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U.S. EPA begins last round of settlement offers at Operating Industries Inc. Superfund site
Release Date: 9/10/2003
Contact Information: Laura Gentile, U.S. EPA, (415) 947-4227
LOS ANGELES -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced it is pursuing approximately 850 parties for their fair share of the cost of ongoing cleanup at the Operating Industries Inc. Superfund site in Monterey Park.
This is the final round of small volume, or de minimis, party notifications. The amount each party will pay is based on how much liquid waste they sent to OII when it was operating as a landfill, and will be used for the cleanup.
Notification letters were being sent to approximately 850 de minimis parties beginning last week and continuing into this week. In approximately 10 weeks, the EPA will make financial settlement offers to the de minimis parties. The EPA will hold an informational meeting in the Los Angeles area with letter recipients in about 12 weeks. De minimis waste generators receiving notice in this round contributed, at a minimum, the equivalent of one tanker truck of waste to the landfill during its operation, which equals about 4,200 gallons.
By agreeing to a de minimis settlement with the EPA, parties receive both a A covenant not to sue @ B a promise that the EPA will not bring future legal actions against the settler regarding the site, except in very limited circumstances B and A contribution protection @ that offers sectors protection from being sued by other parties potentially responsible for contamination at the site. Frequently, major waste contributors sue small waste contributors to recover cleanup costs. A de minimis settlement provides protection from such suits that extends to all issues covered by the settlement.
"With this important step, we look forward to securing settlements and making further progress towards a full site cleanup," said Keith Takata, Superfund division director in the EPA's Pacific Southwest region. "The strategy we are employing at OII fosters fair settlements with small contributors."
The OII site is a 190-acre former landfill that began operations in 1948 and closed in 1984. More than 300 million gallons of liquid industrial wastes were disposed of at the site by nearly 4,000 companies during the last ten years of its operation.
The EPA listed the site on the National Priorities List -- the nation's list of Superfund sites -- in May 1986, and since then has taken significant steps to reduce health risks to nearby residents.
The clean up has controlled the migration of landfill gas into homes adjacent to the site, migration of liquid leachate into the residential neighborhood and the threatened collapse of unstable slopes onto homes.
Under the EPA's direction, potentially responsible parties have completed a cover over the landfill's south parcel, built a gas collection and treatment facility and built a leachate collection system with an award-winning treatment plant.
For more information about the OII de minimis settlement process, visit: