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SUPERFUND CLEANUP BEGINS AT SAN YSIDRO BORDER SITE

 SUPERFUND CLEANUP BEGINS AT SAN YSIDRO BORDER SITE
 SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) today announced the start of a toxic waste cleanup near the U.S.-Mexico border, at 3225-46 Old Monument Rd., San Ysidro, Calif. The cleanup and removal of several hundred chemical containers will be paid for by the property owner, Julius Hofer of San Diego. The chemicals were placed on the site by a tenant, Sam LaValle of San Ysidro, who defaulted on rent payments last year and could not be located.
 "We are pleased that the property owner has responded to our request for an immediate cleanup of this site," said Jeff Zelikson, director of hazardous waste management for EPA's western regional office. "This will eliminate the potential for a fire or explosion that could release toxic fumes dangerous to anyone in the immediate vicinity."
 The site is located approximately 250 yards from the international border, and is surrounded by open land used for cattle grazing. The Tijuana River and flood plain, protected within the boundaries of Border State Park, are within a quarter mile of the site.
 Many of the containers on the site are unlabeled, damaged, or leaking. Substances that could be identified included flammable paints, solvents, and resins, as well as caustic and corrosive liquids and solids, and an acidic paste. Acids and caustics can react with flammable materials to cause a fire or explosion, and result in a release of toxic gas.
 The hazardous waste cleanup is expected to take three weeks, and cost about $65,000. The work is being done with the oversight of the San Diego County Health Department's Hazardous Materials Management Division, as well as U.S. EPA's emergency response program.
 The emergency response program was created under the authority of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (Superfund). Since 1980, U.S. EPA has conducted over 2,000 emergency response actions. This Superfund program covers imminent threats to human health and the environment. These range from acute, life-threatening hazardous substance spills to complex situations involving improper management of hazardous waste.
 -0- 2/27/92
 /CONTACT: Dave Schmidt of U.S. EPA, 415-744-1578/ CO: U.S. Environmental Protection ST: California IN: SU:


RM -- SF002 -- 3271 02/27/92 12:24 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Feb 27, 1992
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