The Palomar Plating Co. (Palomar), is located at 722 West 4th Avenue in the City of Escondido, County of San Diego, California. Until eviction in late 2004, Palomar finished metal parts for the aerospace industry and other customers. The surrounding area is comprised of commercial and industrial facilities, with the exception of two residences located immediately adjacent to the southeast border of the site. The approximate one acre site includes four main buildings (total of 17,842 ft2) which were used as office space, numerous plating lines, equipment and chemical storage, maintenance and paint departments, and warehousing of finished product.
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Palomar has been the subject of numerous State and County investigations and corrective action orders involving groundwater and soils contamination and improper hazardous waste management. After eviction by the property owner, the concerns of local agencies precipitated a multi-agency (EPA, State, County) inspection of the abandoned facility on February 16, 2005. The EPA OSC witnessed a large quantity of liquid and solid hazardous wastestreams including, nitric, sulfuric and chromic acid solutions, cyanides, hexavalent chromium, sodium hydroxide, and several metal salt solutions in unsecured plating vats, product and waste containers and waste treatment process vessels throughout the property.
Formal EPA involvement with Palomar began on February 16, 2005 with the issuance of a general notice of CERCLA liability to the property owner and oversight of property owner funded immediate stabilization activities. These activities transitioned to a PRP funded full-scale site cleanup operation under the terms of a CERCLA 106 Order. The completion date for this project is August 25, 2005.