Pacific Southwest, Region 9: Superfund
Serving Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, the Pacific Islands, and Tribal Nations
EPA #: CAN000905945
County: San Bernardino
City: Rialto, CA
Congressional District: 43
Other Names: Rialto-Colton
In late 2012 and 2013 EPA announced settlements with Emhart Industries, Goodrich Corp., the U.S. Dept. of Defense, and others to clean up groundwater and soil at the site.
Design work for groundwater cleanup facilities required for the Source Area remedy continues. Testing for the Mid-Basin cleanup is also underway.
Santa Ana Water Board: http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/santaana/
State Water Resources Control Board: http://www.waterboards.ca.gov/public_notices/petitions/water_quality/a1824rialto.shtml
On this page
Description and History
NPL Listing History
NPL Status: Final
Proposed Date: 09/03/08
Final Date: 09/23/09
The B.F. Goodrich Site includes a 160-Acre Area in Rialto, California where volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and perchlorate have contaminated soil and groundwater. The Site also includes areas of groundwater contamination downgradient of the 160-Acre Area. The 160-Acre Area is bounded by West Casa Grande Drive on the north, Locust Avenue on the east, Alder Avenue on the west, and an extension of Summit Avenue on the south.
Most or all of the Site is located in the Rialto-Colton Groundwater Basin in western San Bernardino County, California. The Basin is an important source of drinking water to residents and businesses in the cities of Rialto, Colton, and Fontana.
The 160-Acre Area was part of a larger area acquired by the United States Army in 1942 to develop an inspection, consolidation, and storage facility for rail cars transporting ordnance to the Port of Los Angeles. Since the United States sold the Rialto property in 1946, a portion of the property has been used by defense contractors, fireworks manufacturers, and other businesses that used perchlorate salts and/or solvents in their manufacturing processes or products. In 1956 and 1957, West Coast Loading Corporation manufactured and tested two products, photoflash flares and "ground-burst simulators," containing potassium perchlorate. From about 1957 to 1962, B.F. Goodrich Corporation conducted research, development, testing, and production of solid-fuel rocket propellant containing ammonium perchlorate, and used solvents in the manufacturing process. Since the 1960s, the 160-Acre Area has been used by a number of companies that manufactured or sold pyrotechnics, including Pyrotronics, Pyro Spectaculars, and American Promotional Events.
Who is Involved
In 2002, the Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board (Water Board) began actively working with Potentially Responsible Parties (PRPs) and property owners to investigate soil and groundwater contamination at the Site and in surrounding areas. EPA began assisting the Water Board in 2002, providing technical, enforcement, and financial assistance including searches of historical records; interviews of former employees of suspected perchlorate users; issuing an administrative order to two PRPs to complete soil and groundwater testing in 2003, completing soil and groundwater testing that the PRPs refused to complete; computer modeling to evaluate the fate of a perchlorate spill; and the award of approximately $1.3M in grants to the water purveyors.
In 2008, after the Water Board's efforts were stalled by legal challenges, EPA increased its efforts at the Site (as described below). In September 2009, EPA added the Site to the Superfund National Priorities List.
As summarized below, between 2003 and 2012, numerous investigations have been conducted to determine the extent of soil and groundwater contamination at the Site. The studies have included the collection and analysis of soil samples, the collection and analysis of soil gas samples, the installation of groundwater monitoring wells, and/or the collection and analysis of groundwater samples. The studies were overseen by the Water Board, EPA, and the California Department of Toxic Substances. See the Santa Ana Water Board's website for more information on studies overseen by the Water Board.
Investigations carried out by EPA between 2008 and 2012 include the installation of a network of eight 900-foot deep groundwater monitoring wells (see Well Location Map in the "Technical Documents" section below), annual testing of existing groundwater wells, and soil and soil gas testing at a disposal pit used by the B.F. Goodrich Corporation in the late 1950s and early 1960s. EPA also oversaw soil testing completed by Emhart Industries in accordance with a March 2009 agreement with EPA, at locations where West Coast Loading Corp. operated in the 1950s.
