EPA settles with City of Long Beach over pollution cleanup costs at emergency response site

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced recently that the city of Long Beach has settled with the agency for reimbursement of costs to clean up hazardous wastes from contaminated property in Signal Hill.

Jan 19th, 2004

LOS ANGELES, Calif., Jan. 19, 2004 -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced recently that the city of Long Beach has settled with the agency for reimbursement of costs to clean up hazardous wastes from contaminated property in Signal Hill.

Long Beach will pay $290,000 for past cleanup costs at the Enviropur West Corp. site. Enviropur was a hazardous waste and used oil treatment facility and operated at the site from the 1970s until 1996, when the facility was abandoned. While the company was still operating, the city sent waste to the site for disposal.

When the site was abandoned in 1996, the materials and equipment left at the site posed a threat of explosions, fires and spills of hazardous materials.

In response to the substantial threat to human health and the environment, the EPA's emergency response branch was called in and performed emergency removal actions at the site from 1996 to 1998. The EPA spent more the $4 million on emergency response at the site.

The EPA's response actions included removing hazardous substances, neutralizing the threat of explosions and fires, decontaminating tanks and pipe networks and removing debris.

"We are very pleased to have reached a settlement with the city of Long Beach, and to have finally come to a resolution to settle," said Daniel Meer, chief of planning and emergency response in the EPA's Pacific Southwest Regional office in San Francisco.

Previously, 14 federal agencies and nine private companies that sent wastes to Enviropur settled with the EPA. The companies are: Barrick Gold Corp.; the Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway Company; Carnival Corp.; GATX Tank Storage Terminals Corp.; Kaiser Hill Company LLC; Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.; Southwest Marine; Texaco Inc.; and Union Pacific Railroad Company.

For more information about the U.S. EPA emergency response program, visit: http://www.epa.gov/ebtpages/emergencies.html

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