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1995 News Releases



Release Date: 7/25/1995
Contact Information: Paula Bruin, U.S. EPA, (415) 744-1587

    (San Francisco)--The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) today announced an agreement with Cardinal Industrial Finishes in which the company will investigate groundwater contamination in the South El Monte area of the San Gabriel Valley Superfund sites.

     "Industry coming forward to address contamination in the San Gabriel Valley is a very positive step.  U.S. EPA welcomes this innovative and bold way to reach agreement," said Jeff Zelikson, U.S. EPA regional hazardous waste management director.  "This agreement will serve as a model to others that industrial cooperation can lead to a faster and cheaper cleanup."

     This agreement is the result of efforts initiated by Cardinal Industrial Finishes, which approached U.S. EPA a few months ago and agreed to perform the required investigative work.  Cardinal will begin the field investigation and seek the cooperation of other companies in the area in sharing the costs of the investigation.

     This action also was the result of the combined effort and cooperation of several local and state agencies, including the Regional Water Quality Control Board, the Department of Toxic Substance Control, the Main San Gabriel Basin Watermaster and the San Gabriel Basin Water Quality Authority (WQA).  The WQA has pledged to contribute $300,000 to the investigation.

     U.S. EPA has taken several actions to protect the valley since it was placed on the National Priorities List for Superfund cleanup in 1984.  In the last two years U.S. EPA has reached agreements with more than 70 companies to contribute to the cleanup.  In the Baldwin Park area, about a dozen companies have agreed to work that will lead to the design and construction of
one of the largest groundwater treatment system in the history of Superfund.  Businesses responsible for the contamination in the cities of Industry, La Puente and El Monte have agreed to complete investigations and come up with cleanup options for those areas.

     South El Monte is an approximately two square mile area of the San Gabriel Valley Superfund sites located in suburban Los Angeles County.  The San Gabriel Superfund sites are contaminated with volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and extend beneath significant portions of the cities of La Puente, Industry, Azusa, Baldwin Park, Irwindale, West Covina, El Monte, Monrovia, Arcadia, Rosemead and Alhambra.

      The San Gabriel Valley Area Superfund sites were placed on the National Priorities List (NPL) in 1984.  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 environemnt.

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