Community News

Magnolia Tank Farm Site Termination of Corrective Action without Control

by: Sandy Nax
Posted: June 14, 2021


HUNTINGTON BEACH...The Department of Toxic Substances Control wishes to inform the public about the proposed Termination of Corrective Action Without Controls (unrestricted use) for the magnolia Tank Farm (Site), (21845 Magnolia Street, Huntington Beach) which was a portion of the larger Southern California Edison (SCE) Huntington Beach Generation Station (HBGS). The 28.9-acre Site is currently owned by SLF HB-Magnolia and leased to Surf City Beach Auto Group, Inc. for use as a temporary storage parking lot for new vehicles. In January 2021, SLF HB-Magnolia received certification of its California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) Environmental Impact Report (EIR) from the City of Huntington Beach. The Site is planned for future redevelopment with residential and hospitality (Hotel) uses.

On February 1, 1995, SCE and DTSC entered into a Stipulated Judgment (Stipulation BC121219) regarding environmental issues at HBGS and ten other SCE facilities. In accordance with the Judgment, DTRA required that SCE perform corrective action under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). Corrective action is the process of identifying any possible soil and groundwater contamination at hazardous waste facilities and, if necessary, remedy those releases if they pose a threat to human health and the environment.

SCE prepared a RCRA Facility Investigation (RFI) Workplan in 2015 to evaluate environmental conditions across the entire HBGS, including the Site. In Response to DTSC comments and requests, SCE conducted numerous investigations at the Site between 2016 and 2020.

Historical records show that off-Site to the west and northwest was a former private airport (Huntington Beach Airport and a former sewage disposal plant (1930s/1940s), neither of which operated 0n-Site. Off-Site to the north is the former ASCON landfill which began operations in the late 1940s/early1950s. Hazardous wastes were buried in various pits and lagoons at ASCON landfill, but those operations never extended onto the Site. HBGS and the Huntington Beach Channel were constructed to the east of the Site in the late 1950s/early1960s.

The Magnolia Tank Farm Site was undeveloped and/or used for agriculture before the 1960s. In 1955, three oil wells were drilled at the Site, which were abandoned in 1972. SCE constructed three (3) 25-million gallon fuel oil aboveground storage tanks (ASTs) in the late 1960s/early1970s as part of HBGS, and the ASTs and all associated aboveground and below ground structures and pipelines were removed.

Numerous environmental investigations have been conducted at the Site under the oversight of the DTSC. During the investigation, hundreds of samples (soil, soil vapor, and groundwater) were collected from throughout the Site. Concentrations of Hydrocarbons (Oily soil), Volatile Organic Compounds and Metals in the soil and groundwater, and PCBs in the soil to appropriate commercial/industrial and residential regulatory screening levels were reported.

During AST demolition and removal in 2017, oily soil beneath the ASTs and along associated piping were removed from the Site. In addition, a limited soil excavation and export was conducted at the former primary fuel oil pumping area in 2020. A post-excavation risk assessment concluded that the calculated risk thresholds has been removed.

In July 2020, SCE prepared a comprehensive RFI Report summarizing all work conducted at the Site. The RFI Report concluded that the Site met the conditions for unrestricted closure, as long as it is subject to recording of a future land use covenant (LUC) restricting groundwater from being used as a potable source.

A copy of the RFI Report and other supporting documents are available for public review electronically DTSC Envirostor Database at or a physical copy at the Huntington Beach Central Library 7111 Talbert Avenue Huntington Beach, CA 92648-1232. Phone (714) 842-4481.

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