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News Releases from Region 09

U.S. EPA proposes to delete part of the Beckman Instruments Superfund site in Porterville, Calif., from the National Priorities List

The agency is accepting public comments until March 18, 2019

02/20/2019
Contact Information: 
Soledad Calvino (calvino.maria@epa.gov)
415-972-3512

SAN FRANCISCO –  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to delete the land portion of the Beckman Instruments site in Porterville, Calif., from the Superfund National Priorities List (NPL). The groundwater portion of the site will remain on the NPL until it meets California’s drinking water standards.

“We have completed cleanup of the contaminated soil and are pleased to return this land to productive use in the city of Porterville,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator Mike Stoker. “This represents an important step toward creating a safer and healthier environment for the community.”

The Beckman Instruments site is located at the southern edge of the city of Porterville in Tulare County, Calif. The facility manufactured electronic instruments and circuit boards, which resulted in groundwater and soil contamination. The site was added to the NPL in 1986 because the plant’s operations contaminated the soil with lead and the groundwater with volatile organic compounds (VOCs), primarily 1,1-dichloroethene.

The contaminated soil was excavated and transported to a regulated landfill. Contaminated groundwater was pumped from the ground, treated, and discharged into infiltration basins. In 2005, the groundwater cleanup remedy was revised to a process called monitored natural attenuation, where natural processes such as biodegradation reduce the contamination in groundwater. The groundwater is expected to reach the drinking water standard of six parts per billion within 10 years.

EPA, in consultation with the California Department of Toxic Substances Control, has determined that the land portion of the Beckman site remedy is complete, and no further action is needed. The site will be ready for reuse with no restrictions while the groundwater portion remains on the NPL until it reaches cleanup standards.

Under the Trump Administration, the Superfund program has reemerged as a priority to fulfill EPA’s core mission of protecting human health and the environment. 

EPA is accepting comments on its proposal to partially delete the Beckman Instruments site from the NPL. The full proposal and a link to other information can be found at https://www.regulations.gov/document?D=EPA-HQ-SFUND-1986-0005-0241. Comments must be in writing and postmarked no later than March 18, 2019, and can be sent:

Via mail:   Holly Hadlock
                     EPA Region 9 SFD-7-3
                     75 Hawthorne Street
                     San Francisco, CA 94105

Via email: hadlock.holly@epa.gov.

For questions, contact Holly Hadlock at 415-972-3171 or hadlock.holly@epa.gov.

EPA removes sites or portions of sites from the NPL once all the cleanup actions are successfully implemented and no further work is required to protect human health or the environment.

For more information on the Beckman Instruments site, please visit: https://www.epa.gov/superfund/beckmaninstruments.

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