EPA to spend millions on California cleanup

May 16, 2012 at 10:01 AM

LOS ANGELES, May 16 (UPI) -- A $6.6 million settlement with the Environmental Protection Agency will help pay for the cleanup of harmful solvents at a former industrial site in California.

Three settlements worth $6.6 million will go toward groundwater cleanup at the South El Monte portion of a Superfund site in Los Angeles. The EPA said its already removed roughly 4,600 pounds of contaminants from the groundwater since cleanup operations began in 2008.

The EPA, in its description of the Superfund site, said as much as 30 square miles of groundwater could be contaminated in the region. Volatile organic compounds were first detected from the site in 1979.

There are 11 industrial companies the EPA said are responsible for the groundwater contamination.

"EPA remains committed to pursuing parties responsible for environmental damage in the San Gabriel Valley," Jared Blumenfeld, the EPA's regional administrator for the Pacific Southwest, said in a statement. "So far, more than ten billion gallons of water have been treated to provide safe drinking water for the local communities."

The EPA said the regional groundwater basin is used to supply drinking water for the estimated 1 million people who live in the San Gabriel Valley, which encompasses the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area.

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