SKYPARK COMMERCIAL PROPERTIES INVESTIGATION


The City was informed in late 2018 that a parcel of land in the City of Torrance leased by Hi-Shear Corporation was a source of pollution that may be spreading into the City of Lomita. In areas of Torrance where the pollution has been found, it has entered the soil, groundwater and is emitting soil vapors that consist of volatile organic compounds (VOC’s), petroleum hydrocarbons and metals.


Hi-Shear is one of a number of parties that currently or previously owned or operated on the Skypark Commercial Properties, west of Crenshaw Blvd. The Skypark Commercial Properties investigation is focused on testing the extent of any VOCs on and around properties in Lomita and Torrance. While groundwater has been tested as part of the investigation, it is important to note that drinking water in the City of Lomita continues to meet state and federal drinking water standards and is safe to drink.



The Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board is the regulatory agency charged with overseeing the Skypark Commercial Properties investigations and clean-up. The City has also engaged Advisian, a Hydrogeology firm, to analyze the scientific data, review past reports produced related to thisr pollution matter and advise our community through the process. Dr. Mark Trudell of Advisian, briefed the City Council and community on the issue during the Council’s consideration of the issue. (View a video of the presentation or access a PDF version)
The City of Lomita has two top priorities on the Skypark Commercial Properties pollution matter: protect our residents and hold the responsible parties accountable for all costs incurred by the City. The City is focused on ensuring a thorough and complete investigation is completed as quickly as possible and that our residents have all of the information they need throughout the process.

Below is a map of the Skypark Commercial Properties site.
Click here to view larger version of map

Map courtesy of Genesis Engineering & Redevelopment

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Below is a timeline of the investigation, including links to additional resources, beginning with the most recent updates at the top:

December 1, 2020 - Water Board Presents Skypark Commercial Properties Investigation Update

During the December 1, 2020 City Council Meeting, the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board presented an update on the Skypark Commercial Properties environmental investigation. Following the presentation, City Council Members and members of the public shared their questions and received responses from Water Board leadership and staff. See a PDF of the presentation delivered during the meeting, and watch the Dec. 1 Council Meeting video (from around 00:28:26 to 2:46:00) to watch the presentation and follow-on discussion.

November 30, 2020 - Water Board Publishes Draft Cleanup and Abatement Order

On November 30, 2020, the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board published a Draft Cleanup and Abatement Order (CAO) to the responsible parties identified in the Skypark Commercial Properties investigation. The order, currently in draft, directs the responsible parties to assess, monitor, and cleanup wastes, and/or abate the effects of discharges of wastes, that have been discharged to soil, soil vapor, and groundwater at 24701 – 24777 Crenshaw Boulevard and 2530, 2540, and 2600 Skypark Drive in Torrance, California. The responsible parties can submit written feedback on the Draft CAO to the Regional Board by January 4, 2021.

November 25, 2020 - Water Board Responds to City of Lomita Letter

On November 25, 2020, the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board sent a letter to Lomita Mayor James Gazeley regarding the Skypark Commercial Properties investigation, in response to a letter the City sent the Board on November 6, 2020. In the Board’s letter, they assure the City of Lomita that the investigation is a high priority and that they are committed to communicating with affected Lomita residents in a timely manner. For additional information, view the letter signed by Executive Officer Renee Purdy.

November 24, 2020 - Lomita Shares Public Notice of Soil Vapor Sampling Taking Place Nov. 28

The City of Lomita has been informed of a public notice of upcoming soil vapor sampling in the City of Lomita. According to the public notice, on November 28, Lomita residents can expect to see representatives from Genesis Engineering performing soil vapor sampling at varying points throughout the city. This is a second round of sampling in order to confirm previous findings related to the presence of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) underground.See the public noticefor the sampling locations and additional details.

November 22, 2020 - Hi-Shear to Submit a Technical Report on Onsite Groundwater Sampling

On September 22, the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board provides Comment start comments to Hi-Shear Comment end on its onsite vertical groundwater investigation work plan. In their comments, the Water Board orders Hi-Shear to submit a technical report of their onsite

November 20, 2020 - Water Board Publishes Review of Technical Documents Including Decision Flow Charts

The Water Board has published a “Review of Technical Documents” in response to documents prepared by Genesis Engineering & Redevelopment. In its review, the Water Board outlines the following new requirements: Updated Decision Flow Charts, revised based upon the Water Board’s comments, must be resubmitted to the Water Board by December 7, 2020; a plan, sequence and schedule for requesting access to the properties located in the current ENA zone (“Evaluate Need for Action” zone) must be submitted to the Water Board by December 21, 2020, and status reports documenting the implementation and results of the ENA investigation are due on a tri-annual basis, with the first status report due to the Water Board on January 15, 2021.

November 6, 2020 - Lomita Sends a Letter to Water Board Requesting Greater Communications with Residents

On November 6, 2020, the City of Lomita sent a letter to the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board (Los Angeles Regional Board) requesting greater communications from the Board to residents affected by the Skypark Commercial Properties environmental investigation. For additional information, residents may view the letter signed by City of Lomita Mayor James .

