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Environmental Enforcement: EPA Proposes $17 Million Settlement for LA Superfund Site

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is proposing to enter into settlements with 275 small parties for their contributions to the Operating Industries, Inc. (OII), Superfund Site. The OII site is a 190-acre site in Monterey Park, Calif., about 10 miles east of downtown Los Angeles.

The parties will collectively pay more than $17 million toward cleanup costs at the site.

The OII Site was operated as a landfill accepting commercial, residential, and industrial waste from 1948 to 1984. Each of the small parties sent between 4,200 and 110,000 gallons of liquid hazardous waste to the OII Site during its decades of operation.

“Today, landfills that accept hazardous waste must meet very strict design requirements. This was not the case with OII where hazardous materials were released into the environment,” Jared Blumenfeld, Regional Administrator for EPA’s Pacific Southwest Region said in a statement. “Including this settlement, 1,100 companies responsible for the contamination have contributed more than $600 million to the cleanup of the OII Superfund site.”

Over the course of its operation, the landfill accepted industrial solid, liquid and hazardous wastes, as well as municipal solid waste. Nearly 4,000 companies dumped millions of gallons of commercial, residential, and industrial wastes during those years, about 300 million gallons of which were hazardous liquid chemicals. According to EPA, these wastes contaminated the air, groundwater, and soil, posed a fire risk, and threatened the health of nearby residents.

The EPA identified the OII Site as an environmental problem in the early 1980s and placed it on the National Priorities List in 1986.

Notice of the proposed Administrative Settlement Agreement and Order is subject to a  30-day public comment period beginning Jan. 7.

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