$4.4-million settlement reached for San Gabriel Valley cleanup


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Four companies have agreed to pay a total of $4.4 million in cleanup costs at a contaminated groundwater site in the San Gabriel Valley.

Aerojet-General Corp., Mammoet Western Inc., Time Realty Investments and Tonks Properties consented to the payments -- but admitted no wrongdoing -- under the terms of two settlements announced Thursday by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The money will help fund treatment of drinking water supplies tainted with the industrial solvents PCE and TCE and other chemicals, including perchlorate.


The settlements bring to $13 million the amount paid by firms that owned property or ran operations above the South El Monte portion of the San Gabriel Valley aquifer. EPA attorney Jim Collins said the government has claims pending against seven other companies, and expects to recover more than half of the $40 million to $50 million in total treatment costs. Federal and state agencies will pay for the rest.

The South El Monte groundwater unit is part of a much larger Superfund site, designated in 1984, that encompasses the San Gabriel Valley aquifer, which was polluted with industrial chemicals commonly used in the 1960s and ‘70s.


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-- Bettina Boxall