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U.S. EPA orders JCI Jones Chemical to take steps to protect drinking water from hazardous chemicals at Montrose site

Release Date: 09/25/2008
Contact Information: Margot Perez-Sullivan, (415) 947-4149,

Previous sampling shows chlorinated solvents, lead, and DDT in soil

LOS ANGELES – JCI Jones Chemicals Inc. will investigate soils, groundwater, and soil gas for chlorinated solvents, including trichloroethylene, perchloroethylene, and trichloroethane, at its industrial chemical supply plant at 1401 West Del Amo Boulevard in Torrance, California, under the terms of an agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The currently-operating Jones plant lies adjacent to the former Montrose Chemical dichlorodiphenyl-trichloroethane (DDT) manufacturing plant which operated from 1947 until 1982. Montrose Chemical Corporation of California is completing studies and designing cleanup systems for DDT.

Pursuant to the new agreement, Jones will supplement this Montrose work by investigating contamination at its plant property, which is part of the Montrose Chemical Superfund Site. The Montrose Chemical Superfund Site was added to the EPA’s National Priorities List of Superfund sites in 1989.

“We’re ordering JCI Jones Chemicals to take the steps needed to prevent hazardous chemicals from spreading into drinking water wells or entering into the air and nearby buildings,” said Mike Montgomery, Assistant Director for Superfund, Region 9, EPA. “This work gives a boost to our continuing efforts to identify and address all of the contamination.”

Previous sampling of groundwater, soil, and soil gas has confirmed that the JCI Jones Chemicals plant property is contaminated by trichloroethylene, perchloroethylene, and trichloroethane. Groundwater concentrations of trichloroethylene, perchloroethylene, and the Montrose-related chlorobenzene far exceed drinking water standards.

In addition, lead was found in soil samples at concentrations as high as 4,000 milligrams per kilogram – five times the EPA’s industrial screening levels for lead. Elevated levels of benzene hexachloride and DDT have also been found in soils at the JCI Jones Chemicals plant.

Exposure to chlorinated solvents can cause nerve, kidney and liver damage. Exposure to lead can cause nerve, reproductive and cardiovascular damage.

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