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  1. Squaw Valley Public Service District, Water Supply Well No. 3 and the Opera House UST Diesel Contamination, Placer County - Tammy Lundquist

    As requested by Regional Board staff, Squaw Valley Ski Corporation (Ski Corp) is scheduled to install a mid-level groundwater monitoring well by March 9, 2000, to determine it diesel contamination has migrated into a deeper zone. Plume migration into the deeper zone concerns staff because the Squaw Valley Public Services District (SVPSD) Supply Well No. 3 is screened in this deeper zone. SVPSD has not operated Well No. 3 since October 1998 after the diesel contamination was first discovered in the shallow portions of the groundwater emanating from the former underground storage tank at the Opera House site.

    The new monitoring well will be screened from about 50 to 60 feet below ground surface, which is above SVPSD Well No. 3's screened intake zone. Analyses of soil and groundwater samples should indicate whether or not the diesel plume has migrated into the deeper zone within Well No. 3's intake influence.

  2. Basin Plan Amendment Training - Mary Fiore Wagner

    On January 29, 2001, several staff from Region 6 attended Basin Plan Amendment Training. The training was organized by the State Board's Division of Water Quality. Basin Planning Chief, Paul Lillebo and various program staff presented a six-step program that assists in the preparation and adoption of an amendment.

    Speakers included Michael McNamer of the Office of Administrative Law (OAL) and Sheila Vassey of the Office of the Chief Counsel. The Administrative Procedures Act requires approval by the OAL for regulatory portions of any basin plan, statewide plan, or their amendments. Since a basin plan amendment is not effective until it is approved by the OAL, Mr. McNamer briefed participants about OAL's review of the record for compliance with the Administrative Procedures Act. To approve an amendment, OAL staff must verify that the basin plan amendment contains (1) the required material for the record which includes a clear, concise summary of the regulatory provision, (2) certification by the chief legal officer of the SWRCB, (3) a complete administrative record, (4) a response to public comments, and (5) substantive requirements for necessity, authority, reference, clarity, consistency, and nonduplication.

    Ms. Vassey presented OCC's role in the adoption of a basin plan amendment. Vassey provided guidance on the procedures to be followed in adopting amendments to basin plans. She stressed the importance of considering the Antidegradation Policy and the requirement for external scientific peer review and an advance hearing notice of the basin plan amendment.

    This training will be offered again and is recommended for all staff especially for those working with the development and implementation of Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs).

  3. California Department of Transportation Annual Workplan - Bud Amorfini

    Regional Board staff submitted a memorandum to Caltrans District Storm Water Coordinators that provides guidance for the District-specific Annual Work Plans required by the Caltrans State-wide Storm Water NPDES Permit (State-wide Permit). The Caltrans District-specific Work Plans (Districts 2, 3, 7, 8, 9, and 10) prepared for the 2000/2001 fiscal year did not meet the expectations of Regional Board staff. In general, previous Work Plans did not provide adequate detail on how Caltrans' Storm Water Management Program (SWMP) will be implemented within each District. In addition, the Work Plans did not provide any analysis of the program effectiveness and how results of Caltrans' various statewide studies would be used to improve storm water management practices at the District level, as required by the State-wide Permit.

    Guidance was prepared to clarify our expectations for subsequent submittals and to focus the Work Plan content on program evaluation, recommendations for improvement, and District-specific implementation activities. Provisions for developing a standardized statewide Work Plan format are being developed under the State-wide Permit requirements; however, this process is likely to extend beyond the due date (April 1, 2001) for Districts to submit fiscal year 2001/2002 Work Plans. Guidance provided to Districts for the Lahontan Region will be forwarded to the State Board for consideration in developing the Caltrans statewide Work Plan requirements. In the interim, Regional Board staff will be working with the Districts to assist them in preparing 2001/2002 Work Plans due by April 1, 2001.

