Oil Company Agrees to Clean 2 Contaminated Water Wells

In a deal that city officials hope will bring nearly two years of water pollution problems to a close, the City Council announced Tuesday that an oil company has agreed to clean up two of the city's contaminated drinking water wells.

Seven of Santa Monica's 11 wells have been shut down in the past two years because the potentially toxic chemical MTBE is suspected to have leaked from gasoline storage tanks into the ground water at two city-owned well fields.

Under the agreement unanimously approved by the council Tuesday, Mobil Oil Corp. will pay the city $2.2 million for costs the city has incurred since the gasoline additive was found to be polluting two wells at the Arcadia well field in West Los Angeles.

The settlement with Mobil requires the company to pay for all costs of cleaning up the wells, any increases in costs for buying water from non-city sources, and the cost of retaining a city employee to oversee remediation of the Arcadia wells.

The city reached a settlement with Shell Oil and Chevron in June for the cleanup of the MTBE-polluted Charnock well field in Mar Vista.

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