Anaconda Wire Site

Please check this site for information and updates.

Anaconda Wire Fact Sheet – October 2012

Where is the site Located?

The Anaconda Wire Site is located in the city limits of Orange, California. The site is bounded by N. Cypress Street to the west, W. Maple Avenue to the south, existing railroad right-of-way to the west, and W. Palm Avenue to the north. Based on current information, it appears likely that only a portion of the block is contaminated.

What are the concerns?

Testing of the site has revealed the presence of chemicals beneath one part of the site, which was originally planned for Chapman University student housing, and included underground soil gas that had migrated across Maple Street. The chemicals were left over from long-past industrial activity at the property, where a company called the Anaconda Wire & Cable Company formerly operated for several decades. Prior to its purchase of the property, the University had been advised that there were no significant environmental issues.

Do existing conditions pose a public threat?

Above ground testing of air—including inside Marion Knott Studios—was conducted as a precaution. The air quality tests were consistent with typical outdoor and indoor air quality measurements in Southern California. There were no indications that the underground conditions at and near the Anaconda Wire Site are affecting above-ground air quality including air inside the Marion Knott Studios. While tests reveal the presence of industrial chemicals in the groundwater underneath the Anaconda Wire Site, data from March 2011 does not suggest that industrial chemicals have reached the local drinking water supply wells. Drinking water for the campus comes from the City of Orange Public Works Water Division, which tests the water supply regularly for safety.

What chemicals are present on-site?

The primary chemicals discovered are Perchlorethylene (PCE) and Carbon Tetrachloride. Trichloroethylene (TCE), benzene and hexavalent chromium are also present.

What agencies are involved?

Chapman University is cooperating with the oversight agencies including the Orange County Health Care Agency (OCHCA) and the California Regional Water Quality Control Board, Santa Ana Region (RWQCB) to address the presence of underground chemicals resulting from historical site operations. We are coordinating with the appropriate environmental oversight agencies to determine whether additional testing of underground conditions is necessary and what actions will be needed to remediate those conditions. The agencies are requiring further characterization of the soil and groundwater at the site; we will address those conditions when the most appropriate measures are determined.

Why involve the community?

Chapman University is committed to effective communication with the community, and interested parties. It is natural to expect that there may be interest in the contamination and how the University is dealing with it.

What is the status of the Filmmakers’ Village project?

Chapman University has abandoned plans for the Filmmakers’ Village project in order to properly and proactively address the underground chemicals. The University is currently working on developing an alternative plan for the site that will meet its campus needs. At a minimum, the project will have to be re-planned, re-engineered and re-entitled. Those steps will take time and expense, and will delay the availability of the new facilities.

What portions of the project will be built?

Chapman University is proceeding with the adaptive reuse of one of the original buildings, which is located at the northwest corner of N. Cypress Street and W. Maple Avenue. This building will be used for digital arts classrooms. The building is still in the design stage, but once the design is finished, it will be under construction for approximately 10 months. In addition, the University is proceeding with construction of a 358 space parking structure between the building and the railroad tracks. This parking structure is expected to begin construction in November 2012 and will be finished in approximately ten months.

Will the Marion Knott Studios facilities be closed at any time during site mitigation?

If determined necessary, the University will make suitable accommodations so that classes can continue without interruption.

Anaconda Wire Site / Chapman University Information Sheet

How We Will Keep You Informed:


 

*added 4/2/2014*

For additional information, please contact Kris Olsen, Vice President of Campus Planning & Operations, One University Dr., Orange, CA 92866, or at kolsen@chapman.edu or  714 744 7880.


 

We will use many tools to keep you informed and involved about the hazardous waste cleanup work on the Anaconda Wire Site. These may include:

E-Mail and Telephone Contacts:

If you have questions about this site, this plan, or would like additional information, please call, write, or e-mail:

Mark Hickner

Community Involvement Coordinator

c/o KTGY Group

17922 Fitch Irvine, CA 92614

(949) 268-8530

Fax: (949) 221-6251

E-mail: mhickner@ktgy.com

 

Jason Gavin

Project Manager c/o KTGY Group 17922 Fitch Irvine, CA 92614

(949) 567-3459

Fax: (949) 221-6251

E-mail: jgavin@ktgy.com

 

Fact Sheets: Fact sheets summarizing key information will be developed as needed and updated at least annually.

Public Notices: Public notices in local publications will be used initially to inform the public about the website and in the future to inform the public about major site activities with detailed information to be made available on the website.

Website: Project information including fact sheets and background information can be found at the following Website:

www.anacondawiresite.com

Meetings: Meetings will be held initially and periodically with representatives from the City of Orange, local community organizations and university faculty, staff and student leaders.

Update on Development Plan Changes

As you may know, before breaking ground on the proposed Filmmakers Village project, we evaluated environmental conditions underneath the site. The testing revealed the presence of chemicals beneath one portion of the site originally planned for student housing. The chemicals appear to be left over from long-past industrial activity at the property, where a company called Anaconda Wire & Cable operated for several decades. The university had been advised that there were no significant environmental issues prior to its purchase of the property.

Additional testing—including air quality tests inside Marion Knott Studios—was conducted to make sure the underground conditions were not affecting the air we breathe. We are pleased the results indicate there is no effect on campus health and safety. The air quality tests were consistent with typical outdoor and indoor air quality measurements in Southern California. There were no indications that the underground conditions at and near the Anaconda Wire site are affecting above-ground air quality, including at the Marion Knott Studios. While tests reveal the presence of industrial chemicals in the groundwater underneath the Anaconda Wire site, there is no evidence that industrial chemicals have reached drinking water supply wells. Drinking water for the campus comes from the City of Orange Public Works Water Division, which tests it regularly for safety.

We are coordinating with the appropriate environmental oversight agencies to determine whether additional testing of underground conditions is necessary and what actions might be taken to remediate those conditions. We will address those conditions when the most appropriate measures are determined.

We have decided that the wisest course of action is to alter our plans regarding Filmmakers Village. For example, we are now exploring other locations for student housing near Dodge College. This housing likely will be designed to accommodate the same number of students originally planned for Filmmakers Village. At the same time, we are still planning to build a parking structure and redevelop the historic structure on the southern half of the Anaconda Wire site. That historic building will house new digital arts classrooms and offices for Chapman faculty.

As we develop more definitive information about these and other plans for Chapman’s growth, we will share them with you here at anacondawiresite.com