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EPA reaches $1.44 million settlement with California company

EPA reaches $1.44 million settlement with California company
EPA reaches $1.44 million settlement with California company

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently announced it had reached an agreement with TDY Industries that will require the company to pay $1.44 million to help pay for groundwater cleanup operations at the South El Monte region of the San Gabriel Valley Area in Los Angeles.

The EPA maintenance team has been working to rid the site of contaminated ground water since 2008, when more than 5,500 pounds of contaminants leaked into the groundwater. The EPA said it is working closely with TDY to ensure the proper extraction and treatment of groundwater that has been polluted with industrial solvents, including TCE (trichloroethylene) and PCE (perchloroethylene), which are commonly found in dry cleaning projects. The water treatment facility at the site has been operating since 2008, costing more than $2 million every year.

"This settlement brings the total amount recovered to almost $27 million to pay for the cleanup of polluted groundwater," said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. "Our goal is to protect and restore the safe drinking water supplies for the San Gabriel Valley communities."

The recent agreement is a part of a larger 1.8 million charge the U.S. Department of Justice has filed against TDY Industries for its role in the contamination of South El Monte. The EPA stated the company will pay the agency $1.44 million, while $360,000 will be paid to the San Gabriel Basin Water Quality Authority.

The San Gabriel Valley Area is a part of the EPA's Superfund program, which seeks to clean up areas of the U.S. that have been hard hit by environmentally unsound business practices.

The EPA has developed strict rules concerning groundwater, and actively pursues and investigates potential cases in which companies have violated these standards. According to the agency's Ground Water Rule Factsheet, businesses should establish a "risk-targeted" approach to identifying ground water sources that could be susceptible to contamination.

An investigation into groundwater contamination can set a company back due to asset downtime, however strong documentation of all asset performance can significantly reduce the length of this costly period. 

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