Jump to main content or area navigation.

Contact Us

Pacific Southwest, Region 9: Superfund

Serving Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, the Pacific Islands, and Tribal Nations

San Gabriel Valley Area 3

EPA #: CAD980818579

State: California(CA)

County: Los Angeles

City: Alhambra, Rosemead, San Gabriel, San Marino, South Pasadena, and Temple City

Congressional District: 31

Other Names:

Description and History

NPL Listing History

NPL Status: Final

Proposed Date: 09/08/83

Final Date: 05/08/84

Deleted Date:

The San Gabriel Valley Area 3 Superfund Site (Area 3) is one of four Superfund Sites in San Gabriel Valley. Area 3 (formerly identified as the Alhambra Operable Unit) includes an approximate area of 19-square-miles containing intermittent areas of groundwater contamination. Area 3 comprises portions of the cities of Alhambra, Rosemead, San Gabriel, San Marino, South Pasadena, and Temple City.

Contamination from volatile organic compounds (VOCs) was first detected in 1979 in the San Gabriel Ground Water Basin (San Gabriel Basin) within the Valley County Water District, when Aerojet Electrosystems in Azusa sampled wells. Hundreds of individual facilities in the San Gabriel Basin could be contributing to the contamination in the basin through improper chemical handling and disposal practices.

EPA currently is evaluating the results of a remedial investigation of regional groundwater contamination in Area 3 to identify cleanup options. This assessment also involves facility investigations in cooperation with the California Regional Water Quality Control Board, Los Angeles Region (RWQCB) as part of an effort to identify Potentially Responsible Parties (PRPs - companies that are potentially responsible for generating, transporting, or disposing of the hazardous waste found at the site) and associated sources of groundwater contamination. EPA's review of investigation data and historical records will help to identify PRPs.

Top of page

Contaminants and Risks

Contaminated Media
  • Groundwater
  • Soil and Sludges

Ground water in Area 3 is contaminated with VOCs, including trichloroethylene (TCE) and tetrachloroethylene (PCE), at concentrations that exceed 20 times the maximum contaminant levels (MCLs) allowed by federal and State law. Soil also is contaminated with various VOCs . People who inhale vapors from groundwater or soil that contains VOCs could be exposed to hazardous substances.


All drinking water served within Area 3 meets federal and State drinking water standards. While EPA works to identify possible options for addressing regional groundwater contamination in Area 3, the State is working with facilities to address soil contamination.

Top of page

Who is Involved

Contamination at this site is being addressed through federal and State actions.

Top of page

Investigation and Cleanup Activities

Ground water contamination in area 3 is being addressed in two long-term remedial phases focusing on cleanup of area-wide identification and contamination and control of the sources of contamination.

Site Studies

Area-wide Contamination: In 1984, EPA began a study of the nature and extent of contamination throughout the San Gabriel Basin. This investigation identified specific areas within the San Gabriel Valley Superfund Sites for focused study and for further support of ongoing activities. This investigation led to additional required groundwater cleanup or monitoring in specific operable units in the San Gabriel Valley All Areas.

Site Studies

Source Identification and Control: RWQCB is identifying sources of contaminants in San Gabriel Valley Area 3.

Site Studies

Remedial Investigation: EPA started the Remedial Investigation (RI) for Area 3 in 1999, including the collection of extensive data over a seven year period. The RI report, completed in June 2009, assesses the nature and extent of groundwater contamination in Area 3 and the potential for harm to public health or the environment caused by the contamination. Conclusions of the RI will form the basis of a Feasibility Study (FS) to evaluate cleanup alternatives to prevent and eliminate the release or the threat of release of contaminants in groundwater at the site.

Site Studies

Feasibility Study: The next step in the Superfund process will involve completing a FS for Area 3 to develop, screen and evaluate cleanup alternatives. Potential cleanup alternatives will focus on preventing and eliminating the release or the threat of release of contaminants at the site. During development of the FS, EPA may collect additional data to address remaining uncertainties identified in the RI.