Data from these investigation efforts have been used to develop an initial groundwater cleanup plan and will be used to help develop a comprehensive remedy for the Site.
|Summary of Past Testing - B.F. Goodrich Site|
|Sample Collection Date(s)||Report Date|
( "*" indicates that report available in "Technical Documents" section below)
|Consultant||Summary of Testing|
|March 2003||Apr. 11, 2003||PES Environmental, Inc.||Analysis of approximately thirty (30) soil samples to a maximum depth of 8' below ground surface (bgs) in areas used by American Promotional Events - West, Inc. (APE). All samples were analyzed for perchlorate and two (2) samples were analyzed for VOCs.|
|November 2003||Dec. 15, 2003||Kleinfelder, Inc.||Analysis of approximately nine (9) soil samples from (3) three trenches to a maximum depth of 10' bgs, and approximately six (6) soil samples from a boring to a maximum depth of 50' bgs, in areas used by Pyro Spectaculars. All samples were analyzed for perchlorate and VOCs.|
|December 2003||Jan. 6, 2004||PES Environmental, Inc.||Analysis of approximately eight (8) soil samples to a maximum depth of 8' bgs in an area used by APE, to further evaluate contaminated soil detected in Mar 2003 investigation.|
|March 2004||Apr. 20, 2004||Locus Technologies||Analysis of approximately forty-six (46) soil samples from eleven (11) locations, to a maximum depth of 15' bgs, in areas owned by Wong Chung Ming. All samples were analyzed for perchlorate and twenty-two (22) samples were analyzed for VOCs.|
|May - August 2004||Mar. 24, 2005*||GeoSyntec Consultants||Analysis of approximately twelve (12) soil samples at eight (8) locations, and one hundred and one (101) soil gas samples at sixty-one (61) locations, to a maximum depth of 12' bgs in areas associated with former B.F. Goodrich operations. All soil and groundwater samples analyzed for perchlorate, VOCs, metals, NDMA, 1,4-dioxane, RDX, and selected anions.|
Installation and sampling of eighteen (18) temporary wells, installation and initial sampling of four (4) permanent groundwater monitoring wells (PW1-PW4), and installation of three (3) piezometers (PW2A - PW4A).
|September 2004||Feb. 10, 2005||Environ International Corp.||Analysis of approximately twenty-three (23) soil samples from twelve (12) locations, and ninety-six (96) soil gas samples from forty-seven (47) locations, to a maximum depth of 12' bgs in areas associated with West Coast Loading Corp. Soil samples analyzed for perchlorate, VOCs, metals, NDMA, 1,4-dioxane, RDX, and other anions.|
|December 2004 - |
|Apr. 15, 2005||Kleinfelder, Inc.||Analysis of approximately eleven (11) soil samples. Five (5) samples from trenches to a maximum depth of 5' bgs. Six (6) samples from two borings through the bottom of the former "McLaughlin Pit" to a maximum depth of 20' bgs. All soil samples analyzed for perchlorate. One composited sample was analyzed for VOCs.|
|May 2005||Jan. 27, 2006||Blasland, Bouck & Lee, Inc||Analysis of approximately fifty-one (51) soil samples from twenty-two (22) locations at depths of 5' or 10' bgs for perchlorate in the area where a buried pyrotechnic round was discovered in September 2003. Most samples also analyzed for VOCs, SVOCs, metals, PCBs, and explosives. Analysis of approximately forty (40) soil gas samples.|
|March 2006 - |
|Sept. 2008*||Environ International Corp. and Adverus||Analysis of approximately three hundred and fifty-five (355) soil samples and one hundred and twenty-four (124) soil gas samples, in twenty-eight (28) study areas that may have been associated with West Coast Loading Corp activities, and additional areas associated with other operations on the 160 Acre Area. Soil samples were collected to a maximum depth of 25' bgs, except in Study Areas 18, 28, 41 and 46, where deeper sampling occurred.
