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EPA Finalizes Superfund Site Cleanup Plan in South Gate, Calif.

Release Date: 12/3/2002
Contact Information: Mark Merchant, U.S. EPA, (415) 947-4297

SAN FRANCISCO The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced that it has finalized a long-term cleanup plan for the Cooper Drum Superfund site in South Gate, Calif.

The Cooper Drum property was put on the EPA's National Priorities List in June 2001. From 1941 until 1992, the site was used to recondition steel drumsthat held industrial chemicals.

Contaminants from Cooper Drum's operations polluted both the soil and groundwater. They include trichloroethylene (TCE, a cleaning solvent); dichloroethylene (a by-product of TCE); polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs); polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs); and metals.

Extensive investigations by EPA confirmed that local municipal water supply wells were not affected by contamination at Cooper Drum.

The EPA will excavate approximately 2,700 tons of shallow contaminated soil, extracting and treating soil vapors, and limit future use of the area. The EPA will clean up the contaminants in groundwater by extracting and treating the groundwater and enhancing the break down of underground contaminants.

The EPA will conduct additional soil and groundwater sampling to define the extent of contamination in specific areas of the site, and will monitor the groundwater to evaluate the effectiveness of the remedy and ensure that drinking water remains unaffected.

It's estimated that it will take five years to clean the contaminated soil at Cooper Drum and 20 years for groundwater clean up.

The estimated clean up cost for soil and groundwater is approximately $8 million $2.7 for soil and $5.3 for groundwater. Currently, the EPA's Superfund program is paying for the clean up, however the agency will continue to search for responsible parties who could potentially help fund the clean up of the site.

To see the entire record of decision for the Cooper Drum cleanup, visit: