Southern California’s contributions to the Superfund list may be swelling, but so are the federal government’s coffers for cleanup of those old toxic sites. The Environmental Protection Agency says it’s arrived at three new settlements for cleanups in the San Gabriel Valley. This time around, the action stems from what companies did in South El Monte in what’s called Area 1 of this particular Superfund site.
Eleven current or former business owners agreed to pay a total of $6.6 million dollars toward cleanup: Quaker Chemical, Art Weiss, Inc., Astro Seal, Craneveyor Corporation, Earl Butler & Associates, M&T, Mary Brkich, New Air, Inc., Pacific Coast Drum Co., Seachrome Corporation, and Linderman Living Trust A.
The money will go to the San Gabriel Basin Water Quality Authority, the agency specifically created to run cleanup work in the region. It’s got an agreement with the EPA, under which the feds provide money from settlements like these for the purpose of extracting and treating contaminated water.
It’s a similar development to what happened last fall in the Baldwin Park section, area 2 of the San Gabriel Valley Superfund site. With total cleanup costs in the half-billion dollar range, this latest announcement is a drop in the bucket. We’ve got more detail about how these sites are broken down in San Gabriel, and the value of monitoring wells there. Announcements like these make me wonder, as the EPA resolves liability for a dozen companies at a time, exactly how short they’ll be for cleanup costs once all the cases are prosecuted and settled.