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EPA Reaches $1 Million Settlement for Treatment System at the San Fernando Valley Superfund Site

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Nahal Mogharabi (

LOS ANGELES—The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has reached a $1 million settlement with CalMat Corporation requiring the company to design extraction wells and a treatment system at the North Hollywood Operable Unit (NHOU) of the San Fernando Valley Area 1 Superfund site to further clean up a critical drinking water source and help prevent future groundwater contamination.

"These investigation and design efforts are critical steps in EPA’s cleanup actions at this site," said Alexis Strauss, EPA's Acting Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. "Looking to the future, this work will complement local efforts to develop additional water sources.”

CalMat Corporation (also known as Vulcan Materials Company) is the former owner of a closed landfill known as the Hewitt site, which released 1,4-dioxane into groundwater at the North Hollywood West drinking water wellfield.

As part of this settlement, CalMat will design several extraction wells and a treatment system for 1,4-dioxane at the site. The design will be completed in 2019. The design and eventual construction of these wells and treatment system will help prevent future groundwater contamination and lead to the cleanup of a critical drinking water source. In addition, the company will monitor on- and off-site groundwater and will complete a remediation system to address contamination on the Hewitt Site under an existing order with the State of California. 

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) produces groundwater for public distribution from seven wellfields near or within the NHOU. Several wells with excessive levels of 1,4-dioxane have been removed from service and alternate sources have been used to provide drinking water to residents. Over the past ten years, groundwater from LADWP wellfields have contributed approximately 12 percent of the City of Los Angeles’ municipal water supply.

EPA has been working to clean up groundwater contamination in the San Fernando Valley area since the early 1980s when solvent pollution was first discovered. The North Hollywood groundwater treatment system has operated since 1989, removing TCE, PCE, 1,4-dioxane and other volatile organic compounds from groundwater in the North Hollywood area. The site was placed on EPA’s Superfund list in 1986.

The chemical 1,4-dioxane is used in many products, including paint strippers, dyes and degreasers. Short-term exposure may cause eye, nose and throat irritation. EPA has found that long-term exposure can cause kidney and liver damage and lead to cancer.

For more information on the San Fernando Valley Superfund Site, please visit: