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1995 News Releases



Release Date: 3/29/1995
Contact Information: Paula Bruin, U.S. EPA, (415) 744-1587

 (San Francisco)--The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
(U.S. EPA) today announced a proposed settlement with 88 parties
to fund a portion of the cleanup of the Lorentz Barrel and Drum
Superfund site, San Jose, Calif.  The site is a former drum
recycling facility.

     "This settlement resolves the liability of these parties for
all costs associated with the Superfund site," said Jeff
Zelikson, U.S. EPA regional hazardous waste management division
director.  "Since each of these parties contributed a relatively
small percentage of the hazardous substances sent to the site,
they were eligible for an expedited settlement that reduced their
transaction costs."

     The total settlement value for the parties is $3 million;
$1.8 million will be recovered by U.S. EPA and $1.2 million
recovered by the Department of Toxic Substances Control of the
California Environmental Protection Agency.  The Agency proposed
this settlement under the de minimis authority of the
Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability
Act (Superfund).

     U.S. EPA is soliciting comment on the settlement during a
30-day public comment period which begins March 29, 1995.
Written comments should reference docket number 95-01.  The
public should send written comments, postmarked by April 27,
1995, to:

     Steven Armsey
    Regional Hearing Clerk
    U.S. EPA, Region 9
    75 Hawthorne St.
    San Francisco, CA 94105

     If U.S.EPA receives a written request for a public meeting
by April 27, 1995, the Agency will hold a meeting to give the
public an opportunity to comment on the proposed settlement.

     The Lorentz facility operated from approximately 1947 to
1987.  During that time, the operator of the facility accepted
used barrels for cleaning and recycling.  Over 3,000 parties sent
drums to the facility for recycling.  Soils on the Lorentz
property, and shallow groundwater beneath the property and
beneath neighboring sports fields, were contaminated with drum
residues and some of the chemicals used in the recycling process.

     U.S. EPA has selected a final cleanup action for the site
which includes capping portions of the site with asphaltic-
concrete and treating soil contaminated with volatile organic
compounds (VOCs) with a soil vapor extraction system.  The
warehouse, old wells and septic systems, sewer lines and other
debris will be removed.  The contaminants are primarily VOCs,
industrial pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and lead.

     In August, 1994, a group of potentially responsible parties
completed removing sumps and debris and the demolition and
disposal of buildings at an approved off-site facility.  A
groundwater treatment plant was built and began operating in
1992.  Earlier cleanup actions included removing the most heavily
contaminated soil from the site and removal of over 26,000 drums.

     The Lorentz site was placed on the federal Superfund
National Priorities List (NPL) in October 1989.  The NPL is the
U.S. EPA's list of hazardous waste sites potentially posing the
greatest threats to nearby populations through actual or
potential contamination of groundwater, surface water or air.

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