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Soil Remediation for Los Angeles Public Housing Project

An extensive soil remediation project was pivotal in converting an underserved area of Los Angeles into a sustainable community for future residents.


Soil Remediation for Los Angeles Redevelopment Plan
Expert in this field
Matthew Rodda


District Manager, Southern California

In 2010, EFI began work with the Housing Authority of Los Angeles (HACLA) on a plan to redevelop a 21-acre property adjacent to the Jordan Downs Public Housing Complex into modern housing, parks, a community center and a retail center.  The project included a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment and soil sampling of the former steel mill site.  An EFI team comprised of several specialized professionals worked closely with HACLA and the State of California Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC), a division of the California EPA, to fully assess the site and prepare for remediation.  This process included soil testing and remediation, as well as working with HACLA to provide public outreach to educate the surrounding neighborhood of findings and action plans.

During the initial soil testing phase, EFI discovered contaminants in the soil, including heavy metals, lead, arsenic, petroleum hydrocarbons and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). The team also detected volatile organic compounds in soil vapor.  When soil excavation to remediate the site began, the team encountered additional challenges, including burn ash pits, leaking underground storage tanks, clarifiers, settling ponds, steel mill forges and other former industrial features that had been buried and undocumented throughout the years of industrial operations.  These were all assessed as they were discovered, removed and remediated along with surrounding soil contamination.

EFI directed the excavation and offsite disposal of nearly 260,000 tons of contaminated soil.  Some excavations were as deep as 35 feet below ground surface.  Over 9,000 samples were analyzed throughout each phase by laboratories across the US.  This extensive process resulted in the DTSC approving completion of the soil remediation, thereby allowing the construction phase for redevelopment to begin.  With the long awaited go-ahead from state regulators, the new Jordan Downs area promises to spur economic development across the region and become a national model for the renewal of public housing.  When all phases are complete, the $1 billion project will create hundreds of jobs, approximately 1,410 affordable and market-rate homes, numerous public amenities including a new community and recreation center, 160,000 square feet of retail space, nine acres of green space and new neighborhood programs and services to enrich the lives of current and future generations. 

This extensive soil remediation project brought together many specialized and dedicated professionals in EFI. Our team is proud to help convert an underserved area of Los Angeles into a sustainable community for future residents.  EFI continues to work with the City of Los Angeles on future human health mitigation features for additional buildings and projects.

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