Superfund Information Systems: Site Profile

Superfund Site:

SAN GABRIEL VALLEY (AREA 2)
BALDWIN PARK, CA

Cleanup Activities

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Background

The San Gabriel Valley Area 2 Superfund Site (also known as the Baldwin Park Operable Unit) is one of four Superfund sites addressing multiple areas of groundwater contamination in the San Gabriel Basin. The site includes groundwater contamination underlying portions of the cities of Azusa, Irwindale, Baldwin Park, West Covina, La Puente and Industry.

The San Gabriel Groundwater Basin is the primary source of drinking water for more than one million people.  Industrial solvents and other contaminants were first identified in groundwater in the San Gabriel Valley in 1979.  The contamination at the site is believed to be the result of decades of improper chemical handling and disposal practices. Although many of the laws regulating the handling and disposal of hazardous chemicals went into effect after 1970, historical documents demonstrate that local officials were concerned about the potential for groundwater contamination by industrial activity in the San Gabriel Valley as early as the 1950s.

EPA's efforts began in the mid-1980s with studies needed to understand the sources, nature, and extent of soil and groundwater contamination. In the 1980s and early 1990s, EPA added the site to the National Priorities List, developed a basin-wide plan to set cleanup priorities, and led State and Federal efforts to develop the institutional framework necessary to address the contamination.

As of December 2017, more than $250 million has been spent to construct and operate the water treatment facilities installed as part of the cleanup. More than 130 billion gallons of contaminated groundwater has been treated, more than 80,000 pounds of contamination removed from the ground water, and more than 40,000 pounds of contamination removed from the soil.

 

 

 

 

 

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What Has Been Done to Clean Up the Site?

In 1994, EPA adopted a groundwater cleanup plan ("Record of Decision") for the Baldwin Park area. The ROD was updated by the “Explanation of Significant Differences” in May 1999. The remedy at the site is large-scale groundwater extraction and treatment (i.e., "pump and treat").  In the 1990s, EPA identified Potentially Responsible Parties (PRPs) at the site and, working with local water agencies, began initial design work on the project. After the PRPs reached a detailed agreement with seven local water agencies in March 2002, design work was completed and construction work began. Construction of the planned groundwater extraction and treatment facilities was largely completed in 2006.

Five pump and treat "sub-projects" have been built or expanded, having a combined treatment capacity of more than 30,000 gallons per minute (equivalent to 43.2 million gallons per day [MGD]). Each sub-project has multiple groundwater extraction wells and three or more water treatment processes for removal of the contaminants from the groundwater.  Ion exchange systems remove perchlorate and nitrate; ultraviolet light and hydrogen peroxide systems remove NDMA and 1,4-dioxane, and air stripping and/or granular activated carbon systems remove VOCs from the groundwater.

Subproject

Status

 

 

Design and Construction Cost

Approx. Treatment Capacity (gallons per minute)

La Puente Valley County Water District

Operating since 2000

$ 7 million

2500

SGVWC Plant B6

Operating since 2005

$36 million

7800

Valley County Water District

Operating since 2006

$58 million

7800

SGVWC Plant B5

Operation began 2007

$22 million

7800

California Domestic Water Co

Operating

 

5,000 to 15,000

TOTAL:

 

more than $123 million

25,900

 

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What Is the Current Site Status?

The five groundwater cleanup projects continue to operate, removing more than 5,000 pounds of contaminants from the groundwater per year.  The five projects are operated by four local water utilities, which distribute the treated water to over 100,000 local homes and businesses. Improvements are underway, including replacement of water treatment systems to improve reliability and efficiency.

The performance of the five projects is evaluated annually.  Detailed Annual Performance Evaluation Reports have been prepared since 2007.  The reports include a discussion of the status of the cleanup
and performance monitoring activities, a series of tables and figures summarizing technical information about the cleanup, and figures showing the extent of groundwater contamination.

EPA also conducts "Five-Year reviews" to ensure that remedies protect public health and the environment and function as intended by site decision documents.  The first review was completed in 2007 and second "Five-Year Review" was completed in 2012.  The most recent review, completed in 2017, concluded that the site remedy continues to be protective of human health and the environment.

