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U.S. EPA orders businessman, companies, to cleanup Long Beach property

Release Date: 7/13/2005
Contact Information: Francisco Arcaute, (213) 244-1815 Cell: (213) 798-1404

Cleaunup costs at abandoned plating shop may total $ 1 million.

LOS ANGELES – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has ordered three potentially responsible parties - Industrial Zinc Platers, Inc., Islander Extremes, Inc., and businessman Raymond Ball - to cleanup hazardous materials at a former plating shop.

Containers and tanks filled with hazardous chemicals including chromium, arsenic, and cyanide were found at Industrial Zinc Plating, Inc., located at 3200 E. 29th Street, Long Beach, Calif. The emergency action began June 21, 2005, after a referral by the Los Angeles County Sanitation District.

Citing its emergency powers, the EPA has stabilized tons of hazardous materials from the abandoned metal plating company, due to the danger these materials represent to the surrounding community.

The EPA had to swiftly remove, secure and stabilize the chromium, arsenic and cyanide contaminated solutions and sludge from Industrial Zinc Plating, Inc., due to poor storage conditions, the dangerous nature of these hazardous substances, and the potential for endangerment to public health or the environment," said Kathryn Lawrence, Acting Chief of the Response, Planning and Assessment Branch of the EPA.

If Industrial Zinc Platers, Inc., Islander Extremes, Inc., and Raymond Ball do not comply with the agency's order, the EPA will undertake the cleanup using Superfund funds; the EPA may spend up to $ 1 million in cleanup costs.

The improper storage of these chemicals violates the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act and National Oil and Hazardous Substances Pollution Contingency Plan.

Chromium is a heavy metal that can cause harmful effects to the skin, lungs, mucous membranes, and possibly cancer. Arsenic affects the skin, the respiratory system, the kidneys, the liver, the central nervous system; cyanide is readily absorbed through the skin, and can cause vertigo, cardiac arrhythmia, respiratory failure or death.

During the cleanup, the EPA will continue to evaluate contaminated soils, asphalt, concrete and structures associated with the former electroplating plant and require the disposal of all exposed materials that pose a threat to the area.

For more information on the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act, please visit: