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One Million Dollar Price Tag to Clean up Santa Paula Explosion Site

The cost to put out a chemical fire and clean up the Mission Rock Road waste disposal site is estimated to be $1 million so far.

A chemical reaction inside a vacuum truck triggered an explosion at the facility on November 18 hurting dozens of people and forcing many residents in Santa Paula to evacuate.

County leaders updated the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday on the progress of the clean up and efforts to make the waste water treatment facility safer.

“We have made a great deal of progress,” said Chris Stephens, Director of the County’s Resource Management Agency. “The site has been neutralized and cleaned up with the exception of the ‘lake’ in the center of the facility where the initial explosion occurred. That area is expected to be neutralized, solidified and removed in the next three weeks” said Stephens.

Officials told the Supervisors that hundreds of tests show the area is safe from hazardous materials and that produce grown in the area is safe from any contamination.

The Mission Rock Road waste disposal plant will not reopen until three conditions are met. The site must be completely cleaned and deemed safe. The company must demonstrate that it can operate safely and the city of Oxnard must agree to accept products from the facility.

The $1 million loss does not include two fire engines damaged in the blast.

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