united heckathorn co.


The United Heckathorn Superfund site is located in Richmond Harbor, an inlet of San Francisco Bay, in Contra Costa County, CA. It includes five acres of land and about 15 acres of marine sediments in two channels (Lauritzen and Parr) of Richmond Harbor. From 1947 through 1966, several companies, including R.J. Prentiss, Heckathorn and Company, United Heckathorn, United Chemetrics, and Chemwest Inc. used the site to formulate, package, and ship pesticides. No chemicals were manufactured on site. Heckathorn would receive technical grade pesticides from chemical manufacturers, grind them in air mills, mix them with other ingredients such as clays or solvents, and package them for final use in liquid or powder form. Although many pesticides were handled at United Heckathorn, dichlorodiphenyl trichloroethane (DDT) accounted for approximately 95 percent of Heckathorn's operations. United Heckathorn went bankrupt in 1966. By 1970, the facility buildings had been demolished and cleared from the site. The Levin-Richmond Terminal Corporation purchased the site in 1981 and currently operates a marine shipping terminal at the location of the former United Heckathorn facility. Although this is an industrial area, approximately 10,900 people live within one mile of the site. During United Heckathorn's operation, regulatory agencies occasionally inspected the facility. During a site visit in 1960, the Bay Area Regional Water Quality Control Board observed bulk storage of pesticides and solvents, leaking solvent pump lines, spills, and waste discharges. Subsequently, the California Department of Fish and Game discovered dead fish in the Lauritzen Channel and, on a separate inspection, it observed a milky liquid emanating from the site into the Lauritzen Channel. In 1980, the California Department of Health Services inspected and sampled the site as part of the Abandoned Site Project. Chlorinated pesticides and metals were detected in soil samples, and the area was designated a State Superfund site in March 1982. In March 1990, U.S. EPA placed the site on the National Priorities List, and in August of that year assumed lead agency status. Remedial actions at the site took place from 1990 through 1999. They included excavation of heavily contaminated areas, dredging of Lauritzen Channel and Parr Canal, and construction of a cap over 4-1/2 acres of the site. Post-remediation monitoring found that unacceptably high levels of pesticides remain in Lauritzen Channel. EPA conducted additional investigation to determine the source and extent of the remaining contamination from 2002 - 2007. EPA conducted fish sampling in the Lauritzen channel and adjacent areas in Summer 2008.

Hazardous Ranking Score

38 / 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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