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U.S. EPA orders 43 parties to clean up soil, groundwater at Cooper Drum Company Superfund site // South Gate site requires contaminated soil and groundwater cleanup

Release Date: 02/24/2009
Contact Information: Francisco Arcaute, (213) 244-1815

LOS ANGELES – In an effort to protect public health and drinking water sources in South Gate, Calif., the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has ordered 43 parties to clean up contaminated soil and groundwater at the Cooper Drum Company Superfund site.

Placed on the agency’s Superfund list in June 2001, the Cooper Drum Company site is a 3.8 acre site located in a mixed residential, commercial and industrial area. Upon completion of the agency’s investigation in May 2002, the EPA concluded that the soil and groundwater beneath the Cooper Drum Company site have been contaminated primarily by volatile organic compounds (VOCs), including solvents such as trichloroethene (TCE), and had to be cleaned up. Other soil contaminants include polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polyaromatic hyrdocarbons (PAHs), and lead.

“We’re requiring these parties to take action to ensure that contamination from the soil and groundwater at the site does not continue to migrate and to protect drinking water sources in the community,” said Keith Takata, Superfund Director of the EPA’s Pacific Southwest region. “Today’s order puts the responsibility for cleaning up this site on those companies that contributed to the contamination.”.

The Superfund site was used by the Cooper Drum Company until 1992 to recondition steel drums that previously contained the residue of industrial chemicals. The order requires the parties—the two current owners of the site and 41 companies that sent steel drums to the site for reconditioning—to implement the remedial action at the site. .

The EPA’s order requires that the remedial action use several extraction and in situ technologies to remove and treat VOC contamination from the site soil and groundwater as well as the groundwater plume which has migrated off-site.

Superfund is the federal program that investigates and cleans up the most complex uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous waste sites in the country posing the greatest long-term threat to public health and the environment.

For Federal Register notices and supporting documents for these final and proposed sites, please visit

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