lorentz barrel & drum co.

1515 S 10TH ST

Site Location and Geography The Lorentz Barrel and Drum Site (Site) is located at the intersection of Alma Avenue and 10th Street in San Jose, California. The Site and adjacent properties are zoned for commercial and industrial use. Residential housing is also located within a one mile radius of the Site. The adjacent properties to the south and to the east are used for industrial activities, and the properties to the north and west are the San Jose State University (SJSU) sports fields, which include a baseball field, soccer field, football stadium, track field and tennis court. Single family residential housing is located further north and northeast approximately 1,100 feet from the Site. Site History The Lorentz family began a drum recycling operation on a 6.72 acre portion of a 10.5 acre Lorentz Barrel & Drum Co. property in 1947. During the early years of operation, portions of the property were sold or leased to other companies. Eventually, the size of the Site was reduced to a 5.25 acre parcel. The Site received over two million drums from more than 3,000 parties in connection with the recycling business operations until it was closed by a court action brought by the California Department of Health Services (DHS) in July 1987. The facility received drums that contained aqueous wastes, organic solvents, acids, oxidizers, and waste oils. The drums were reconditioned through a variety of methods including caustic and acid washing, incineration, blasting with steel shot, and steam cleaning. The residues and cleaning materials were dumped into sumps and basins on-site which then drained to a storm sewer. The reconditioned drums were resealed and repainted with substances such as phenolic epoxy resins, rust inhibitors and lead-based paints. The drums were either returned to the original owner or sold. Site Discovery and Addition to National Priorities List In 1968, a San Jose industrial waste inspector found hazardous substances in Coyote Creek, which is less than half a mile to the north of the Site. The inspector discovered that the source the Lorentz Barrel and Drum facility ("the Lorentz facility"). In response to the waste inspector's concerns, the Lorentz facility owner temporarily redirected the untreated recycling waste discharge from the storm sewer to on-site basins and sumps. Between 1980 and 1985, several State agencies issued numerous violations against the facility owner for the inappropriate handling and storing of hazardous substances, as well as for releases into the storm sewer. In 1985, the Department of Health Services ("DHS") cited the Lorentz facility with 14 violations of the California Administrative Code and Federal Regulations concerning the inappropriate handling and storage of hazardous wastes. The Santa Clara County Attorney obtained a Temporary Restraining Order to close down operations at the Lorentz facility, and the Lorentz facility was permanently closed in July 1987. In 1984, EPA proposed the Site to be listed on the National Priorities List (NPL). In 1989, the Site was listed on the NPL.

Hazardous Ranking Score

34 / 100

A score of 28.5 or higher qualifies a site for the Superfund National Priority List.

Regional Contact

Region 9
Phone: (415) 947-4251

Contact Region



Site Inspection
Preliminary Assessment
Final Listing On NPL

Contaminants & Health Effects

      Endocrine Disrupter
      Reproductive Toxin
      Persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic


        African American
        American Indian and Alaska Native
        Native Hawaiian


        People living
        within a 1 mile radius


        Average Income


        Occupied homes

        Potentially Responsible Parties

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