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Oxnard Slag Pile Site Sold to Cleanup Specialist

September 16, 2006|Gregory W. Griggs | Times Staff Writer

Property next to a shuttered Oxnard metal recycling plant, once branded by critics as one of Ventura County's worst polluters, was sold this week to a company that wants to clean up the site for future development.

Halaco Engineering Co.'s 26-acre Ormond Beach property was sold for $2.6 million to Texas-based Chickadee Remediation Co., which specializes in cleaning up polluted sites for sale. The property includes a slag pile 40 feet tall in some places.

"It was a major step to find a buyer willing to deal with all the environmental problems," said attorney David Seror, a court-appointed trustee assigned to oversee the sale of the bankrupt company's assets.

The Halaco property was owned by Clarence Haack and his sons, John and Robert. The deal includes a 26-year lease on 11 remaining acres still owned by the Haacks, which includes the smelting plant. Both parcels are on the Pacific Ocean.

Any proposed future development on the property must be approved by the city of Oxnard and the California Coastal Commission.

Environmentalists would probably oppose development, such as condominiums or hotels, because the property is near a wetlands preserve. The Coastal Conservancy and the privately run Nature Conservancy together own about 540 acres of wetlands at Ormond Beach.

greg.griggs@latimes.com

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