EPA secures $6.6M to pay for toxic cleanup

SOUTH EL MONTE - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has reached three settlements totaling $6.6 million to help pay for groundwater cleanup at the South El Monte portion of the San Gabriel Valley superfund site.Since the EPA began cleanup up the site in 2008, about 4,600 pounds of contaminants have been removed from the groundwater, officials said. The EPA has recovered a total of $25 million for the South El Monte cleanup, with the latest $6.6 million to pay for extraction and treatment of groundwater polluted with industrial solvents such as TCE (trichloroethylene) and PCE (perchloroethylene), a chemical once common in dry cleaning operations. The three settlement claims were brought by the U.S. Department of Justice on behalf of the EPA and the California Department of Toxic Substances Control against 11 current or former landowners and operators of business facilities that contributed to the contamination. The site was placed on the federal National Priorities List in 1984 and overlays approximately eight square miles of solvent-tainted groundwater in South El Monte, El Monte and Rosemead.

********** Published: May 17, 2012 - Volume 11 - Issue 05