Perchlorate contamination sampling begins at Barstow residence

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, Mar. 23, 2011 -- This week, the U.S. EPA began collecting surface and subsurface soil samples to test for perchlorate contamination at the residence of a former owner/operator of Mojave Pyrotechnics in Barstow, CA...

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, Mar. 23, 2011 -- This week, the U.S. EPA began collecting surface and subsurface soil samples to test for perchlorate contamination at a Poplar Street home. The residence belongs to the former owner/operator of Mojave Pyrotechnics Inc., a defunct fireworks manufacturing company that operated on North Yucca Street in the 1980s, in Barstow, California.

Jane Diamond, Director of the Superfund Division in EPA's Pacific Southwest regional office, said, "EPA will work with the City of Barstow and the Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board to determine how much perchlorate is at this location."

Cleanup, she said, will be based on results from the March sampling and more information will be available by the end of May.

EPA received information that perchlorate had been buried on the property. Subsequent investigation revealed a white, solid substance in a layer just below the ground surface in a garden area adjacent to the residence. A sample from it contained perchlorate.

A private drinking water well near the residence was recently found to be contaminated with perchlorate. As part of its investigation, EPA will determine whether the site might be a source for perchlorate contamination in the groundwater.

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