  4. Tahoe Tom's Gas Station, El Dorado County - Lisa Dernbach

    In January, I issued a Determination of Non-Compliance letter to the responsible parties for violation of Orders with the amended Cleanup and Abatement Order (CAO). The parties had not complied with two tasks for up to four months. I directed the responsible parties to provide a response with a timeline for coming into compliance with Orders in the CAO.

    A response by the attorney for one of the responsible parties, Tom Erickson, stated that his client intended to eventually comply with one of the outstanding tasks. Mr. Erickson will submit a technical report in March on the findings of further site investigations. The response implied, however, that Mr. Erickson would not comply with the other task for completing a final design and implementing expanded soil remediation. A thick smear zone of petroleum hydrocarbons in the saturated zone beneath the site continues to leach out high concentrations, including MTBE, in ground water.

    I will write back to the responsible parties that the response by Mr. Erickson's attorney was not satisfactory and am contemplating additional enforcement action. I plan to inform the State Board UST Cleanup Fund staff of the responsible parties' non-compliance status, which might mean the loss of reimbursement for corrective action costs.

  5. Update on East Walker River Petroleum Spill Cleanup, Mono County -Alan Miller

    As previously reported, on December 30, 2000 a tanker truck overturned on State Route 182 north of Bridgeport, spilling approximately 3500 gallons of heavy "bunker fuel" oil into portions of the East Walker River five miles upriver of the Nevada border. On January 3, 2001, staff of the California Department of Fish and Game (DGF), Oil Spill Prevention and Response (OSPR) Unit officially took command of the incident cleanup, and is overseeing the activities of private parties and contractors involved in the cleanup. Regional Board staff is continuing periodic water quality monitoring using funding from the Cleanup and Abatement Account.

    Following initial intensive cleanup efforts that recovered (approximately) one third of the spilled oil product, adverse weather and site conditions prevented further safe, effective cleanup efforts. As of mid-January cleanup operations were reduced to a "winter maintenance mode," until such time as conditions change. "Winter maintenance" generally means monitoring existing oil spill containment booms, removing accumulated oil, and replacing booms as necessary; removing any large pockets of spilled oil discovered as a result of melting ice; and similar activities. If possible, OSPR intends to resume intensive cleanup operations prior to mid-March, when releases from Bridgeport Reservoir due to snowmelt and spring runoff are anticipated to increase River flows substantially, and remain high for some months thereafter. OSPR staff is closely watching site and weather conditions to take advantage of additional opportunities for cleanup.

    In addition, an interagency effort to assess damages to natural resources has begun, primarily with state (CA/NV) and federal resource management agencies such as the US Fish and Wildlife Service. DFG has been monitoring that River section for several years, following recovery efforts for a sediment release in the early 90's that caused extensive damage to the trout fishery. River invertebrate biomonitoring has been conducted periodically at eight sites in California downstream of Bridgeport Reservoir. As a result of the spill, two additional sites will be added above and below the spill location, and previous sampling sites will be resampled to determine the effects of the spill on fish and other aquatic (food chain) organisms. The sampling results should provide substantial quantitative information concerning any effects of the spill on the aquatic ecosystem, and aid in measuring the success of abating the effects of the spill and restoring any damaged areas.

    In the meantime, Regional Board staff will continue to monitor the water quality, cleanup efforts, and participate in the natural resource damage assessment process. Sampling to date indicates very low levels of dissolved product in the water, although a substantial amount of spilled product remains stuck on the Riverbed and banks. It will most likely be necessary to continue water sampling for the foreseeable future. Unless the cleanup is completed, summer water temperatures could potentially volatilize or dissolve existing oil deposits.

