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U.S. EPA Announces Agreement for Cleanup of Santa Fe Springs Superfund Site

Release Date: 3/12/2003
Contact Information: Lisa Fasano 415-947-4307, Blain Rethmeier, (202) 514-2007

SAN FRANCISCO The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of justice today announced they have lodged a consent decree with the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles requiring 17 companies to clean up the Waste Disposal Inc. Superfund site in Santa Fe Springs.

The cost of the cleanup is estimated at $7.83 million. In addition, the decree requires the companies, known as the WDI Group, to reimburse EPA for $1.25 million for its past cleanup costs and to pay all future oversight costs.

The WDI Group includes Archer Daniels Midland Company; Atlantic Oil Co.; Atlantic Richfield Co.; Chevron USA Inc.; Conoco, Inc.; Conopco, Inc.; DiLo, Inc.; ExxonMobil Corporation; Ferro Corporation; FMC Corporation; GlobalSantaFe Corporation; Halliburton Energy Services, Inc.;McDonnell Douglas Corporation; Shell Oil Company; Texaco, Inc.; Union Pacific Railroad Company; and Union Oil Company of California.

The Waste Disposal Inc. site became a Superfund site in 1987. The main feature of the 38-acre facility is a buried 42-million gallon, concrete-lined reservoir constructed in the 1920s and later used by the oil industry as a landfill. Areas around the reservoir have been used for unregulated disposal of a variety of liquid and solid wastes as well as the possible storage of drilling muds.

Soils at the site are contaminated with metals, polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Most of the contamination has been detected in subsurface soils, which are covered with relatively clean fill. There is a risk that people can be exposed to potential health hazards by accidentally coming into direct contact with contaminated subsurface soil or soil vapor.

The cleanup will prevent exposure to contaminated soils by containing on-site waste using engineered capping systems, liquids and soil gas collection, engineering and institutional controls, long-term groundwater monitoring and long-term operations, maintenance and performance monitoring of the clean up.

"With this consent decree, the city, the residents of the area, and the local businesses can finally move towards a final, effective clean-up plan for the site," said Keith Takata, the U.S. EPA's Superfund Director for the Pacific Southwest Region. "The city ultimately hopes to enhance this property for the community, and the EPA is working with the community to help ensure that happens."

Using a grant from EPA's Superfund Redevelopment Initiative the City of Santa Fe Springs is currently developing a specific plan for the site. The city hopes to redevelop the site to promote beneficial reuse.

"Through this important settlement, the Waste Disposal Inc. site will be cleaned up and the public protected from the risks of exposure to these hazardous substances," said Thomas L. Sansonetti, Assistant Attorney General of the Environment and Natural Resource Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. "Important agreements like this one conserve the Superfund both by securing work by responsible parties and by recovering monies spent to address the contamination."

Now that the consent decree has been lodged, there will be a 30-day public comment period.