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Environmental Enforcement: Lockheed Martin, ITT, Others to Pay $3m for Superfund Cleanup

Lockheed Martin,Honeywell International and ITT Corporation are among the companies that have reached $3 million worth of settlements with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, addressing contaminated groundwater near Los Angeles, Calif.

The money will be directed to investigate the causes of, and to clean up, the contaminated groundwater in North Hollywood and Glendale, Calif., two EPA San Fernando Valley Superfund Sites. Lockheed Martin is involved at both sites.

The Superfund is the EPA’s program to identify, investigate and clean up uncontrolled or hazardous waste throughout the U.S. Superfund sites are eligible for federal investigation and cleanup funds while the EPA seeks to identify parties responsible for the pollution.

In the North Hollywood area, the EPA signed an agreement with Honeywell International and Lockheed Martin for design work, valued at $2.2 million, for an expanded cleanup system to treat contaminated groundwater.

This system will capture and treat the most highly contaminated groundwater in the North Hollywood area of the San Fernando basin, and prevent degradation of water quality at the water supply wells operated by the City of Los Angeles, the EPA said.

While design work proceeds, the EPA will negotiate an agreement with a larger group of companies to construct and operate this long-term remedy.

In the Glendale area, the EPA settled with Goodrich Corporation, ITT Corporation, Lockheed Martin Corporation, and PRC DeSoto International, Inc. to invest an estimated $1 million for investigation of chromium contamination in the groundwater.

In addition to performing work, the companies will pay the EPA $750,000 in partial settlement of their share of EPA’s past costs. EPA will use this money to fund additional work on the chromium groundwater investigation and cleanup.

“These settlements highlight our priority at the EPA to clean up vital drinking water sources,” said Jane Diamond, director of the Superfund division in the EPA’s Pacific Southwest regional office.

“In addition to cleaning up groundwater for use as drinking water, we are making sure those responsible for the contamination pay their fair share of the cleanup costs, leveraging the taxpayer’s dollars to conduct further cleanups,” she added.

The EPA has been active in groundwater cleanup efforts in the San Fernando Valley area since the early 1980s when solvent contamination was first discovered. The EPA launched a focused investigation on chromium groundwater contamination within the Glendale Superfund site area in 2008.

Earlier this week the EPA added ten sites including areas in Puerto Rico, Texas and Montana to its Superfund list. The agency also proposed a further 15 sites for Superfund inclusion.

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