  6. TMDL Program Update - Chuck Curtis

    Staff of the Regional Board's Watershed Planning/TMDL Unit are currently working on eight Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) projects. We are also working on a long-term strategy for completing all the required TMDLs. In addition, Judith Unsicker, Environmental Specialist IV (Specialist), is preparing the Administrative Record for the Heavenly Valley Creek TMDL for transmittal to the State Water Resources Control Board for its approval, and Ms. Unsicker is preparing the Indian Creek Reservoir Technical TMDL (TMDL sans Implementation Plan) for transmittal to the USEPA for its approval. Once the Regional Board has a quorum to hear this item, the TMDL and implementation plan will be proposed as a Basin Plan Amendment.

    The TMDL Unit, and/or our contractors, are working on the following TMDLs: Blackwood Creek (Lake Tahoe watershed), Bridgeport Reservoir (East Walker River watershed), Crowley Lake (upper Owens River watershed), Haiwee Reservoir (lower Owens River watershed), Lake Tahoe, Squaw Creek (Truckee River watershed), Truckee River (watershed below Lake Tahoe), and Ward Creek (Lake Tahoe watershed). Each is discussed below.

    Blackwood Creek (sediment). The Regional Board's contractor (Tetra Tech, Inc.) completed an initial study of the watershed that evaluated the sources of the impairment and made recommendations for additional work to complete the TMDL. The report indicates that instream processes are significant contributors of sediment to the stream. Channel instability and channel alteration are believed to be the largest factors affecting excessive sediment production in Blackwood Creek, with upland processes being less significant. We are contracting with the University of California at Davis' Tahoe Research Group for additional study of streambank stability and sediment source analysis during the current year. TMDL Unit staff has begun regular meetings with the U.S. Forest Service - Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit to discuss Forest Service activities in the watershed, to share data, and to coordinate planned projects and research in the watershed.

    Bridgeport Reservoir (nutrients). We have contracted with the U.S. Geological Survey to sample tributaries to Bridgeport Reservoir for sediment and nutrients over the next two years to determine external loading to the reservoir. We have also contracted with the University of California at Berkeley for a two year study to conduct limnological analyses at Bridgeport Reservoir and Twin Lakes, to analyze vegetation growth in the reservoir and internal nutrient loading (for example, nitrogen loading from blue-green algae), to analyze loading from rangelands, to evaluate lake management methods to restore the beneficial uses, and to complete a preliminary TMDL report for the reservoir.

    Crowley Lake (nutrients). We have contracted with the University of California at Santa Cruz for preliminary source assessment work and aerial photography of the upper Owens River watershed including Crowley Lake. We have also contracted with the University of California at Santa Barbara's Sierra Nevada Aquatic Research Laboratory (SNARL) for bioassessment work in the upper Owens River watershed to assist establishment of targets for the river and Crowley Lake.

    Haiwee Reservoir (copper). TMDL Unit staff is working on a Technical TMDL for Haiwee Reservoir for submittal to the USEPA by June 30, 2001. We are also using the USEPA's contractor to assist us in the analysis. TMDL Unit staff has been working with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (reservoir owner) to collect available data on copper use and water quality at the reservoir. The TMDL Unit conducted a stakeholder meeting on the TMDL on February 1, 2001 in Bishop. An Implementation Plan and associated Basin Plan amendments for the Haiwee Reservoir TMDL will be worked on during Fiscal Year 2001/2002.

    Lake Tahoe (nutrients and sediment). TMDL Unit and Lake Tahoe Basin Unit staff continues to assist the University of California at Davis' Tahoe Research Group with their modeling efforts on water clarity and nutrient/sediment loading to Lake Tahoe. We plan to complete the TMDL for Lake Tahoe in approximately 2006.

    Squaw Creek (sediment). We have contracted with the University of Nevada's Desert Research Institute (DRI) to conduct a TMDL assessment for Squaw Creek. The University of California at Santa Barbara's SNARL is also contracted to conduct bioassessment work in the creek that will complement DRI's work. The technical analysis is scheduled for completion in 2002, and we plan to bring the TMDL and associated Basin Plan amendments to the Board in 2003. TMDL Unit staff makes regular appearances before the Squaw Valley Municipal Advisory Council to keep that stakeholder group apprised of the TMDL work.

