Posted by: twotrees | February 27, 2010

Back to the beach

Yesterday, I took a little trip down to see the remnants of the Halaco site.   Halaco Engineering Company operated a metal smelter at the site from 1965 to 2004, recovering aluminum, magnesium, and zinc from scrap materials. The site includes an 11-acre parcel containing the former smelter and an adjacent 26-acre area where wastes were deposited and managed.

The company closed back in 2004 and left a deposit of toxic waste behind for someone (you and me) to figure out what to do with.  How much?  According to EPA estimates – 700,000 cubic yards, enough to cover a football 325 feet high.

It’s been sitting fallow for half a dozen years but recent developments have expedited the first step of the project’s metamorphosis – the demolition of many of the structures on the site.

The real issue is what will become of the site?  The owners appear interested in having another industrial project built there.  But the Sierra Club’s local branch, along with other enviro groups, are fighting to reclaim the acreage to add to the adjacent Ormand Beach Wetland Restoration plan.  In addition, the So. Cal Edison plant, which will be decommissioned sooner or later, could make a great master plan to return the entire coastal area to its highest and best use –  that of an important wetland estuary. 

The beach is no place for industrial plants…

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