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Emhart Industries agrees to investigate contamination at proposed B.F. Goodrich Superfund Site / Soil and groundwater contaminated with perchlorate and TCE at site in San Bernardino County

Release Date: 03/19/2009
Contact Information: Francisco Arcaute, 213 244 1815

LOS ANGELES - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today reached agreement with Emhart Industries to conduct soil testing and other investigation work at a portion of the proposed B.F. Goodrich Superfund Site in San Bernardino County, Calif.

This agreement follows negotiations that began after the EPA notified Emhart Industries in March 2008 that it may be responsible for the contamination. Other companies that EPA believes may be responsible are Goodrich Corporation and Pyro Spectaculars.

“We appreciate Emhart's willingness to cooperate with the EPA and conduct additional investigation work at the site,” said Keith Takata, director of the Superfund Program for the EPA’s Pacific Southwest Region. “Determining the sources and extent of contamination are important steps in the cleanup of the site, which has affected nearby groundwater, a key source of drinking water for area residents.”

Since the 1950’s, the B.F. Goodrich site has been used by businesses to store, test and manufacture munitions, rocket motors, and pyrotechnics. The area’s soil and groundwater are contaminated with perchlorate and trichloroethylene (TCE), forcing the closure of public drinking water supply wells in the nearby communities of Rialto and Colton.

Emhart is completing the work on behalf of West Coast Loading Corporation, which operated at the site in the 1950’s and is one of several companies at the site that used perchlorate.

Perchlorate is a component of solid rocket fuel, flares, and some fireworks, and can affect the thyroid gland. Trichloroethylene, or TCE, is a metal cleaning solvent. Drinking or breathing high levels of trichloroethylene may cause damage to the nervous system, liver and lungs.

The EPA has been assisting the California Regional Water Quality Control Board in the investigation and cleanup of contamination at the site since 2002. In September 2008, EPA proposed adding the B.F. Goodrich Site to the Superfund National Priorities List.

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