised of redevelopment opportunities; and will continue to engage with community groups in cleanup and redevelopment activities to ensure the successful redevelopment and revitalization of their communities.” 

The focus on redevelopment of Superfund sites is in line with Administrator Pruitt’s plan to accelerate work at all Superfund sites across the country. EPA will update the redevelopment list as sites become redeveloped and move off the list. Additional sites will be added to the list as they are remediated to the level that it makes sense to focus on their redevelopment. Businesses and industries potentially interested in redeveloping remediated Superfund sites, as well as PRPs seeking assistance with remediation towards redevelopment, may consider consulting California environmental lawyers with expertise and experience in Superfund and contaminated properties to evaluate risks and strategies. 

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