September 22, 2020 – Water Board Orders Hi-Shear to Submit a Technical Report on Onsite Groundwater Sampling

On September 22, the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board provides comments to Hi-Shear on its onsite vertical groundwater investigation work plan. In their comments, the Water Board orders Hi-Shear to submit a technical report of their onsite groundwater sampling by January 4, 2021.

September 15, 2020 - City of Lomita Announces Public Info Session

On September 15, the City announces a community info session scheduled for Sept. 17, the first in a multi-part information session series regarding the ongoing environmental investigation associated with the Skypark Commercial Properties. During the information sessions, Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board representatives will be available to discuss a series of topics with Lomita residents. Details are available in the meeting invitation.

September 14, 2020 - Soil Vapor Testing Begins in Accelerated Response Zone

On September 14, the responsible parties begin conducting soil vapor testing in the Accelerated Response Zone, an area between Crenshaw Blvd. and Pennsylvania Avenue and 247th and 248th Streets. The samples will be analyzed, reviewed by the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board, and shared.

July 30, 2020 - Water Board Hosts Public Information Meeting

The Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board holds a public information meeting (virtually due to COVID-19 restrictions) to update the community on the ongoing environmental investigation associated with the Skypark Commercial Properties (previously referred to as “Hi-Shear Corporation and the EA Properties”). See a PDF of the presentation delivered during the meeting, watch a video of the presentation, or listen to audio of the Q&A session.

July 20, 2020-  Lomita Issues Encroachment Permit for Additional Well Samping

The City of Lomita issues an encroachment permit to Hi-Shear to conduct additional sampling of their 10 wells in Lomita.

July 14, 2020 - Water Board Announces Public Information Meeting

The Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board announces an online Public Information Meeting scheduled for July 30 from 6 - 8 p.m. regarding the ongoing environmental investigation associated with the Skypark Commercial Properties (previously referred to as “Hi-Shear Corporation and the EA Properties”). Details are available in the meeting invitation.

July 10, 2020– Lomita Secures a Tolling Agreement Between Lomita and Torrance

Lomita secures a tolling agreement between the cities of Lomita and Torrance, pausing the statute of limitations for any potential claims, rights, causes of action or demands each city may have against the other related to the contamination. The agreement will preserve Lomita’s ability to take action in the future while avoiding unnecessary litigation costs and allowing us to focus efforts on pushing further investigation and clean-up efforts

June 5, 2020 - Lomita Shares Initial Investigation Findings

 The City of Lomita issues a press release regarding initial investigation findings and next steps. The City shares its continued commitment to the health and safety of Lomita’s residents and to holding responsible parties accountable for continued testing and cleanup.

June, 2020- Water Board Publishes Community Fact Sheet #2

The Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board publishes Community Fact Sheet #2, its second fact sheet on the environmental investigation related to the Hi-Shear Corporation Site. The fact sheet addresses initial investigation work by Hi-Shear, outlines the responsible parties, describes the next steps, and announces a public meeting to be held at a future date.

February 18, 2020- Water Board Approves Hi-Shear Technical Memorandum

The Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board approves a technical memorandum from Hi-Shear on restarting the soil vapor extraction system and requests results by June 12, 2020. The Board also issues a memo commenting on a March 2019 letter from Hi-Shear and requiring the submittal of a groundwater investigation work plan by April 1, 2020

January 2020 - Hi-Shear Completes Probe Installations

 Hi-Shear completes probe installations; sampling and data collection ongoing.

December 5, 2019 - Water Board Hosts Public Information Open House

The Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board hosts a Public Information Open House to answer questions and share information about the ongoing investigation, and the City later issues a press release recapping the event.

October 28, 2019 - Hi-Shear Investigation Work Begins

Hi-Shear investigation work begins within public right-of-way in Lomita.

October 10, 2019 - Lomita Issues Initial Encroachment Permit to Hi-Shear

After receiving all the required documentation from Hi-Shear, the City of Lomita issues the initial encroachment permit to Hi-Shear.

September 19, 2019 - Lomita Reaches Agreement with Hi-Shear

The City of Lomita and Hi-Shear sign the agreement, and the City later issues a press release announcing the signed agreement.

September 13, 2019 - Lomita Corrects Errors in Hi-Shear Letter

The City of Lomita issues a press release correcting errors in a letter the Hi-Shear Corporation sent to Lomita residents.

Spring 2019 - Lomita Negotiates Initial Agreement with Hi-Shear

Per direction from City Council, staff negotiates an agreement with Hi-Shear to expedite the necessary encroachment permits and drafts a letter to the City of Torrance outlining the expectations of Lomita that Hi-Shear or the City of Torrance should be responsible for pollution-related costs.

August 20, 2019 - Water Board Publishes Fact Sheet and FAQs

The Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board publishes a fact sheet and frequently asked questions on the Environmental Investigation at the Hi-Shear Corporation Site.

Late 2018 - Lomita Informed of Potential Pollution

The City of Lomita is informed of the potential pollution.

For additional information on the Hi-Shear site environmental assessment, going back to the early 1990s, residents may visit the State Water Resources Control Board GeoTracker webpage for the Hi-Shear Corporation.

Residents with questions about this matter may contact the City of Lomita Public Works Department at (310) 325-7110. 

This page will continue to be updated as more answers become available or common questions and new information is identified.

Ryan Smoot
City Manager