    Truckee River (sediment). We have also contracted with DRI for TMDL analysis on the Truckee River. Other contracts include a water quality monitoring contract with the Department of Water Resources and a planned facilitation contract with the California Center for Dispute Resolution. The technical analyses are scheduled for completion in 2004, and we plan to bring the TMDL and associated Basin Plan amendments to the Board in 2005. TMDL Unit staff has been active in the Truckee River Coordinated Resources Management and Planning Program (CRMP) meetings regarding the TMDL development and associated watershed management activities.

    Ward Creek (sediment). We are contracting with the University of California at Davis' Tahoe Research Group for streambank stability and sediment source analysis during the current year. TMDL Unit staff has begun regular meetings with the U.S. Forest Service - Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit to discuss Forest Service activities in the watershed, to share data, and to coordinate planned projects and research in the watershed.

    Other activities. The TMDL Unit has compiled a list of existing "Watershed Advisory Committees" or their equivalent, pursuant to AB1740, for those watersheds where impaired waters are located. We plan to engage these groups in the stakeholder process as we develop TMDLs on their waters of interest. AB1740 requires the following: "To the extent interest is expressed by the public, and resources are available, each RWQCB shall establish for each watershed where a water body is listed as impaired, an Advisory Committee consisting of the public and interested stakeholders who wish to be involved in the process of adoption and implementation of the corrective actions necessary to eliminate the impairment." For those waters where there is no established group, we will assist formation of an advisory group if the public expresses such an interest.

  7. Placer County Department of Public Works Required Annual Report and Monitoring Plans Municipal NPDES Permit and Monitoring and Reporting Program (6-00-82) - Kara Russell

    The Regional Board adopted an NPDES Permit for the City of South Lake Tahoe, El Dorado County, and Placer County for Storm Water/Urban Runoff Discharge and Monitoring and Reporting Program (M&R) on October 12, 2000. The M&R Program requires the Permittees to submit an annual monitoring report (including annual inspection results, maintenance performed/needed, current snow removal practices, certification that personnel have been instructed on BMPs, and a description of completed and proposed erosion control projects) by December 1 of each year, beginning December 1, 2000. The M&R program also required submittal of a proposed Storm Water/Urban Runoff Monitoring Program Plan and a California Toxics Rule (CTR) Monitoring Plan by December 1, 2000.

    Placer County submitted the annual monitoring report on December 1, 2000, as required in M&R Program No. 6-00-82, but requested an extension of the December 1, 2000 deadline for the Storm Water/Urban Runoff and CTR Monitoring Plans until December 31, 2000. In a letter dated December 28, 2000, Regional Board staff concurred with the need for an extension and explained that staff did not intend to recommend enforcement actions if the required plans were submitted by December 31, 2000. However, staff could not amend the submittal date since only the Regional Board may amend requirements contained in an NPDES permit. We further explained that the late submittal would be documented in our database as a minor violation.

    This office received the Proposed Storm Water/Urban Runoff Monitoring Program Plan and CTR Monitoring Plan on December 29, 2000. Placer County submitted a letter, dated January 11, 2001, to this office expressing the County's disappointment in receiving a documented violation for the late submittal of the required plans. In addition, Placer County requested this matter be placed on the Regional Board meeting agenda for consideration of an extension (after the fact) to the December 1, 2000 deadline.

    Staff is not recommending the request for extension be placed on the Board's agenda. Staff noted a violation for the late submittal in our database, but noted that no enforcement action would be taken if the plans were submitted by December 31, 2000. The County submitted the required report and plans by December 31, 2000.

