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U.S. ANNOUNCES $340 MILLION SETTLEMENT FOR OPERATING INDUSTRIES SUPERFUND SITE

Release Date: 12/28/2001
Contact Information: Lisa Fasano, U.S. EPA, (415) 744-1587

     Final Settlement to Clean Up 190-Acre Landfill

   SAN FRANCISCO - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Justice today announced a $340 million settlement with 161 responsible parties and the state of California for the Operating Industries Inc. Superfund site in Monterey Park, California.

   Today's settlement, the eighth since 1986, will provide for the implementation of the final cleanup remedy and associated costs at the 190-acre landfill site.  To date, settlements between all involved parties have totaled over $600 million.

   "Old landfill sites are a problem both in terms of their harm to the environment and the cost of cleaning up and containing them," said Jane Diamond, the EPA acting director for Superfund in the Pacific Southwest.  "Today's settlement is another important step bringing in needed funds to this ongoing clean up project."

   The landfill operated from 1948 to 1984 and accepted industrial and municipal wastes.  More than 12 years of non- stop construction have now nearly contained the contamination.

   When completed, the OII clean up, which began in 1984, will protect human health and the environment from the release and migration of contaminants from the landfill.  A leachate treatment system, landfill gas collection system and a landfill cover have been constructed.   Additional systems will treat landfill liquids collected from extraction wells on site.

   The United States has entered into seven prior consent decrees and EPA has issued two unilateral orders for the site. This settlement reserves some remaining items of clean up work for which EPA expects to issue orders to remaining recalcitrant parties.

    "This exceptional settlement will provide the necessary money and work commitments to assure the full implementation of the EPA remedy for the Operating Industries Site," said Acting Assistant Attorney General John C. Cruden.  "This is a tribute to the hard work of all of the parties involved, and the willingness of the companies to accept responsibility and assure the  protection of human health and the environment."

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