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EPA ORDERS COMPANIES TO BEGIN CLEANUP AT MOTOROLA SITE IN PHOENIX

Release Date: 12/1/1998
Contact Information: Lois Grunwald, U.S. EPA, (415) 744-1588

     (San Francisco)--To speed cleanup at the Motorola Inc. 52nd Street Superfund site, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today ordered Motorola Inc. and AlliedSignal to construct a groundwater treatment plant at the Phoenix site.

     "We're concerned that negotiations between the companies have stalled and delayed cleanup at this site," said Keith Takata, EPA's Superfund director. "In a desert environment, every drop of water counts. Further delays could result in more groundwater becoming contaminated. This plant needs to be constructed to prevent that."

     Motorola and AlliedSignal have reached a stalemate in discussions about how to divide the cost of the construction and operation of the plant between the two companies. The treatment plant is estimated to cost about $12 million to build and $2 million a year to operate. The order will become effective in a month.

     The plant near 20th St. and Washington St. will pump groundwater contaminated with volatile organic compounds (VOCs), solvents used by Motorola and AlliedSignal.  The water will then be treated to federal drinking water standards and discharged to Phoenix's Grand Canal for irrigation. Pumping of the water will prevent migration of the contaminated plume.

     The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ), the lead enforcement agency at the site, negotiated with Motorola and AlliedSignal for the design of the treatment system.  Motorola agreed to draw up the design after negotiations between AlliedSignal and Motorola reached an impasse. The design is nearly complete.

     The site was listed on EPA's Superfund National Priorities List (NPL) in 1989 after ADEQ investigations found soil and groundwater contaminated with VOCs. The contaminated groundwater is not used as a source of drinking water. The NPL is EPA's list of sites that potentially pose the greatest long term threat to human health and the environment.

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