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Release Date: 5/25/2000
Contact Information: David Schmidt, U.S. EPA, (415) 744-1578

     $37.25 million cleanup will protect drinking water

     SAN FRANCISCO -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced a $37.25 million Superfund settlement with 51 parties to pay for drinking water aquifer restoration costs in the San Fernando Valley -- one of the largest contaminated groundwater sites in California.  The responsible parties will also fund the cleanup for the next 12 years.

     "Under the Superfund law, if you're responsible for contamination, you must pay for the cleanup," said Keith Takata, regional director of the EPA's Superfund division.  "It was necessary for the EPA to step in and facilitate this cleanup to protect public health.  This settlement is good news because substantial public funds spent on this cleanup will be paid back and responsible party funding for cleanup work is secure for the foreseeable future."

     The agreement includes $13.25 million to recover the EPA's costs for feasibility studies, groundwater sampling to determine the extent of contamination, monitoring, and oversight of treatment system design and construction. It also includes an estimated $24 million for maintenance and operation of the system for the next 12 years.  The City of Glendale will operate the treatment plant and blending facility.

     The EPA believes that Lockheed Martin and ITT Corporation are responsible for the largest share of the cleanup costs and that 12 other companies -- including Walt Disney Co.-- bear lesser shares.  Under previous orders issued by EPA to responsible parties, parties have already designed and constructed a treatment plant and eight extraction wells at a cost of $20 million.

     The San Fernando Valley was added to the national Superfund list after years of improper handling and disposal of industrial chemicals threatened the region's water supply.  Those chemicals include trichloroethylene, tetrachloroethylene, and other chlorinated solvents.

     Before the contamination was discovered, the San Fernando basin was a primary source of drinking water for more than 800,000 residents in Los Angeles, Burbank, Glendale, and the La Crescenta Water District.  Some clean wells are still in service, but meeting federal and state water quality standards has become increasingly difficult as the contamination spreads.

     When the treatment plant goes on-line, 7.2 million gallons of clean water will be restored and put to beneficial use by the City of Glendale each day.

      For more information about the EPA Superfund program and EPA activities in the San Fernando Valley, check

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