|April 2006||June 23, 2006||Kleinfelder, Inc.||Analysis of approximately twenty-three (23) soil samples, from either a trench or potholes in the area where a buried pyrotechnic round was discovered, to a maximum depth of 8' bgs, and approximately eight (8) samples from stockpiled or excavated soils. Some samples also analyzed for metals.|
|April - July 2006||Oct. 21, 2006*||GeoSyntec Consultants||Installation and initial sampling of five (5) groundwater monitoring wells downgradient of the 160 acre area (PW5 through PW9).|
|April - June 2007||July 27, 2007||Kleinfelder, Inc.||Analysis of approximately forty-one (41) soil samples from approximately forteen (14) locations at depths of up to 52' bgs for perchlorate in the area where a buried pyrotechnic round was discovered. Some samples also analyzed for metals.|
|May 2008||Sept. 4, 2008||Kleinfelder, Inc.||Analysis of approximately nine soil samples from three borings at depths of up to 16.5' bgs for perchlorate, and approximately twenty (20) soil samples from one deep boring at depths of up to 200' bgs for perchlorate.|
|January 2008||Mar 5, 2008*|
|CH2M Hill||EPA sampling of approximately fourteen (14) existing groundwater monitoring and water supply wells|
|February – March 2008||April 22, 2008*||DPRA||Installation and initial sampling of two (2) groundwater monitoring wells by the City of Colton wells (CPW-16 and CPW-17).|
|March 2009||May 20, 2009*|
|CH2M Hill||EPA sampling of approximately fourteen (14) existing groundwater monitoring and water supply wells|
|April-May 2009||Feb 2010*||Environ International||Analysis of approximately 127 soil samples in five study areas associated with West Coast Loading Corp activities|
|April-September 2009||November 2010*||CH2M Hill||EPA analysis of soil and soil gas samples from two 100-foot deep borings installed in the footprint of the former B.F. Goodrich disposal pit, and from a third 100-foot boring adjacent to the former pit.|
|April 2009 through December 2009||August 2010*||CH2M Hill||EPA installation and initial sampling of six 900-foot multi-level groundwater monitoring wells (EPA-MP1 through EPA- MP6).|
|March-April 2010||Jun 4, 2010*|
|CH2M Hill||EPA sampling of approximately 25 existing groundwater monitoring and water supply wells|
|June-July 2011||December 14, 2012 (corrected report dated Feb 27, 2013*)||ITSI||EPA sampling of approximately 22 existing groundwater monitoring and water supply wells|
|August 2011 through January 2012||December 14, 2012 (corrected report dated Feb 27, 2013*)||ITSI||EPA installation and sampling of two 700-foot multi-level groundwater monitoring wells (EPA-MP7 and EPA- MP8).|
|February 2012||April 17, 2012*||USGS||EPA-funded flow profiling and depth-specific sampling of the Rialto-02 water supply well|
|April 2012||December 14, 2012 (corrected report dated Feb 27, 2013*)||ITSI||EPA sampling of approximately 22 existing groundwater monitoring and water supply wells|
|June - July 2012||December 14, 2012 (corrected report dated Feb 27, 2013*)||ITSI||EPA installation and sampling of two nested groundwater monitoring wells (EPA-MW 9a/b).|
|Spring/Summer 2013||expected summer or fall 2013||EnSafe||Goodrich Corp installation of three multi-level groundwater monitoring wells and sampling of existing groundwater monitoring wells|
|Spring 2013||expected summer 2013||ERM||Emhart Industries sampling of approximately 10 existing groundwater monitoring wells|
In November 2012, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) completed a report summarizing its investigation of the public health implications of exposure to contamination from the B.F. Goodrich Site. Key findings were that:
- People who currently work in businesses located on the B.F. Goodrich site are not at risk from exposure to chemicals in the soil, soil vapor, or groundwater.
