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Release Date: 5/20/1996
Contact Information: Paula Bruin, U.S. EPA, (415) 744-1587

    (San Francisco)--The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) today announced it will hold a community meeting to discuss upcoming construction activities to clean up contaminated groundwater at the Newmark Superfund site, San Bernardino, Calif. The Agency recently granted $5 million to the city of San Bernardino Municipal Water Department to begin the construction of wells and pipelines to pump 17 million gallons per day of contaminated groundwater.  Construction of an upgraded treatment plant is expected to start late this year.

     The public is invited to attend the informal meeting which
will be held from 4:00 p.m. to 6 p.m., Wednesday, May 22, 1996, at 226 W. 11th St., San Bernardino, where one of the new extraction wells is located.  Officials from U.S. EPA and the city of San Bernardino will be available to answer questions about upcoming work and the planned treatment plant and will present diplays of the project plans.

     U.S. EPA and the San Bernardino Municipal Water Department are working together to construct seven wells and 35,000 feet of pipeline to transport the contaminated water to three treatment plants in the city.

     The Newmark Superfund site includes two plumes of perchloreothylene (PCE) and trichloreothylene (TCE) contaminated groundwater that flow around Shandin Hills.  The contamination has spread to over eight square miles, contaminating 17 and threatening 60 other municipal wells.  The threatened wells supply water to 600,000 residents of the San Bernadino/Riverside region.  PCE and TCE are commonly used as industrial solvents.

      The Newmark Superfund site was placed on the National Priorities List in 1989.  The NPL is U.S. EPA's list of hazardous waste sites potentially posing the greatest long-term threat to public health and the environment.  U.S. EPA identifies and ranks NPL sites according to threats to nearby populations through actual or potential contamination of groundwater, surface water or air.

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