Targus was contracted to perform an environmental site assessment (Phase I ESA and additional non-ASTM services) of a vacant two-story manufacturing and refrigerated warehouse building constructed in 1974. The property had been utilized as a nationwide food processing facility for approximately 50 years. At the time of Targus’ ESA the property was identified on several regulatory databases due to former on-site hazardous waste generation and for being situated over the Orange County North Groundwater Basin volatile organic compounds (VOCs) plume. Reviewed background information included prior soil and soil gas sampling and analysis. Prominent Chemicals of Concern (COCs) detected on-site and documented to be present in the underlying plumes included chloroform, dichlorofluoromethane, tetrachloroethene (PCE), and toluene, among other VOCs. Based on initial site investigation, the California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC), which had been searching for additional dischargers, recommended “no further investigation” and opined that minimal chlorinated solvents were used in operations at the facility.
However, at the time of Targus’ assessment, Targus observed heavily stained interior surfaces in waste storage areas, compressor rooms, and near hydraulic equipment not previously known to the DTSC. Moreover, the prospective purchaser sought reduced uncertainty regarding the potential for contribution to the underlying plumes. As a result, Targus was engaged to perform additional soil and soil vapor sampling and analysis using a variety of equipment, some for limited access, and on-site field vapor analysis.
The results of additional assessment identified indicators of releases of toluene and PCE in the areas of a clarifier and the waste storage area. The pattern of distribution and relative concentrations were suggestive of material releases that were suspected to have migrated to depth. As a result of the assessment, potential for reconsideration by the DTSC and magnitude of consequences of being named as a discharger, the prospective purchaser is renegotiating the transactions terms.