LOS ANGELES (AP) — Companies that contaminated soil and water at a former recycling center in a Los Angeles suburb have agreed to pay $6.5 million to help clean up the Superfund site, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Thursday.
The agreement was reached with 145 parties that used the Omega Chemical Corp. in Whittier, which recycled refrigerants and solvents from 1976 to 1991, the EPA said.
Each party sent one to three tons of waste to the facility, which handled “drums and bulk loads of industrial waste solvents and chemicals that were processed to form commercial products," an EPA statement said.
Soil and groundwater in and around the site has high concentrations of toxic chemicals, including trichloroethylene and perchloroethylene, regulators said.
The settlement is expected to help pay for cleanup at the site and for several miles of contaminated groundwater that reaches the cities of Whittier, Santa Fe Springs and Norwalk, the EPA said.
“Ensuring the protection of a vital drinking water source for Los Angeles County is one of the priorities in getting this site cleaned up,” EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Administrator John Busterud said.
In 1999, the site was added to the national Superfund priority list of sites requiring longterm hazardous waste cleanup.
The EPA said it has overseen the removal of 2,700 drums and more than 6 tons of contaminants from the area and treated more than 30 millions gallons of contaminated groundwater.