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U.S. EPA PROPOSES ADDING PEMACO TO FEDERAL SUPERFUND LIST; FORMER CHEMICAL COMPANY SITE TO BECOME PART OF LA RIVER GREENBELT
Release Date: 7/24/1998
Contact Information: Paula Bruin, U.S. EPA, (415) 744-1587
(San Francisco) -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) announced today that it will propose adding Pemaco Inc., a former chemical blending facility, to the federal Superfund National Priorities List (NPL) of hazardous waste sites. These sites potentially pose the greatest long-term threat to public health and the environment. Pemaco is located in Maywood, Calif.
Both soil and groundwater at the Pemaco site are contaminated with toluene, trichoroethane, xylene and other carcinogenic volatile organic compounds. Listing the site on the NPL will allow U.S. EPA to use federal funds to conduct the cleanup if the companies responsible for the waste fail to clean up the site.
U.S. EPA has completed an emergency cleanup to protect nearby residents from immediate threats to public health, but soil and groundwater cleanup will take at least two years. U.S. EPA removed 29 underground storage tanks and several above ground storage tanks, demolished the facility, and removed piping asphalt and concrete. The site has been graded and grass planted to prevent surface erosion.
U.S. EPA is coordinating activities at Pemaco with the city of Maywood and the Trust for Public Land to complete the cleanup and prepare the site for use as a riverside public park. The public will have the opportunity to comment on future soil and groundwater cleanup plans.
Pemaco began on-site operations around the late 1940s and ceased operations on June 21, 1991. In December 1993 the facility burned to the ground. While the fire completely destroyed the structure, six 55-gallon drums, several above ground storage tanks, and 31 underground storage tanks were unaffected by the fire. U.S. EPA was asked to secure the site and remove any hazardous materials posing imminent danger to the public. Hazardous substances known to have been used at the facility include chlorinated solvents, aromatic solvents, and flammable liquids.
Sites are added to the NPL as part of the periodic review of U.S. hazardous waste sites. 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.