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U.S., State Approve Closing of BKK Toxic Waste Area

December 28, 1986|MIKE WARD | Times Staff Writer

WEST COVINA — Federal and state agencies have given final approval to a plan to close permanently the area where toxic waste is buried at the BKK landfill.

BKK President Kenneth Kazarian said the company will spend about $13 million on environmental controls under the plan, which was approved last week after more than two years of study and revisions.

More than 3.4 million tons of hazardous waste is buried at the BKK landfill.

Final approval of the plan was given by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the state Health Department.

Protect Environment

Kenneth Kizer, director of the Department of Health Services, said the closure is designed to protect the surrounding area by preventing the release of hazardous substances.

Kazarian said the closure plan calls for expansion of an already elaborate system of wells and pipes designed to keep landfill gas from escaping and to protect ground water from contaminated liquids. At least five feet of compacted soil will be placed on top of the trash.

Kazarian said most of the work will be done in the next year. Federal regulations require the company to maintain the area for 30 years.

BKK was one of the nation's largest dumps for toxic waste until 1984 when landfill gas leaked into a residential neighborhood, forcing the evacuation of 21 homes.

The evacuations and regulatory pressures led BKK Corp. to close the dump to toxic waste in November, 1984. Since then, the landfill has remained open, accepting only ordinary household trash and commercial waste.

The trash is being buried on top of toxic waste, but Kazarian said all dumping in the toxic waste area will end about July 1. Toxic waste is buried on 103 acres of the 583-acre landfill.

Dumping to End

BKK Corp. has applied for permits to shift disposal operations to another part of its property when the toxic waste area closes, but has agreed to end all dumping by 1995.

Meanwhile, the company is considering plans to build homes, a hotel, an office park and a golf course on property it owns around the trash disposal area in both West Covina and neighboring Walnut.

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