The US Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Justice has announced the settlement for soil cleanup work at a former Omega Chemical Corporation site in Whittier, California.

Between 1976 and 1991, the former Omega Chemical Corporation was a recycling, reformulation and treatment facility that handled primarily volatile organic compounds, such as chlorinated solvents, and refrigerants.

Currently, soil and groundwater at the site are contaminated with high concentrations of tetrachloroethene (PCE), trichloroethene (TCE), other chlorinated hydrocarbons and freons.

The EPA found indoor air contamination in the vicinity of the former Omega Chemical Corporation facility stems from vapour intrusion caused by contaminated soil.

Contamination levels in several buildings have been documented at levels above the EPA’s health-protective range for long-term exposure to PCE and TCE.

The site, part of America’s Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) superfund site clean-up programme, is being remediated following a settlement with 169 parties.

Including prior settlements at the site, this brings the total value of commitments from responsible parties to perform cleanup activities to approximately $24 million, plus cash reimbursements to EPA of more than $14 million.

“Today’s settlement is an important step forward in the cleanup of the entire Omega Chemical Corporation Superfund site,” said Jane Diamond, the EPA’s superfund director for the Pacific Southwest region.

“Soil cleanup is a critical step needed to protect nearby businesses and communities and prevent further contamination of groundwater in the area.”

For more information on the clean up click here.

Luke Walsh

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