Site Identification and Location: This solid waste disposal site is located within the Crazy Horse Sanitary Landfill (Facility No. 27-AA-0007) property boundary, west of Crazy Horse Canyon Road, approximately nine miles north of the City of Salinas in Monterey County. The Crazy Horse Sanitary Landfill (CHSL) is located on 160 acres of land. The Crazy Horse Abandoned Disposal Site (CHADS) is located near the southern boundary of the CHSL.
Site Description: The CHADS is situated on a steep, heavily vegetated hillside. The topography near the site is hilly with elevations ranging from 300 to 950 feet above mean sea level. The CHSL is located in a southwest draining canyon whose upper reaches have been filled with refuse. The CHADS is located on the southeast slopes of the canyon. The slope in the CHADS area ranges up to 2:1 (H:V).
The CHSL has been used for municipal waste disposal since 1934. The older portion of the CHSL was originally operated as a burn dump from about 1934 to 1966 and subsequently as an unlined landfill. Modern landfilling practices have been utilized at the CHSL since that time. The landfill property was expanded in the 1980s with the purchase of several parcels (including the recently discovered CHADS) southeast of the landfill. In December 1984, groundwater samples collected from three residential wells south of the old fill area were found to contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Subsequent investigations indicated that the VOCs in groundwater resulted from a release from the older, unlined portion of the landfill. In 1985, a corrective action program (CAP) was implemented to contain and remove VOCs from on-site groundwater. In addition, the impacted properties were purchased, moving the landfill’s southern boundary to its current position.
The dates of operation of the CHADS are not known. Review of aerial photographs dating back to 1967 revealed no active disposal activities in the CHADS area. Recovery of some dated material indicates that CHADS operations may date back to the 1940s. The CHADS appears to have been operated primarily as an open dump. Users most likely dumped waste at the top of the ravine and let it roll down the hillside. Occasionally the waste would be set on fire to reduce its volume. The CHADS was not discovered by the Authority until the first quarter of 2000.
The CHSL and CHADS are currently owned by the Salinas Valley Solid Waste Authority (Authority). The Authority is a joint powers governmental agency comprised of Monterey County, and the cities of Salinas, Gonzalez, Soledad, Greenfield, and King. The Authority was established in 1997 to provide long-term solid waste disposal management services and to operate and maintain four solid waste disposal sites within northeastern and southeastern portions of Monterey County.
Proposed Remediation Project: The Authority has requested a Matching Grant from the Solid Waste Cleanup Program to mitigate the Crazy Horse Abandoned Disposal Site. The proposed site remediation includes waste removal and disposal, installation of drainage controls, slope and foundation stabilization, and field and laboratory testing.
The Authority is a responsible party for this solid waste disposal site as the current owner of the disposal site property. The proposed project would benefit public health and safety and the environment irrespective of water quality aspects by mitigating exposure of hazardous levels of lead contaminated waste to the public and the environment. The CHADS area is located within an Authority designated buffer zone that prohibits habitable structures within 2,500 feet of the permitted facility boundary.
Site Prioritization: Based on the degree of risk to public health, safety and the environment, this site has been evaluated as Priority A1. Priority A1 is a confirmed condition of pollution or nuisance from solid waste based on comparison with State minimum standards with significant residential, industrial, park, recreation, or environmentally sensitive areas within 1,000 feet of the site.
Board Cleanup Funds Requested: Total project costs are estimated at $82,000. The Board’s matching share under the grant is not to exceed $41,000.
Enforcement Actions and Cost Recovery: The Authority has been working closely with the Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board and the County of Monterey Division of Environmental Health to achieve voluntary compliance at this site.
This Board may award matching grants to public entities to cleanup (among other sites) publicly owned solid waste disposal and codisposal sites which have been taken over for public benefit and environmental protection. As a grant is essentially a bestowal of funds, cost recovery is not an issue in those cases, even though the public entity grantee is a “responsible party” for the cleanup. As with all matching grants, the public entities’ need for the funds is to be considered. The Authority’s attempts at locating the party, which may have owned the CHADS property at the time of disposal, have been unsuccessful. The Authority has funded all of the work to date from its own operating budget because the CHADS property owner (at the time of disposal) could not be located. The unanticipated costs for remediation of the CHADS may significantly affected the Authority’s ability to continue providing reasonable tipping fees at the CHSL for the ratepayers in the Cities of Prunedale and Salinas. In July 2001, the Authority raised their tipping fee from $39 per ton to $43 per ton. The Authority has expressed that costs associated with the proposed site remediation were not taken into consideration in setting the current tipping fee and may contribute to the need to impose a tipping fee rate increase.
CEQA: Compliance with CEQA requirements has been met with a Notice of Exemption filed by the Authority.
Other Factors: None.