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Former Los Angeles County landfill potentially the new home of two NFL teams

The Oakland Raiders and San Diego Charges announced in February 2015 that they are considering a 157-acre former landfill in the city of Carson as the possible location for a new NFL stadium that the two teams would share. The Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) has overseen cleanup of the former Cal Compact Landfill in Los Angeles County.

DTSC has been the lead agency in the cleanup of the site for more than two decades. In 2007, the property reached the point where it had the potential for a new use. Roughly $41 million has been spent on the cleanup and the site has been vacant for years, waiting for potential developers. The new owners, Joint Powers Authority, are promoting it as a possible site from anything to a shopping mall to residential homes to an NFL stadium.

“We are overwhelmed with the incredible support for Carson2gether,” Carson City Mayor Jim Dear said of the community group that supports construction of the NFL stadium. “We and the community want to make sure there are real benefits for the residents of our city and the region.”

Dear said the NFL stadium would be another great example of the city and DTSC working together to create jobs and revenues for the community. DTSC and the City of Carson have already been working together at the nearby site known as the Dominguez Golf Course where the Porsche Experience Center is being built on another landfill adjacent to this landfill.

While the Raiders and Chargers are still negotiating with the NFL for a new home, DTSC project manager Daniel Zogaib, said building a stadium would be an ideal use for the land.

“If a stadium is built, the only section of the landfill that would need work would be where the stadium would go since the outer parcels have been capped because of previous plans,” said Zogaib.  “These land spaces were going to be used for parking areas and have already been compacted.”

DTSC has overseen extensive work at the site. A groundwater extraction and treatment system has been in operation for months and a landfill gas removal and treatment system has been installed to collect the landfill gas which is transferred to an approved gas-flare system that destroys the contaminants in the gases.

The impermeable linear low density landfill cap has also been added to portions of the site where parking lots would be placed to prevent contact with garbage, release of the gases from leaking into the air and water from infiltrating the garbage and potentially causing more groundwater contamination.

The site is at a crucial stage in the cleanup process as it waits for a developer to designate what will be built. Once a use is defined, that will determine what the final cleanup will be.

Zogaib said that a series of landfill gas extraction wells still need to be installed to remove the gases trapped in soil that has not yet been cleaned. Once a use is approved, the wells could be installed within months.

“We need to figure out what needs to be built to know where to drive the structural piles, the gas wells and then install the cap around them,” Zogaib said.

DTSC has routine groundwater and soil gas monitoring on the site. During construction activities, daily samples of volatile organic compounds and dust are collected and analyzed and noise monitoring is also conducted.

From 1959 to 1965, the site was used as a landfill that collected both liquid and solid waste until it was covered and closed. It has remained vacant since 1965. DTSC became the lead agency in 1988 for the cleanup and found the landfill contained chemicals such as benzene and chlorinated solvents that contaminated the land.