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Why Did the NFL Reject Los Angeles Hazardous Waste Disposal Site?

espinoza, richard, idrLost amid all of the hoopla of the NFL’s triumphant billion-dollar return to Los Angeles is a hazardous waste cleanup story featuring the former toxic waste dumpsite that almost won the bid to be a shiny new NFL home in Carson, California.

The proposed Carson site was presented as a rival bid to Stan Kroenke’s winning proposal from Inglewood and received the formal recommendation of “The NFL Committee on L.A. Opportunities,” a six owner panel. The 157-acre site located along the 405 Freeway that was proposed by the Oakland Raiders and the San Diego Chargers to house both teams is the former home of the notorious Cal Compact landfill.

A Checkered Past

In a 2003 story the Los Angeles Times outlines the checkered past of the Carson site. “The site for a stadium that could bring professional football back to the Los Angeles area is 157 acres of moldering garbage and toxic waste, a fenced-off field of weeds that leaks methane, spooks investors and attracts legal trouble.”

According to records tracing the history of the landfill, the Cal Compact facility opened for business in 1959 and operated until 1965. During its six years of operating history, the facility accepted household waste, industrial waste from nearby oil refineries, including drilling muds, waste paint, oil sludge and various solvents. (Source: South Bay Daily Breeze)

The site operated during a period of minimal environmental oversight when the dumping of toxic waste was an afterthought, a six-year period that has impacted the site for decades.

A Costly Cleanup

According to a January 2008 DTSC Fact Sheet cleanup on the site will be costly.

“Since 1988, DTSC has conducted several investigations of the former Cal Compact Landfill property. Due to the size and complexity of the site, the property was divided into two “operable units” (OUs). In 1995, a Remediation Action Plan (RAP) was completed and approved by DTSC for the Upper OU. In 2005, a RAP was completed and approved by DTSC for the Lower OU. Investigations conducted in the Upper OU showed the presence of landfill gasses such as methane, carbon dioxide and volatile organic compounds, as well as metals in the landfill’s waste and groundwater in the Upper OU. “

According to a recent Los Angeles Times article:

“The city-operated Carson Reclamation Authority took control of the property last year. Under a complex land deal, the city gave rights until April for the San Diego Chargers and Oakland Raiders to develop a stadium at the site.”

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2 thoughts on “Why Did the NFL Reject Los Angeles Hazardous Waste Disposal Site?

  1. “The effects of those six years of indiscriminate hazardous waste dumping back in the early 1960’s are still being dealt with more than 50 years later, making the reuse and redevelopment of the Carson site costly and troublesome. Probably too troublesome for the NFL.”

    Well, duh. The negative press around approving a site for NFL stadiums on top of the toxic waste dump would be incalculable. I’m sure the proposal involving the Carson site was immediately rejected without so much as a second thought.

  2. The Cal Compact landfill site needs to be cleaned up, otherwise it is another environmental pollution legacy that will just be passed on to future generations. The NFL is one of the most profitable sports leagues in the world. What a great statement it would have been for the NFL to say by choosing the Carson site, we are not only bringing pro footfall back to the LA area, we are also playing a role in putting this polluted piece of real estate back into productive use. It would be a great statement for the NFL showing that they can have motives in helping a community and the local environment,rather than basing every decision purely on monetary profits.

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