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Last Edited: 8/5/2010

Omega Chemical Corporation, Whittier - Public Health Activities

Starting in the early 2000s, the California Department of Public Health--formerly California Department of Health Services (CDHS) has conducted several evaluations of the public health implications from contamination at the Omega Chemical Superfund Site.

The site 

The Omega Chemical facility is located in the City of Whittier, Los Angeles County. Prior to 1976, the site housed several different industrial operations, including a chemical processing facility. From 1976 to approximately 1991, the Omega Chemical Corporation and Omega Refrigerant Reclamation operated as a spent solvent and refrigerant recycling and treatment facility. Due to past mishandling and/or improper storage of the chemicals and wastes on the Omega site, high levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) have impacted the soil and groundwater. In September 2006, the Omega Chemical PRP group LLC purchased the Skateland property; all public access to the property was terminated and the building was scheduled for demolition. Learn more about remediation at the site.

CDHS's involvement at the site 

CDHS became involved with the Omega site after it was added to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)'s National Priority List on January 9, 1999. Under a cooperative agreement with the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, CDHS conducted an evaluation of the public health impact of the contamination at the site and presented the findings and recommendations in a report called a public health assessment (PHA).

CDHS identified soil gas migration as a potential exposure pathway for on- and off-site workers and residents in the vicinity of the Omega site, and concluded that potential soil gas migration into buildings on- and off-site may pose a current and future health concern to the employees and their customers. Since the release of the PHA, the responsible parties, under EPA's oversight, conducted additional indoor air monitoring for both on-site and nearby buildings. On the basis of the soil gas and indoor air data, the Omega site is classified as posing no apparent public health hazard.  

In 2007, CDHS conducted an evaluation of the soil gas and indoor air data collected in businesses both on and off the Omega property, to determine whether the soil gas migration under the buildings was affecting indoor air quality. CDHS presented its findings and recommendatons in a report called a health consultation.

Soil gas samples taken on and near the property showed elevated concentrations of VOCs; other contaminants of concern were found at levels exceeding the range typically found in commercial/industrial buildings. On the basis on available data, CDHS  concluded that the Omega site posed a public health hazard to the workers and patrons of Skateland Park prior to its closure in the fall of 2006. 



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