Caruso Dirt Most Likely to Fill Potrero

Two recently released letters indicate that the excavated dirt from the underground parking lot for Caruso Affiliated’s Palisades Village project will provide fill for Potrero Canyon Park.

On August 31, two letters were made available on the DTSC Envirostor web site that cleared the Swarthmore soil to be used as fill material.

One letter was from Tetra Tech BAS, the geotechnical company hired by Caruso to perform soil samples at the three-level parking lot site. The second letter was from the California State Department of Toxic Substances Control (DTSC) to L.A. City Engineer Robert Hancock Tetra Tech informed Caruso on Aug. 9 that “Soil confirmation samples were collected at depths ranging between 2 and 25 feet from 11 borings at the Pacific Palisades village site.

According to the laboratory analytical results, VOC’s TPH-cc or California Title 22 Metals (with the exception of arsenic, which was within the California Background Range) did not exceed applicable regulatory levels.

Trucks are lined up on both sides of Temescal Canyon Road early morning.
Trucks are lined up on both sides of Temescal Canyon Road early morning.

“Additionally, SVOPCs, PCBs and asbestos were reported as non-detectable. Tetra Tech recommends the soil in the area of the soil confirmation sampling be classified as appropriate for unrestricted reuse as fill material.”

Tetra Tech geologist Alison Koscak and Juan A. Guerrero, director of environmental programs, recommended that the state contact L.A. City Engineer Robert Hancock (who has long been associated with the Potrero Canyon Park project, which still needs fill dirt). “The City of Los Angeles has requested that your letter be issued as soon as possible.”

An August 18 letter to Hancock from the state stated, “DTSC received a request from the Palisades Village Company on behalf of the City of Los Angeles, Department of Public Works to evaluate soil confirmation sampling data to determine if soil excavated from the site during redevelopment activities could be used as unrestricted fill material on a city property.”

It concluded: “Soil confirmatory samples were collected in July 2016 to provide evidence that impacts to the Site have been successfully remediated at the properties south of Swarthmore Avenue. . . . VOC’s or TPH-cc were not detected at or above applicable regulatory levels. Metals were reported to be within California Background Ranges. SVPCs, PCBs, and asbestos results were non-detect. Tetra Tech recommended that the soil at the properties south of Swarthmore Avenue be classified for unrestricted re-use as fill material.

“Based on the information provided, DTSC concurs with the Sampling Report findings and hereby approves use of the soil from the properties south of Swarthmore for unrestricted use.”

The News spoke to DTSC’s Senior Scientist Jose Diaz on Aug. 31 and asked whether the state also did independent testing. Diaz said the state’s determinations are based on Tetra Tech’s report.

The 350-page report is available at:

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