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Soil sampling begins at So Cal Superfund site

Release Date: 07/06/2006
Contact Information: Francisco Arcaute, (213) 244-1815

LOS ANGELES – Starting July 10, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will begin sampling at a commercial property and several residential properties near the Montrose Chemical plant property at 20201 Normandie Avenue in Los Angeles County, Calif.

The EPA will sample to characterize soils for chemicals, including DDT, at a commercial property occupied by Ecology Control Industries, and at seven adjacent residential properties.

Sampling at the commercial property follows up on an order the EPA issued last month to the Montrose Chemical Corporation of California, Inc., to conduct sampling at the Ecology Control Industries property located at 20846 Normandie Avenue. The EPA will oversee the soil sampling at the Ecology Control Industries property, expected to take two to three weeks.

For the next five to six weeks, the EPA will sample soils at seven residential properties adjacent to the Ecology Control Industries property. The EPA has been working with owners of the seven residential properties to obtain access and schedule sampling activities in their yards.

“We are taking these steps to make doubly sure that there is no residual DDT remaining in area soils,” said Keith Takata, director of the EPA’s Superfund in the EPA’s Pacific Southwest Office. “We will continue to work closely with the local community in the ongoing Montrose cleanup.”

The areas to be sampled are within or near a portion of the historical stormwater pathway that began at the Montrose plant property, and after crossing Normandie Avenue, continued as an open ditch along the west side of Kenwood Avenue to Torrance Boulevard. South of Torrance Boulevard, the historical stormwater pathway continued as an open ditch and swales, passing through what is now the Ecology Control Industries property and beyond into an area of sloughs and wetlands. In the late 1960's, a stormwater drainage system was installed by the Los Angeles County to handle surface water runoff within this area.

The EPA believes that, in the 1950's and 1960's, water containing DDT and other chemicals was periodically released from the Montrose plant property into this stormwater pathway.

In 2005, the EPA learned that elevated levels of the pesticide DDT had been detected in soils at the Ecology Control Industries property and those soils had been excavated. The EPA ordered Ecology Control Industries, Ronald Flury and Montrose Chemical Corporation to secure and properly dispose of those soils. In January 2006, approximately 2,000 tons of DDT contaminated soil from the Ecology Control Industries property were transported to a permitted hazardous waste landfill.

Montrose Chemical Corporation of California manufactured DDT from 1947 until 1982 at a plant located at 20201 Normandie Avenue, Los Angeles County, near the city of Torrance. The Montrose Chemical Site was added to the EPA’s National Priorities List of Superfund sites in 1989.

For more information on the Montrose Chemical, please visit:

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