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U.S. EPA ORDERS MONTROSE TO REMOVE DDT-CONTAMINATED SOIL

Release Date: 6/7/1995
Contact Information: Paula Bruin, U.S. EPA, (415) 744-1587

 (San Francisco)--The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
(U.S. EPA) today issued an administrative order requiring
Montrose Chemical Corp. of California to excavate and dispose of
all the remaining DDT-contaminated soil in the fill area that has
been found in a residential neighborhood near Torrance, Calif.


     "We believe the DDT-contaminated soil in the fill area
originated at the Montrose plant located at Normandie Avenue and
should be excavated by Montrose," said Jeff Zelikson, U.S. EPA
regional hazardous waste management division director.  "Today's
action demonstrates the commitment of U.S. EPA to protecting the
health and environment of those people who live in this
neighborhood."


     The order was issued after Montrose refused to voluntarily
undertake the action.  Based on sampling conducted in the fall of
1994, U.S. EPA believes that the contamination may extend across
the backyards of six homes on West 204th Street.
   
    Last year, U.S. EPA excavated 1,500 cubic yards of DDT-
contaminated soil from the backyards of 1055 and 1051 204th St.
The soil was contaminated with chunks of DDT that sample results
indicated contained up to 95 percent total DDT.  Montrose
produced a 100 percent technical grade DDT at its Torrance plant
located one quarter mile from the fill area on 204th Street.  In
addition, March 1994 soil sampling results revealed beta-
hexaclorocyclohexane (BHC) at two locations in the backyards.
BHC is a waste product from the production of the pesticide,
lindane.  Stauffer Chemical Co. operated a lindane manufacturing
plant a the Montrose plant property from 1954 to 1963.


     Montrose was placed on the National Priorities List (NPL) in
1989.  Del Amo was proposed for the NPL in July 1991.  The NPL is
the U.S. EPA's list of hazardous waste sites potentially posing
the greatest long-term threat to public health and the
environment.


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