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Landfill interim removal continues

Progress of taking toxic sludge, hazardous waste to Kern County about a quarter way through, officials say.

October 20, 2010|By Britney Barnes, britney.barnes@latimes.com

Officials are about a quarter of the way through with the interim removal process of hazardous waste and toxic sludge from the city's defunct landfill.

The state Department of Toxic Substances Control has removed about 24,800 pounds of waste from the Ascon Landfill Site. The department is on schedule to remove a maximum of 100,000 pounds by early February, said project manager Safouh Sayed.

The removal is an intermediary measure before the site's final cleanup that will help officials determine the extent of that cleanup.

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The 38-acre landfill at 21641 Magnolia St. was used to store waste and construction debris from 1938 to 1984.

Officials have begun taking out waste from two 12- to 17-foot-deep pits, referred to as lagoons, in the interior southwest section of the site.

Waste has been removed to a depth of about 10 feet in Lagoon 2 and 5 feet in Lagoon 1, Sayed said.

The department is now using about 50 trucks a day to cart the waste to Buttonwillow Landfill west of Bakersfield in Kern County. More than 1,000 trucks have left the site since construction started Aug. 4.

Officials received about nine complaints late September about a strong smell of petroleum. The smell was from the heat wave and a change of wind direction, they said.

Sayed said there were no health risks to residents.

The department has received 16 complaints total over the last month.

Residents are encouraged to call the hotline with any concerns at (714) 388-1833.

— Britney Barnes

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