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Phoenix Superfund Site Enters Next Phase of Clean Up

Release Date: 09/28/2009
Contact Information: Margot Perez-Sullivan, 415.947.4149,

Honeywell, Inc. and Arizona Public Service agree to comprehensive investigation

SAN FRANCISCO – Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Honeywell and Arizona Public Service (APS) have agreed to conduct a comprehensive investigation to identify potential clean up options for a portion of the Motorola 52nd Street Superfund site, called Operable Unit 3.

The boundaries of Operable Unit 3 are McDowell Road to the north, 20th Street to the east, Buckeye Road to the south, and 7th Avenue to the west. The work includes installing groundwater and soil vapor monitoring wells and analyzing potential options for groundwater clean up. The companies will pay for EPA’s oversight costs. The work will cost the companies an estimated $1.5 million

“These companies have agreed to carry out important work that will move the clean up of this site forward,” said Keith Takata, Superfund Division Director for the EPA’s Pacific Southwest Region. “This agreement will help protect the groundwater resources in Maricopa County.”

The agreement also requires the companies to develop a groundwater risk assessment that evaluates the potential threat to human health and the environment, which will be used to determine future actions at the site. The work is expected to take approximately 2 1/2 years. The groundwater in OU3, which is first encountered at approximately 82 feet below ground surface, is not being used for drinking water purposes. The City of Phoenix supplies drinking water primarily from surface water sources to the areas within the site. All drinking water is tested to ensure compliance with regulatory standards.

The Motorola 52nd Street site was added to the National Priorities List in 1989. The site consists of three study areas or Operable Units (OUs). OU1 contains the former Motorola 52nd Street semiconductor manufacturing plant. OU2 contains the Honeywell 34th Street facility (formerly Allied Signal Aerospace Company). Groundwater is contaminated with solvents such as trichloroethene (TCE), 1,1,1,-trichoroethane (TCA) and tetrachloroethene (PCE) which were used in the manufacturing and cleaning processes at these facilities.

Motorola (now Freescale Semiconductor, Inc.) has conducted on-site soil cleanup and has operated a groundwater extraction and treatment system in OU1 since 1992. Honeywell and Freescale have been operating a groundwater extraction and treatment system in OU2 since 2001.

EPA and the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality are overseeing work at other facilities and businesses in OU2 and OU3 to determine whether these facilities could have also contributed to the Motorola 52nd Street Site groundwater contamination.

The groundwater contamination has spread westerly for several miles. The portion of the solvent plume that extends west of 7th Avenue is being addressed by the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality.

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