    Pursuant to 40 CFR Section 122.63, the Board may approve minor modifications to an NPDES permit for certain corrections and allowances without going through the public notice process. These minor modifications are outlined in 40 CFR Section 122.63 and include correcting typographical errors, requiring more frequent monitoring or reporting, changing an interim compliance date in a schedule of compliance (provided the new date is not 120 days after the original date specified and does not interfere with attainment of the final compliance date requirement), allowing for a change in ownership or operational control, etc. I believe that amending the M&R submittal deadlines in the NPDES Permit for the two monitoring plans, so the Permittees can avoid a violation is not warranted.
  1. Public Health Assessment for Pacific Gas and Electric site in Hinkley, San Bernardino County - Joe Koutsky

    On January 26, 2001, the U.S. Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) and the California Department of Health Services (DHS) released their final version of a Public Health Assessment (PHA) for the Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) site in Hinkley, San Bernardino County. Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board staff (Board staff) provided data and technical assistance to DHS in preparation of the PHA.

    ATSDR gave testimony to a subcommittee of the U.S. Senate in April 2000, that as an example of its activities, the agency was currently active in providing public health expertise on "Pacific Gas and Electric Company in Hinkley, California" concerning a petition by a concerned citizen. ATSDR is a federal public health agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. DHS has a cooperative agreement with ATSDR to carry out their activities on non-federal sites in California.

    The two agencies began the PHA in 1998 in response to a petition of a citizen's potential health concerns with ingesting local ground water contaminated with chromium. The PHA presents the available information regarding exposure to hexavalent chromium in Hinkley and evaluates whether, past, present or future exposures could harm people in the area. The final version of the report states "there is disagreement within the scientific community as to whether hexavalent chromium causes cancer when ingested," but uses the most stringent guidelines proposed by California's Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA). OEHHA considers hexavalent chromium to be a carcinogen by ingestion and believes drinking water should not contain more than 0.2 µg/L of hexavalent chromium nor 2.5 µg/L of total chromium.

    Ground water in Hinkley was contaminated by a chromium-based corrosion inhibitor, used in the PG&E natural gas compressor station's cooling tower water between 1952 to 1966, which was discharged to unlined ponds. The primary drinking water standard for total chromium is 50 µg/L. In 1987, it was determined that ten private drinking water wells serving 14 families had hexavalent chromium concentrations exceeding 50 µg/L.

    The PHA concludes: 1) that in the past, residents were exposed to levels of hexavalent chromium above current drinking water standards for total chromium that might result in potential health risks; 2) that estimated exposures may have been high enough in the past to cause a theoretical increase in the risk of developing cancer; 3) such exposures would not have been high enough to cause non-cancer health problems; and 4) that it is highly unlikely that there are any current or future health risks from exposure to hexavalent chromium in Hinkley. Finally, the document recommends that, in order to assure public safety, additional air and water sampling should be conducted by the California Air Resources Board and the Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board. No one is drinking chromium-contaminated water now.

  2. Oak Hills Area Hexavalent Chromium Ground Water - Jehiel Cass

    Recently, the San Bernardino County Special Districts issued an advisory to residents located in Services Area Zone J (Oak Hills area) that hexavalent chromium was discovered in all four Zone J wells at concentrations ranging from 12.8 µg/L to 32.4 µg/L during sampling conducted in late 2000. While there is no drinking water standard for hexavalent chromium the total chromium primary drinking water standard is 50 µg/L. These same samples indicated that total chromium concentrations were below the drinking water standard. The State Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment recently announced consideration of a proposed Public Health Goal for hexavalent chromium of 2.5 µg/L.

    Board staff first detected 19 µg/L of hexavalent chromium in Zone J well No. 1 in a sample collected on October 18, 2000. Subsequently, Special Districts staff sampled all Zone J wells confirming the presence of hexavalent chromium in ground water. During a November 20, 2000 meeting between Regional Board staff, Special Districts' staff and State Department of Health Services (DHS) staff this information, as well as historical data, were reviewed. It was noted that a sampled collected in Well No. 2 in 1996 exceeded the total chromium drinking water standard at 64.8 µg/L. At that time DHS staff required quarterly sampling for total chromium in all Zone J wells, but not hexavalent chromium. Only recently has the State DHS required municipal drinking water systems to also test for hexavalent chromium. All samples collected after 1996 were less than the primary drinking water standard for total chromium and the DHS considers the 1996 Well No. 2 sample results an anomaly.

