$11M settlement reached over Rialto toxic site

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency logo
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency logo
DonkeyHotey/flickr Creative Commons

Federal regulators have reached an $11 million settlement over toxic contamination at a former Southern California industrial site.

The Riverside Press-Enterprise reports the deal was reached Friday in a lawsuit involving the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the estate of a former fireworks manufacturer. The money will help pay for a massive cleanup of the site in Rialto, and to reimburse the agency for its work.

The 160-acre site was contaminated over the decades when it was used to make and store fireworks, rocket motors and munitions. It was declared a federal Superfund site in 2009 after perchlorate and other chemicals were found in local groundwater.

Riverside Press-Enterprise reports:

The EPA, the cities of Rialto and Colton and the county of San Bernardino had sued various parties believed responsible for the pollution. Friday’s settlement was with the estate of Harry Hescox, late president of the now-defunct Pyrotronics, EPA officials said.

Under the terms of the agreement, $5.5 million will be used for cleanup and the other half will be used to reimburse EPA for work it conducted at the site over the past several years, according to an agency news release.

The EPA earlier reached $50 million worth of settlements with companies that used the site, including B.F. Goodrich.