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EPA Adds Los Angeles Site to Federal Superfund List

Release Date: 9/5/2002
Contact Information: Mark Merchant, U.S. EPA, (415) 947-4297

SAN FRANCISCO -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced that it has added the Del Amo site in Los Angeles to the EPA’s National Priorities  List,  also known as the Superfund list.  Del Amo is the 98th Superfund site in California. Nationally, there are more than 1,300 sites.

Cleanup is already  being performed at the site by some of the entities responsible for the pollution.  One contaminated area has already been capped, and a vapor extraction system partially installed.  We are working on designs for the groundwater remedy and the remaining soil investigation is in its final stages.

"By giving this site Superfund status, we ensure that we have the resources and regulatory authority necessary to perform an effective, long-term cleanup," said Wayne Nastri, regional administrator of the EPA’s Pacific Southwest region.  "The EPA has already committed significant time and energy to the Del Amo site."

During World War II, the U.S. Government-owned  property was  leased to private companies to manufacture synthetic rubber at the 300-acre Del Amo site. In 1955, the government sold the  property to Shell Oil Company, who continued to operate portions of the facility until its closure in 1972.

In 1984, contamination was discovered in a five-acre area of open waste pits used to dispose of chemical wastes produced in the synthetic rubber manufacturing process. Investigations from 1992 to today also discovered soil and groundwater contamination in various other areas across the 300-acre site.  Shallow groundwater beneath the Del Amo site was found to be heavily contaminated with volatile organic compounds, such as benzene and toluene, and semi-volatile organic compounds.

The contaminated shallow groundwater beneath the site is not being used as a drinking water source.  The deeper drinking water aquifer, which supplies 34,000 people near the site, is currently uncontaminated  and will be protected by cleanup at the site. The five-acre waste pit disposal area has been capped and remains undeveloped.  Most of the remaining 300-acres has been redeveloped as an industrial park.

Currently, Shell Oil Company, with some funding from the U.S. General Services Administration, is performing the cleanup at Del Amo.

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