During the due diligence for potential residential development of the Sunrise Village Shopping Center on Euclid and Rosecrans in Fullerton, a Phase I Environmental Assessment, with multiple soil investigations, was conducted by the Roux Environmental Consulting firm between Nov. 2020 to June 2021. Although the report concluded the site was ready for a Response Plan, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control found additional testing was needed.
The agency requested that additional testing include:
- *Soil at former Sunrise Dry Cleaning and immediately north of the site.
- *Soil for pesticides due to historical agricultural land use (from 1938-1972).
- *Soil vapor at 5 and 15 feet below ground surface.
- *Groundwater movement and potential VOC impacts (from 5 to 45 feet below ground surface) through installation of four permanent monitoring wells.
Results of the January 2021 Phase 2 Environmental Assessment tests showed PCE present in soil vapor at 980 ug/m3, well over the residential regulatory limit of 15 ug/m3. I addition PCE concentrations of 14 ug/L were found in groundwater (the regulatory limit is 5 ug/L).
Exposure to PCE (Tetrachhloroethylene) can cause headaches, vision and muscle coordination problems, respiratory tract problems, liver and kidney disfunction, harm to the nervous system and is listed as a likely carcinogen. The EPA estimates that a person continuously breathing air containing PCE levels of 400 ug/m3 would result in not greater than a one-in-ten thousand increased cancer risk. A ban on the use of the chemical in dry cleaning businesses in California begins Jan. 2023. Although few neighbors of the shopping center site appear to have received it, the DTSC published a Community Survey in September 2021 announcing an upcoming cleanup plan for the property stating that, “Environmental investigations indicated concentrations of solvent volatile organic compounds in soil gas exceeded regulatory health levels required for residential use.”
The cost of oversite by the DTSC of the site mitigation and restoration program was estimated at over $98,845 in the March 2021 CLRRA (Exhibit D pg 18) agreement between DTSC and Sunrise Village Owner LLC (registered on 2/11/2021 in Delaware) with contact James O’Malley of Shopoff Realty and signing done by Executive VP Brian G. Rupp of Shopoff Realty Investments.
Entering into a Brownfield Site Reuse agreement with DTSC can earn a qualified developer free assessment, investigation, or cleanup planning services provided through grant funding by the US EPA on selected properties. Below market, low-interest loans up to $200,000 are also available to entities not considered responsible for the pollution and who are working to clean up and return blighted or underutilized properties to safe and productive uses. CLEAN program low-interest loans of up to $2.5 million for cleanup of hazardous wastes that have beneficial impact on property values, economic viability, and quality of life are also available.
Representatives from DTSC did not return calls prior to print date – but we hope to receive an update on the status of the cleanup in time for our next issue. Stay tuned. The documents on the cleanup operations at the site are available by visiting www.envirostor.dtsc.ca.gov/public/profile_report?global_id=60003125 Once on the Sunrise Village (60003125) page click on the Site/Facility Docs in the blue Summary links to access the documents.
To view the EnviroStor map that shows all sites in Fullerton or any California town visit: www.envirostor.dtsc.ca.gov/public/map/?global_id=60003125&zl=15&mt=t