Other agencies participating in the cleanup include the Main San Gabriel Basin Watermaster, a court-appointed entity responsible for administering the water rights agreement in the San Gabriel Basin, and the San Gabriel Basin Water Quality Authority (WQA), a public agency created by the State of California in 1993 to help coordinate the plans and activities of EPA and other Federal and State agencies responsible for cleanup of the San Gabriel Basin.  The Watermaster is responsible for a variety of coordination, budgeting, monitoring, and reporting tasks required by the BPOU project agreement. The Water Quality Authority administers Federal funds earmarked for cleanup in the San Gabriel Valley.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Enforcement Information

In 1989, the California Regional Water Quality Control Board, Los Angeles Region (RWQCB), working in accordance with an EPA-State Cooperative Agreement, began to identify the sources of the groundwater contamination in the Azusa/Baldwin Park area. The RWQCB inspected more than 1,400 commercial and industrial businesses in the area and required testing of soil and/or groundwater where contamination was observed or suspected. Using the test results, historical Federal, State and local records, responses to information requests, and other information, EPA ultimately identified 21 parties as significant contributors to the groundwater contamination.

Five of the 21 parties, known as the "Cooperating Respondents," are paying for the cleanup in compliance with an EPA Unilateral Administrative Order ("EPA Order") issued in 2000 and amended in 2002.  The other parties entered into cashout settlements with EPA and/or are bankrupt.  In 2002, the Cooperating Respondents entered into an agreement with seven water agencies that commits the Cooperating Respondents to fund the design, construction, and operation of the groundwater extraction, treatment, and conveyance facilities needed to satisfy EPA's cleanup goals and meet local water supply needs.  The agreement was recently extended through 2027.

LARGEST CONTRIBUTORS TO THE GROUNDWATER CONTAMINATION

(in alphabetical order)

PRP

FACILITY ADDRESS

STATUS

Aerojet Rocketdyne Inc (formerly Aerojet General Corporation) and Gencorp Inc.

1100 W. Hollyvale Street in Azusa, CA

funding cleanup and EPA oversight costs

Huffy Corporation

1120 W. Foothill Blvd. in Azusa, CA

funded cleanup and EPA oversight costs until bankruptcy

Oil & Solvent Process Co.

1704 W. First Street in Azusa, CA

funding cleanup and EPA oversight costs

Winco Enterprises Inc (formerly Wynn Oil Company)

1151 W. 5th Street in Azusa, CA

funding cleanup and EPA oversight costs

 

LESSER CONTRIBUTORS TO THE GROUNDWATER CONTAMINATION (in alphabetical order)

PRP

FACILITY ADDRESS

STATUS

Azusa Gas Systems/Azusa Land Reclamation Co.

1201 W. Gladstone Street in Azusa, CA

funding cleanup and EPA oversight costs

Azusa Pipe and Tube Bending

766 N. Todd Ave in Azusa, CA

cashout settlement

Allegiance Healthcare Corporation (formerly Baxter Healthcare)

4401 Foxdale Avenue in Irwindale, CA

cashout settlement

Fairchild Holding Corporation

601 S. Vincent Avenue in Azusa, CA

Funded cleanup and EPA oversight costs until bankruptcy

The Hartwell Corporation

701 W. Foothill Boulevard in Azusa, CA

funding cleanup and EPA oversight costs

J. H. Mitchell and Sons Distributors, Inc.

14515 Joanbridge Street in Baldwin Park, CA

cashout settlement

Leach International

717 North Coney Avenue in Azusa, CA

cashout settlement

Lockheed-Martin Corporation

1004 W. 10th Street in Azusa, CA

cashout settlement

Mobil Oil Corporation

1004 W. 10th Street in Azusa, CA

cashout settlement

Phaostron Instruments & Electronic Company

717 North Coney Avenue in Azusa, CA

cashout settlement

Philip Morris USA Inc.

717 North Coney Avenue in Azusa, CA

cashout settlement

Reichhold Inc. (formerly Reichhold Chemicals)

237 Motor Ave in Azusa, CA

funded cleanup and EPA oversight costs until bankruptcy

Rubber/ Urethanes Inc.

968 W. Foothill Blvd. in Azusa, CA

bankrupt

Screwmatic Inc.

925 W. First Street in Azusa, CA

cashout settlement

U.S. Department of Defense

1100 W. Hollyvale Street in Azusa, CA

past and future cost settlement

Valspar Corporation

1004 W. 10th Street in Azusa, CA

cashout settlement

White and White Properties

145 S. Irwindale Ave and 204 S. Motor Avenue in Azusa, CA

cashout settlement

 

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