The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced on February 15 that it had agreed on a $1.62 million settlement between 47 parties that had a hand in contaminating the Operating Industries, Inc. (OII) Superfund Site.
The site, located in Monterey Park, California, was contaminated after each of the participating organizations contributed a small amount of waste to the area. Each company was responsible for letting between 4,200 and 110,000 gallons of liquid hazardous waste spill into the OII landfill, which occurred over the course of several decades.
What's more exciting, is the EPA stated that this would be the last settlement it would need to sign concerning the OII site. The area has been the subject of extensive EPA maintenance for about 25 years, and now, it is ready for the community to begin restoration efforts. During the cleanup phase, the EPA helped raise $600 million in cash and commitments from the organizations that caused the environmental problems, which over the years included toxic gas emissions, contaminated water sources and polluted groundwater sources.
"With this final settlement for the OII landfill, we've reached a key milestone," said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA's Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. "Now we are working with the responsible parties to ensure that a portion of the site can be developed for the benefit of the local economy."
The damaged site sprawls across 190 acres, which is bisected by the Pomona Freeway. The bulk of the maintenance was performed in the more southerly section of the area, while northern parts are already in the reconstruction phase. The cleanup officially began in 1996 and was enacted to prevent dangerous liquids and gases from seeping out of the parameter of the landfill.
The EPA's Superfund program is a specific project that was developed to enhance the cleanup operations at the country's most uncontrolled hazardous waste sites.
"We're committed to ensuring that remaining National Priorities List hazardous waste sites are cleaned up to protect the environment and the health of all Americans," the EPA said of the program.
Keeping accurate records of all maintenance can ensure any EPA inspections run smoothly, minimizing asset downtime.
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