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Release Date: 9/26/1997
Contact Information: Lois Grunwald, U.S. EPA, (415) 744-1588

     (San Francisco)-- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) today announced that it has added the Del Amo Waste Pits near Torrance in Los Angeles County to the federal Superfund National Priorities List (NPL), a list of hazardous waste sites potentially posing the greatest long-term threat to public health and the environment. The Del Amo site is one of five that were added to the NPL nationwide this week.

     The site was first proposed to the NPL in 1991, and was reproposed to the NPL in 1996 with updated technical information.  Listing on the NPL will allow EPA to use federal funds to conduct the cleanup if the companies responsible for the cleanup fail to do so.

     Earlier this month, U.S. EPA approved a plan to address contamination at the site. Shell Oil Co. and Dow Chemical Co., in cooperation with U.S. EPA and the state of California, had coordinated the site investigation.

     The Del Amo site includes a former synthetic rubber manufacturing facility which operated from the mid-1940s through the late 1960s. Wastes from the facility were disposed of in pits, which are contaminated with hazardous compounds.

     Sites are proposed or added to the NPL as part of the periodic review and update of the Superfund program. U.S. EPA identifies and ranks NPL sites according to threats to nearby populations through actual or potential contamination of soils, groundwater, surface water or air.

     With today's decision, there are now 91 final and three proposed NPL sites in California. Nationwide, there are 1,204 final and 52 proposed sites.

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