A key focus of site restoration is to restore Port of Los Angeles property to a clean, usable condition by reducing or eliminating environmental risks and impacts. The Port of Los Angeles proactively conducts due diligence evaluations, Phase I and Phase II site investigations, environmental oversight and audits, and remedial design plans. As part of the overall cleanup process, the Port performs and coordinates health and environmental risk assessments, regulatory reviews, negotiates restoration levels for contaminated sites with regulatory agencies, e.g., U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC), California Regional Water Quality Control Board (RWQCB), and Los Angeles City/County Fire Departments. In addition, Port of Los Angeles staff also oversees the Port's emergency response and waste management programs by responding to emergency and non-emergency chemical spills, releases of hazardous materials, and abandoned waste in Los Angeles Harbor. The Port of Los Angeles works cooperatively with Los Angeles Port Police, and state and federal agencies including the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. EPA, California Department of Fish & Wildlife, and Regional Water Quality Control Board.
Phase I Site Assessments
Site assessments are the primary means for reducing potential environmental liability to the City of Los Angeles in compliance with Federal, State, local hazardous substance and waste laws and regulations.
Phase II Site Assessments
Subsurface site investigations and characterizations are the next step in the due diligence to determine the chemical and contaminant concentrations in the soil and groundwater.
Site Closure of Properties
Port of Los Angeles staff prepares and implements closure and post-closure plans to secure final certification that cleanup levels have been achieved and maintained for formerly contaminated property.
- Closure phase involves restoring the site to a usable condition
- Post-closure phase involves monitoring and maintenance of the site to ensure that contamination does not reoccur and overall time period can range from several years to decades, depending on the initial extent and type of contamination and the required cleanup levels.
Remedial Investigations and Designs for Construction Sites
Remedial approaches are identified and a proactive cleanup strategy is implemented to ensure planned capital improvement projects remain on schedule and on budget.
Tenant Facility Characterization/Oversight
Site Restoration staff reviews, evaluates, approves, and oversees tenant site characterization workplans and remedial designs for adequacy and completeness. This review helps to ensure that the Port’s interests and assets are properly protected and tenant transfers are accomplished expeditiously as possible.
Source Control and Pollution Prevention Programs
To minimize the Port's liability exposure, EMD has implemented a Port-wide "source control" and periodic inspection program for tenant facilities with a higher likelihood for soil and groundwater contamination, including active marine oil terminals. In addition to reducing liability, the objectives of the source control program are:
- To prevent further releases of product to the soil and groundwater;
- To prevent off-site migration of contamination;
- To initiate immediate recovery of contaminant product from the groundwater and remediate site by end of occupancy.
Waste Minimization Program
Responsibilities include preparing, updating, and evaluating hazardous waste minimization programs in compliance with the California Hazardous Waste Source Reduction and Management Review Act. Other functional responsibilities involved in this program include:
- Developing and preparing pollution prevention program guidelines;
- Proper disposal of discarded creosote wood pilings and timbers;
- Hazardous waste collections for marina tenants;
- Compliance with California Waste Management Act (AB 939).
Environmental Management System
The Port of Los Angeles maintains a certified ISO 14001 Environmental Management System (EMS). The EMS is a management system used to:
- Assure that the operations, products, and services are in line with the Port's environmental policy;
- Minimize adverse environmental aspects and impacts;
- Ensure an ongoing commitment to regulatory compliance.
Emergency Response & Hazardous Waste Management
Site Restoration Staff oversees the Port's emergency response and waste management programs by responding to both emergency and non-emergency chemical spills, releases of hazardous materials, and abandoned waste in Los Angeles Harbor. In this function, EMD responds to requests for services from various Port divisions including the Port Police, Construction & Maintenance, Real Estate, and Wharfingers; as well as to State and Federal agencies including the USCG, Department of Fish & Wildlife, U.S. EPA, and the Regional Water Quality Control Board.