A man who lives across the street from a toxic landfill undergoing cleanup said his house has been overrun by droves of rats.
Dominic Menaldi, who is well-known in his neighborhood for his medieval castle-style home on Bermuda Drive, said he thinks that the landfill renovation has caused "hundreds" of dislocated rats to run onto his property, scaring him and his family.
Cleanup of about 100,000 tons of toxic material from the 70-year inactive Ascon Landfill in Huntington Beach began last month.
The 38-acre landfill served primarily as a deposit site for construction and oil production, and contains hazardous waste and several "lagoons" of thick sludge that came as a byproduct of the dumping, according to the Department of Toxic Substances Control.
Menaldi said the amount of rats scampering onto his property was shocking, saying the rodents were all over the street, his backyard and even his patio.
An official from the Orange County Vector Control Department reported that the department had conducted an investigation, and did not find there were indications of large numbers of rats.
The official added that no one else in the neighborhood had made a similar complaint.
The landfill contains chemicals including arsenic, lead, and sulfuric acid, which could potentially contaminate the ground water supply, the DTSC said.
Many residents expressed concern last month over possible health effects associated with moving the toxic materials.