City ups ante on ARCO clean up

The Seal Beach City Council on Monday, May 10 agreed to raise the limit on the contract with Dudek and Associates, an environmental consulting firm. Dudek is the city’s consultant on the ARCO soil decontamination project in the Bridgeport neighborhood. The new agreement says the cost of Dudek’s services will not exceed $255,000.

The council approved the amended contract as one of several Consent Calendar items. Consent Calendar items are passed without discussion.

The council previously approved a $100,000 contract with Dudek to monitor ARCO soil contamination.

According to the staff report by Sean Crumby, director of Public Works, Dudek has reviewed monitoring reports and work plans by ARCO, evaluated the potential migration of gasoline vapor from underground storage tanks, calculated health risks and will evaluate the progress of remediation efforts.

The Crumby report points out that the council agreed on March 22 to increase Dudek’s compensation to a maximum of $18,000.

The Crumby report said Dudek estimates additional work will cost $75,000 over the next three months.

The report also said ARCO has agreed to reimburse Seal Beach 100 percent of its costs in the Bridgeport matter.

As previously reported in the Sun Newspapers, the Orange County Health Care Agency has asked ARCO/BP to revise its corrective action plan for decontaminating the soil near the Pacific Coast Highway ARCO station.

The Technical Advisory Committee, a group of Bridgeport residents with backgrounds in environmental engineering, the City Council and the Health Care Agency have all expressed a preference for “digging and hauling” contaminated soil out of the neighborhood.

That wasn’t the only ARCO-related item on the Consent Calendar last week.

BP West Coast agreed to reimburse Seal Beach 97 percent of the cost of cleaning up a former ARCO gas station site on Lampson Avenue. The City Council approved the settlement at the Monday, May 10 meeting. The agreement has nothing to do with the contamination of the residential neighborhood of Bridgeport.

According to the settlement agreement, construction on the Lampson Avenue Sewer Replacement Project began in March 2009.

However, construction workers found evidence of soil contamination at the former gas station site, according to the May 10, 2010 staff report by Sean Crumby, director of Development Services.

“It was determined that this contamination originated from a former ARCO gas station that was operated at 12800 Seal Beach Blvd.,” Crumby wrote.

The gas station was located near the Lampson Avenue and Seal Beach Boulevard intersection, on the edge of College Park East but not near any residential homes.

BP has agreed to pay $945,000, or 97 percent of the cost of cleaning the contaminated soil, Crumby.

According to the agreement, Seal Beach will release all claims against BP West Coast concerning the former gas station site. The agreement also said BP is not admitting wrongdoing in the matter.

In late April 2009, Darrell Fah, of ARCO’s La Palma office, said it was impossible to say who was responsible for the contamination 20 to 30 years after the fact. “We know whose (responsibility) it isn’t and that’s Seal Beach,” Fah said. He said ARCO would work with Seal Beach to decontaminate the soil.

He also said the Orange County Health Care Agency closed the case on the site in 1996.

At the time City Engineer Michael Ho said no drinking water had been affected by the former ARCO site.

He said the contamination was probably 2,500 feet from the nearest water well.

In other news, the City Council approved changing the name of Beverly Manor Road to North Gate Road. The council changed the road’s name at the request of the president of the Golden Rain Foundation of Leisure World.