Site Studies

The San Gabriel Valley Oversight Group will use the Technical Assistance Services for Communities (TASC) to provide a public-driven assessment of groundwater contamination data and other cleanup information that is independent of federal, State, and municipal agencies and to conduct community outreach.

Top of page

Cleanup Results to Date

After adding the San Gabriel Valley Area 3 Site to the NPL in 1984, EPA confirmed through preliminary investigations that no immediate actions are required while studies are ongoing and potential cleanup actions are under evaluation. Currently, all drinking water served within Area 3 meets federal and State drinking water standards. EPA now is conducting additional investigations to identify PRPs responsible for contamination of the groundwater within Area 3 and to support evaluation of cleanup alternatives.


Since 2003, EPA has installed eight groundwater monitoring wells and conducted routine groundwater sampling to evaluate groundwater contamination. EPA's RI report assesses water quality data collected from these wells, along with data collected from monitoring wells installed at over 10 facilities under investigation in Area 3 and from production wells throughout Area 3. The report also includes a site conceptual model that will help EPA to evaluate cleanup alternatives.

Top of page

Potentially Responsible Parties


Potentially responsible parties (PRPs) refers to companies that are potentially responsible for generating, transporting, or disposing of the hazardous waste found at the site.


Online information about the PRPs for the site is not yet available.

Top of page

Documents and Reports


Show details for Administrative RecordsAdministrative Records
Show details for Community InvolvementCommunity Involvement
Show details for Fact SheetsFact Sheets
Show details for MapsMaps
Show details for Technical DocumentsTechnical Documents

Top of page

Community Involvement

Public Meetings: Public Meetings:

      EPA had a Community Open House on October 3, 2002, describing the Superfund process and the monitoring well installation project. Please see "EPA to begin field work to investigate groundwater quality in Alhambra" document in the Fact Sheets section above for more details.

      Informational Workshops were held on August 10, 2005, and August 13, 2005, where EPA sought community feedback for the remedial investigation and cleanup process. Please refer to the "Information Workshop" document in the Fact Sheets section above for more information.

      The last public meeting was held in the spring of 2010.

Top of page

Public Information Repositories

The public information repositories for the site are at the following locations:

Alhambra Civic Center Library
101 South First Street
Alhambra, CA 91801
(626) 570-5008


Rosemead Library
8800 Valley Boulevard
Rosemead, CA 91770
(626) 573-5220


West Covina Library
1601 West Covina Parkway
West Covina, CA 91790
(626) 962-3541

The most complete collection of documents is the official EPA site file, maintained at the following location:

Superfund Records Center

Mail Stop SFD-7C

95 Hawthorne Street, Room 403

San Francisco, CA 94105

(415) 820-4700

Enter main lobby of 75 Hawthorne street, go to 4th floor of South Wing Annex.

Additional Links

Top of page

Contacts

EPA Site Manager
Lisa Hanusiak
415-972-3152
Hanusiak.Lisa@epamail.epa.gov
US EPA Region 9
Mail Code SFD
75 Hawthorne Street
San Francisco, CA 94105
EPA Community Involvement Coordinator
Viola Cooper
415-972-3243
1-800-231-3075
Cooper.Viola@epamail.epa.gov
US EPA Region 9
Mail Code SFD
75 Hawthorne Street
San Francisco, CA 94105
EPA Public Information Center
415-947-8701
r9.info@epa.gov
State Contact
Steven Friet,
California Department of Toxic Substances Control


Curt M. Charmley,
California Regional Water Quality Control Board-Los Angeles Region
818-717-6556




213-576-6774
SFriet@dtsc.ca.gov




ccharmley@waterboards.ca.gov
9211 Oakdale Avenue
Chatsworth, CA 91311



320 W. 4th Street
Suite 200
Los Angeles, CA 90013
PRP Contact
Community Contact
Eric Sunada, Executive Director, San Gabriel Valley Oversight Group
626-589-0440
eric.sunada@sgvog.org
805 East Pine Street
Alhambra, CA 91801
Other Contacts
After Hours (Emergency Response)
US EPA
(800) 424-8802

Top of page


Jump to main content.