    The Special Districts sent an Advisory to customers January 11, 2001, notifying them of the recent data. The Special Districts is not planning to treat the water because it meets current drinking water standards. Board staff and Special Districts' staff have planned a March 2001 field reconnaissance survey of the well head capture zone areas to determine if there are any current or historic sources of hexavalent chromium.

  3. Lenwood Sewer Project - Jehiel Cass

    Board staff has reviewed an Initial Study and provided comments supporting a Negative Declaration to expand sewer services in the unincorporated community of Lenwood, west of Barstow. The County of San Bernardino and the City of Barstow have been approved for federal funding (loans and grants) from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Department of Agriculture in the amount of $6,500,000 to complete the project. The following project elements are proposed.

    • Provide gravity-flow sewer service to 798 parcels (600 currently developed) in Lenwood including approximately 42,000 linear feet of sewer lines and manholes, lateral connections from streets to homes, and pumping and backfilling all existing septic systems in the area. A localized perched water condition has developed due to a low permeability layer (caliche) beneath the Lenwood area causing many septic systems to fail. In recent years this has created a nuisance and health hazard due to surfacing sewage.

    • Replace an existing non-functioning wet well/force-main system and provide new gravity flow sewer service in 205 parcels in the adjacent High Desert Estates. The existing system was designed for continuous pumping but, in practice, only operates intermittently allowing corrosive hydrogen sulfide gas to damage manholes and lines downstream. Correcting this problem is a priority for the residents of High Desert Estates, which maintain this private sewage collection system.

    Following construction, approximately 0.135 million gallons per day of sewage will be delivered to the City of Barstow's sewage treatment plant which has sufficient capacity to treat the additional flow. Following final approval of the environmental document by the County of San Bernardino, final design and construction will take approximately two years.

    Board staff provided comments supporting the project. Specific comments included a recommendation that all encountered seepage pits be backfilled - the project area currently uses mainly leach fields. Board staff also recommended that sewer lines be sized to accommodate future growth in the area. Board staff also noted that the adjacent Grandview subdivision, to the north of Lenwood along the Mojave River, is located in a manner that will allow future connection to sewers.

  4. Avocet Tungsten Inc, Pine Creek Operations Update - Michele Ochs

    Avocet personnel and its consultants met with Board staff in mid-February to discuss further cleanup of the patios that were formerly used for drum storage. Drums and contaminated soils tested positive as hazardous waste and were removed during the summer of 2000. Verification sampling indicated that further cleanup of the patios will be necessary. Avocet has proposed additional cleanup to Board staff. Upon approval, the cleanup will resume in summer 2001.

    A potential buyer of the Pine Creek Mine met with Board staff to seek clarification of questions regarding the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit and Closure Waste Discharge Requirements (WDRs). Regional Board Staff will follow this development to ensure that necessary closure and cleanup activities at the private property portions of the mine and mill site occur in a timely manner.

  5. Contaminated Soil Found during Mammoth Storm Drain Construction - Kai Dunn

    In January 2001, the Town of Mammoth Lakes encountered petroleum odors while constructing a storm drainage improvement project on Center Street. Soil samples were taken at the project area. Three test pits were dug with three samples taken out of each pit at depths from 5 to 17 feet. Board staff assisted town staff regarding analysis of the samples. The results show that total petroleum hydrocarbons as diesel (TPHd), total petroleum hydrocarbons as gasoline (TPHg), toluene, ethylbenzene, xylene and small amounts of methyl, tertiary, butyl and ether (MTBE) were found. The town has hired a consultant to ensure worker safety and properly dispose of the excavated soils at an authorized landfill.

    It appears that the likely source of the petroleum contaminants is the underground storage tanks on the Shell Station property on Center Street. Board staff requested that the responsible party, Nicholas Transportation, conduct a site assessment including an off-site investigation to define contaminants in soil and ground water at the vicinity of the site. Board staff also requested the preparation of an interim corrective action plan to mitigate the impact to soils and ground water. Board staff is working with the town to identity whether additional contaminant sources are present and will continue to oversee the investigation and cleanup.

  6. IMCC Update - Cindi Mitton

    Board staff has coordinated with the Department of Fish and Game to meet with IMC Chemicals (IMCC) and discuss regulatory issues regarding IMCC's wastewater disposal. Progress has been made by IMCC to meet the interim effluent limits in its WDRs as indicated by the daily monitoring conducted by IMCC. However, IMCC is concerned that it will not meet other compliance dates in the WDRs. IMCC has requested an extension to the requirement in its Cleanup and Abatement Order (CAO) that requires all visible oil to be removed from the surface water and remediation of all petroleum contaminated soils. Board staff commented on IMCC's request and requested a proposed schedule from IMCC as to when it would be in compliance with the requirement.

    Issues to still be resolved include: 1) identification of technically and economically achievable concentrations of petroleum in the effluent (as related to final effluent limits), 2) cause of bird deaths, 3) long term remediation of remaining soil contamination, 4) other constituents of concern in the wastewater, 5) achievable detection limits for petroleum and other constituents, 6) appropriate beneficial uses designation, and 7) issues associated with past violations and resource damages. Board staff expects to soon receive IMCC's proposed technology report for achieving economically and technically feasible effluent limits. IMCC has indicated that it will not be able to meet the April 1, 2001 deadline for construction of treatment facilities and may request that the Regional Board consider an extension to the compliance date for achieving final effluent limits. Upon receipt of IMCC's report, Board staff will review the report and make a recommendation.

    Bird deaths have decreased over the last months, and petroleum is not longer considered the primary cause of the bird deaths that do occur. However, to what extent the effluent is harming birds has not been determined. IMCC submitted a map in January 2001 and requested that Board staff consider its earlier de-designation proposal for the approximately 50-square mile area shown on the map. Board staff has provided comments to IMCC that consideration of the "dredge" pond and percolation pond to be effluent dominated water bodies, (with associated beneficial uses), may represent the best solution. Board staff will continue to work with IMCC regarding beneficial uses of the surface waters of the effluent ponds and other issues.

  7. Owens Lake Dust Control Project - Joe Kenny

    The City of Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) has begun dewatering beneath the Owens River to install its 60-inch pipeline to deliver water to the Dust Control Project for Owens Lake. In February 2001, Board staff inspected the project site to determine whether conditions in the Water Quality Certification for the project were being met. During the inspection, Board staff discussed Best Management Practices with LADWP staff who installed the diversion pipe in the river channel and conducted Water Quality Monitoring during the site work.

    Subsequent monitoring results during the pipe installation indicated that turbidity in the river channel was minimized by installing sheet piling upstream of the work area and filter fabric within the river channel downstream of the work area. Construction for the Dust Control Project began last summer with tapping into the Los Angeles Aqueduct that will supply water for the project. Board staff will continue to work with LADWP during site restoration and in implementation of the wetland/ riparian mitigation plan.

  8. Cal/EPA Pilot Environmental Management System Innovation Initiative Award - Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company - Ted Saari

    On January 18, 2001, Board staff participated in a Cal/EPA Environmental Management System (EMS) Innovative Initiative Pilot Project Presentation and Tour at the Lockheed Martin Aeronautics (LMA) Company (formerly known as the "Skunkworks") plant in Palmdale. LMA's Pilot Project is one of seven pilot EMS projects approved by Cal/EPA Secretary Winston Hickox in accordance with AB1102.

