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Release Date: 7/25/2001
Contact Information: Lisa Fasano, U.S. EPA, (415) 744-1587, (415) 760-5421 (Cell)

     Work is part of Del Amo Superfund Site Cleanup

     SAN FRANCISCO   The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency began digging up DDT- contaminated soil from the first Kenwood Avenue front yard in the Harbor Gateway area of Los Angeles this week as part of the ongoing cleanup of the Montrose Del Amo Superfund Site.

     Over the next two to four months, the EPA will dig up to six feet of soil from as many as 25 front yards from homes along the west side of Kenwood Avenue and replace the yards with new soil.  The contaminated soil will be trucked to sealed holding cells at the former Montrose plant property.
      Nine of the 25 homes have had their landscaping and work plans completed, and will be remediated soon.  Discussions and plans continue with remaining homeowners regarding cleanup of their individual properties.
     "The soil contamination does not pose an immediate risk to residents, but is being removed to ensure long-term protection of residents' health and that of anyone else who may dig in the area," said Jeff Dhont, EPA Superfund project manager.  "We are addressing residents' concerns and working hard to minimize the impact on the Kenwood neighborhood."

     The EPA has installed four devices within the work area and numerous others throughout the neighborhood to continually monitor dust.  Workers are wetting the soil to control dust, will ensure that work does not start until after 8 a.m.  The EPA has offered residents temporary relocation during work to their home or homes of their immediate neighbors on each side.  The EPA has temporarily relocated four families across from 20723 Kenwood Avenue due to special circumstances and one next door neighbor while work is being done.

     A 1947 storm water drainage ditch that ran south from the Montrose/Del Amo Superfund Site through the area is the cause of contamination.  An underground storm sewer pipeline was later installed in the 1960's, but DDT-contaminated soil remained and was mixed into front yards on the west side of the street.

    DDT was one of the most widely used pesticides in the world until 1972 when its use was banned in the United States for most purposes.  Because of this use, DDT continues to be found at low levels throughout the LA area.

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