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EPA BEGINS EMERGENCY CLEANUP OF SAN LEANDRO SUPERFUND SITE

       EPA BEGINS EMERGENCY CLEANUP OF SAN LEANDRO SUPERFUND SITE
    SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today began emergency cleanup and removal of hazardous wastes at Century Plating Co., located at 1124 139th Ave., San Leandro, Calif.  The action came after site owners failed to comply with a U.S. EPA order requiring immediate cleanup and removal of toxic substances on the site.
    "We're moving fast to clean up this site because of the potential health threat to people living next door to it," said Jeffrey Zelikson, director of U.S. EPA's regional Hazardous Waste Management Division.  "This is an excellent example of how the federal Superfund law is working to eliminate toxic threats to public health and the environment."
    Vats and drums containing 26,000 gallons of highly toxic chemicals, including cyanide and acid plating solutions, are on the site.  In a worst-case accident scenario, these chemicals could combine to form deadly hydrogen cyanide gas. The cleanup and removal will eliminate this risk, as well as the potential for fire, explosion, and soil and groundwater contamination.
    Century Plating is located in a mixed residential and industrial neighborhood, with several homes bordering the sides of the property. Approximately 20 residents living in buildings adjacent to the site will be asked to vacate their homes during working hours as a safety precaution while the wastes are pumped from drums and vats on the site to holding tanks.  In addition, residents of all homes near the site will be notified of the work. The San Leandro Fire Department and U.S. EPA have developed an emergency plan to deal with any potential chemical spills.
    The removal action is being taken under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (Superfund). Cost of the cleanup and removal is estimated at $1.3 million.
    Since 1980, U.S. EPA has conducted over 2,000 Superfund emergency response actions.  The Superfund emergency response program covers emergencies and other threats that pose health and environmental hazards.  These situations range from acute, life-threatening hazardous substance spills to complex situations involving improper management of hazardous waste.  U.S. EPA's Superfund emergency response activities are conducted by a nationwide network of teams that are on-call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
    -0-                      11/04/91
    NOTE TO BROADCASTERS AND EDITORS:  Pumping of hazardous wastes at this site is scheduled to begin by Wednesday, Nov. 13.  U.S. EPA representatives will be at the site to answer questions from the news media.  Look for media advisory Nov. 12 for more details.
    /CONTACT:  Dave Schmidt, U.S. EPA, 415-744-1578/ DB -- SF008 -- 0983 11/04/91 19:02 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Nov 4, 1991
Words:443
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