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U.S. EPA reaches $4.2 million agreement with 10 companies over cleanup at a San Jose Superfund site

Release Date: 4/7/2004
Contact Information: Mark Merchant, (415) 947-4297

SAN FRANCISCO -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced that it has reached an agreement with 10 companies and the U.S. Navy for reimbursement of clean up costs at a federal Superfund site in San Jose.

A total of $4.2 million will be paid to the EPA for past and future clean up costs at the Lorentz Barrel and Drum Superfund site. Owned by the Lorentz family, the site on nearly seven acres at 1515 So. 10th St. was used as a barrel and drum recycling facility from 1947 until it closed in 1987.

In late 1987 and 1988, 26,000 abandoned drums and 3,000 tons of highly contaminated soil were removed from the site, and part of the property was fenced and covered to temporarily stabilize the contamination.

The soil at the site is contaminated with volatile and semi-volatile organic compounds, pesticides, herbicides, polychorinated bipheynls (PCBs) and inorganic compounds such as heavy metals. Groundwater at the site is also contaminated with volatile and semi-volatile organic compounds.

While less than 1,000 people live near the site, Lorentz Barrel and Drum sits directly atop an aquifer that is a major source of drinking water for the San Francisco Bay area, and three public water supply well fields are located within a mile of the site.

Besides the Navy, the ten private parties participating in this settlement are Aervoe Industries, Inc.; D.A. Stuart Company; Ford Motor Company; General Mills, Inc.; Golden Gate Petroleum Company; K-M Industries Holding Company, Inc.; Pennzoil-Quaker State Company; Salz Leathers, Inc.; Sunsweet Growers Inc.; and Textron.

The EPA has previously settled with over two hundred other parties who sent waste to the site.

In 1988, groundwater cleanup remedies were selected that included building an on-site groundwater extraction and treatment system. The groundwater treatment system continues to operate today.

In 1993, the EPA selected soil cleanup remedies for the site that include a vapor extraction system to clean contaminated soil and an asphalt-concrete cap. Construction of the soil vapor extraction system was completed in 1998 and the system continues to operate today.

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