- The drinking water currently supplied by the West Valley Water District, the City of Rialto, the City of Colton, and the Terrace Water Company is safe to drink and does not put people at risk for health problems.
- Drinking water supplied to some West Valley Water District customers between 1981 and 1988 may have contained TCE and/or perchlorate. It could not be determined if the levels were harmful to health.
- Drinking water supplied to some of the City of Rialto’s customers from 1979 to 1997 may have had levels of perchlorate high enough to modestly impair iodine absorption by the thyroid gland. It could not be determined if the levels were high enough to affect thyroid hormones.
EPA has completed a remedial investigation and feasibility study (RI/FS) for the "Source Area Operable Unit." In the RI/FS, EPA evaluated options for an initial groundwater cleanup project at the Site. In 2010, EPA released a proposed groundwater cleanup plan, RI/FS Report, and Administrative Record, explained its proposal at a public meeting in Rialto, CA, and accepted comments on its proposal. After carefully considering the comments, EPA adopted a cleanup plan (a "Record of Decision") on September 30, 2010. The Record of Decision describes the selected remedy, explains the basis for EPA's decision to select the remedy, and responds to comments on EPA's proposed cleanup plan. EPA has also prepared a supplement to the Administrative Record to support its decision.
EPA’s selected remedy is a groundwater pump and treat system intended to intercept and remove contaminated groundwater spreading from the 160-acre source area. The 160-acre source area is where most or all of the contaminants entered the groundwater and testing has identified the highest levels of groundwater contamination.
The remedy is expected to include the construction and operation of two groundwater extraction wells pumping approximately 2,000 to 3,200 gallons per minute (gpm) of contaminated water; liquid-phase granular activated carbon (LGAC) to remove trichloroethene (TCE) and other volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from the extracted groundwater; ion exchange to remove perchlorate from the extracted groundwater; pipelines and pumps to convey the treated water from the treatment plant to one or more local water utilities for distribution to the utility’s customers as drinking water supply; and a groundwater monitoring program. The estimated cost of the remedy is $13 million for design and construction, and over $1 million for annual operation and maintenance. See the Record of Decision for additional details.
The RI/FS Report, proposed cleanup plan, Record of Decision, Administrative Record Index, and Supplement to the Administrative Record Index are available in the "Documents and Reports" section below. To obtain documents listed in the Administrative Record Index, contact the EPA Superfund Records Center at (415) 820-4700.
A decision about the need for a second groundwater cleanup remedy, and cleanup of contaminates soils on the 160-acre area, is expected in 2014 or 2015. See "Site Studies" below for additional details.
EPA has reached an agreement with Emhart Industries to design, construct, and operate EPA's September 2010 "Source Area Operable Unit" groundwater remedy, using Emhart's funds and funds from other settling parties, including the Department of Defense. See the "Potentially Responsible Party" section below for more information.
Design work on the remedy is underway and expected to continue through 2014. As a first step in the design, Emhart's consultants are developing a numerical groundwater flow model of the Rialto-Colton groundwater basin that EPA will use in making final decisions about the rate at which groundwater will be extracted and treated as part of the EPA remedy. EPA has approved a Work Plan describing and providing a schedule for key milestones in the design process.
EPA expects to make a decision about the need for soil cleanup and a second groundwater cleanup remedy in 2014 or 2015. To provide information needed to support that decision, EPA completed testing between 2008 and 2012 and has entered into an agreement with the Goodrich Corporation to complete additional testing and engineering analyses as part of a second RI/FS for the site. Well installation and testing began in May 2013. A Work Plan describing and and providing a schedule for key milestones in the RI/FS should be available in summer 2013. This work is in areas known as the "Mid-basin Operable Unit" and "Soils Operable Unit."
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.
EPA has identified the following parties as PRPs at the site:
- Goodrich Corporation
- Emhart Industries (on behalf of West Coast Loading Corporation)
- Pyro Spectaculars Inc. (PSI)
- Ken Thompson Inc. (current property owner)
- Chung Ming Wong (current property owner)
- Pyrotronics, Inc. (“Pyrotronics”) and Harry Hescox
In February 2010, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a complaint on EPA’s behalf pursuant to CERCLA and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) seeking reimbursement of costs and performance of response actions by the PRPs. In February 2011, EPA issued "Special Notice" letters to PRPs at the site inviting the PRPs to participate in formal negotiations with EPA in an effort to reach a settlement to conduct or finance the cleanup identified in its September 2010 Record of Decision. When the special notice moratorium expired in May 2011, EPA had not received a "Good Faith Offer" to its Special Notice letters.
In 2012, EPA reached settlements with PSI, Emhart Industries, and other entities involved in litigation at the site. In 2013, EPA reached settlements with Goodrich and Ken Thompson Inc.
The settlement with PSI was lodged with the Court on October 10, 2012, open for public comment until November 26, 2012, and approved by the Court in March 2013. The settlement requires payment of $4.3 million to help fund the cleanup and partially reimburse EPA for money spent on investigation work at the Site. The PSI settlement includes the following entities: PSI; Astro Pyrotechnics (a defunct subsidiary of PSI); Trojan Fireworks; Thomas O. Peters and related trusts; and Stonehurst Site, LLC.
The settlement with Emhart Industries was available for public comment until January 31, 2013. The Emhart settlement, if approved by the Court, will require Emhart, the U.S. Dept. of Defense, and other settling parties to fund the design, construction, and operation of the groundwater wells, water treatment systems, and other equipment called for in EPA's 2010 cleanup plan for the Source Area Operable Unit. The cleanup work is estimated to cost $43 million over the next 30 years. The Emhart settlement includes the following entities: Emhart Industries, Inc., Black & Decker Inc, American Promotional Events, Inc., the Department of Defense, the Ensign-Bickford Company, Raytheon, Whittaker Corporation, Broco, Inc., and J. S. Brower & Associates, Inc. and related companies.
The settlement with Goodrich Corporation includes two agreements. The first agreement requires Goodrich, under an administrative consent order with EPA, to install additional groundwater monitoring wells and complete testing and engineering analyses as part of EPA's RI/FS process for the Mid-Basin and Soils Operable Units. See "Legal Documents" below for a copy of the consent order. EPA will use the results of the RI/FS to develop a cleanup plan for these areas. The second agreement is a judicial consent decree, which requires Goodrich, under EPA’s oversight, to design, build, and operate any cleanup facilities selected by the agency in the cleanup plan for the Mid-Basin and Soils Operable Units. The Consent Decree was available for public comment until May 1, 2013.
The Consent Decree with Ken Thompson Inc. was also available for public comment until May 1, 2013. The settlement requires payment of $2.8 million to help fund the cleanup and partially reimburse EPA for money spent on investigation work at the Site.
Documents and Reports
Public Meetings: December 2, 2009 - EPA and the California Department of Public Health held a joint public meeting in Rialto, CA
USEPA Introduction to BF Goodrich Superfund | English | Spanish CDPH Public Health Assesment Presentation | English | Spanish
February 10, 2010 - EPA explained its proposed groundwater cleanup plan at a public meeting in Rialto, CA
October - November 2010 - EPA interviewed community members in the Rialto area to support development of a Community Involvement Plan.
Public Information Repositories
The public information repositories for the site are at the following locations:
EPA Site Manager
Mail Code SFD
75 Hawthorne Street
San Francisco, CA 94105
EPA Community Involvement Coordinator
Mail Code SFD
75 Hawthorne Street
San Francisco, CA 94105
EPA Public Information Center
After Hours (Emergency Response)