    The EMS projects are designed for governmental and business facilities to produce high levels of environmental performance and better information about environmental protection programs to the public. Innovative EMS projects are anticipated to be the next generation of environmental regulation. EMSs are intended to achieve environmental performance results that exceed the minimum compliance levels and go beyond the existing regulatory framework to elicit cooperation among government, business, and environmental organizations for the common benefit.

    The pilot projects developed and implemented specific EMS Project Plans making up the first phase of the Cal/EPA EMS Project. The next phase of the project involves participating companies and facilities committing to specific environmental outcomes that exceed what is required by law. The third phase of the project will apply the EMS concept to specific regions of the state where many companies in a region collaborate to achieve specific goals to improve environmental conditions such as air quality, water quality, and habitat restoration. The ultimate goal is development of a plan for a sustainable California in which economic growth and business activity do not degrade the environment, thereby preserving a healthy environment and natural resources for future generations of Californians.

    Participants at the event were also provided with a bus and walking tour of the LMA Palmdale facility. Highlights of the tour included an on-site description/demonstration of LMA's comprehensive "Chemical Crib" concept for inventory control and tracking of all chemical usage throughout the facility. This control and tracking system will minimize the chance of chemical releases from the facility and the threat to water quality.

  9. Molycorp, Cleanup and Abatement Orders - Curt Shifrer

    Molycorp continues to make progress toward achieving complete compliance with Cleanup and Abatement Orders (CAO) issued by the Executive Officer. At the Mine Site, Molycorp has recently installed two additional extraction wells located at the North Tailings Pond (P-16). The wells were installed to capture wastewater leakage from P-16, which is not being captured by existing extraction wells. Molycorp disposes of captured leakage by evaporators located on P-16. Construction is currently underway at the Mine Site for new evaporation ponds. The ponds will provide additional capacity to dispose of contaminated ground water generated by extraction wells that are part of the ground water corrective action program. The onsite portion of the site investigation for the Mine Site is essentially complete. Molycorp is still working with Bureau of Land Management to obtain right-of-way agreements to drill offsite ground water monitoring wells. These wells are needed to complete the investigation of Mine Site ground water plumes. Molycorp has not yet been drilled these wells, because of difficulties in obtaining land access.

    Cleanup of contaminated soils in Ivanpah Valley (caused by seven wastewater-pipeline spills in July and August 1996) appears complete. Board staff is currently reviewing Molycorp's report documenting completion of cleanup of the soils. Site investigations at the Old and New Ivanpah Disposal Pond sites are almost complete. One additional ground water monitoring well needs to be installed at the New Ivanpah Pond sites. Molycorp expects to complete this well in the next few months. Regional Board staff will continue to oversee remaining activities at all of Molycorp's sites.


  10. Victorville Fire Department, San Bernardino County - Tim Post

    In October 1993, the Victorville Fire Department's contractor removed a 1,000-gallon unleaded-gasoline tank and a 550-gallon diesel tank from the Victorville Fire Station No. 311, located at 16200 Desert Knolls Drive. Soil samples collected from the excavation bottom exhibited elevated TPHg and benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene and xylene (BTEX) concentrations. A subsequent Site Investigation revealed that the maximum extent of contamination was 50 feet below ground surface and, based on the criteria listed in SWRCB Resolution 102b, the Victorville Fire Department classified the site as a "Low-Risk, Soil-Only Site." This classification was based, in part, on a 145-foot separation between the deepest soil contamination (at 50 feet) and the top of the water table at 195 feet and the distance to the nearest drinking water supply well.

    Since 1993, concentrations of BTEX contaminants have decreased from the thousands of parts per million (ppm) in soil to a range of ND to 1.6 ppm. MTBE was detected at 1.3 ppm. These data indicate there are residual petroleum contaminants in the soil; however, the low concentrations and limited vertical and lateral extent of contaminants indicate that the site does not pose a threat to human health or the environment. Board staff therefore recommended closure of the case because the site does not pose a threat to water quality.