EPA begins construction of groundwater treatment for two CA Superfund sites

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LOS ANGELES, CA, March 19, 2013 -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced the start of construction of a groundwater treatment system that will clean up groundwater contamination from past operations at the Montrose and Del Amo Superfund sites in Torrance, Calif. The treatment system is expected to be completed in 18 months at an estimated cost of $15 million and will be used to remove chlorobenzene, benzene and other industrial chemicals used to manufacture DDT and synthetic rubber from the groundwater.

Under EPA supervision, Montrose Chemical Corporation will build a water treatment plant, dig 11 wells, and install approximately 30,000 feet of underground piping. The completed system will draw contaminated groundwater from the aquifer, remove the industrial chemicals, and then return the treated water back underground. The treated water will not be served as drinking water, but will instead be re-injected to surround the contamination and prevent it from any further movement into unaffected groundwater areas.

Construction will take place on both public and private property. Wind screens and noise blankets will be used to control dust and noise generated during construction work. In addition, the construction team will use the best available dust control measures to protect construction workers and prevent migration of DDT-impacted dust outside of the work area. Dust and air monitoring will be conducted during all construction activities, and plans are in place to ensure that dust does not blow into residential areas or businesses.

Montrose Chemical Corporation of California manufactured the pesticide DDT from 1947 until 1982. Chlorobenzene was a raw material used in making DDT. The Del Amo Superfund site, located adjacent to the Montrose site, was formerly a synthetic rubber manufacturing facility that used benzene, naphthalene and ethyl benzene. Groundwater contamination from both sites has co-mingled and will be cleaned up by this single treatment system.

For more information and project updates on the Del Amo and Montrose Superfund Sites, please visit: www.epa.gov/region09/montrose.

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