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CONFERENCE WILL BE HELD ON SOUTH BAY GROUNDWATER CLEANUP

 CONFERENCE WILL BE HELD ON SOUTH BAY GROUNDWATER CLEANUP
 SAN FRANCISCO, May 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Six government agencies and non-profit organizations will co-sponsor a one-day conference on the investigation and cleanup of groundwater contamination in the South Bay at 1 p.m. and an evening session at 7 p.m., Wednesday, May 6, 1992, at the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors Chambers, 70 West Hedding St., San Jose, Calif.
 The conference is co-sponsored by U.S. EPA, the California Regional Water Quality Control Board, Santa Clara Valley Water District, Santa Clara County Manufacturing Group, the Santa Clara County Leagues of Women Voters, and the Santa Clara County Hazardous Materials Advisory Committee.
 The conference will review what has been accomplished in the 10 years since groundwater contamination was recognized as a problem in the South Bay area. It will discuss current groundwater contamination problems and examine how the actual accomplishments compare to original expectations for action and cleanup. Challenges for the future will also be discussed.
 "In the nine years that I have been on the Board, protection of groundwater in the Santa Clara Valley has been one of the top priorities of the Regional Water Quality Control Board," said Marion E. Otsea, chairperson of the regional board who will open the conference. "The importance of this resource to the public health and economic vitality of the region cannot be overstated.
 "I hope this conference will give all of the parties involved in the process an opportunity to review the progress to date and to discuss the course of future actions to achieve the common goal of clean groundwater."
 "The groundwater basin is a critical part of our local water supply and the cleanup of contamination helps ensure continued full use of the basin especially during drought periods," said Pat Ferraro, chairman of the Santa Clara Valley District.
 In the South Bay, 28 groundwater contamination sites have been placed on or proposed for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's national list of Superfund hazardous waste sites. Investigation and cleanup activities have been going on at these sites and others in the South Bay for about 10 years and will continue into the future.
 "This conference allows us to look back at the past 10 years and see what we have accomplished by working cooperatively on the cleanup," said Jeff Zelikson, U.S. EPA's regional hazardous waste management division director. "U.S. EPA has worked closely with state and local government agencies on addressing groundwater contamination and public concerns.
 "The Silicon Valley is a great example of the success the Superfund program is in the western region, said Zelikson. "We have taken Superfund, a difficult, complex law and made it work. In Santa Clara County, the community has worked hard to get the cleanup accomplished. And it is a credit to industry in Silicon Valley that their participation in cleanups stand at 99 percent while nationally, the figure is 60 percent."
 The conference will include two sessions, an afternoon session targeted to those with environmental expertise and an evening session targeted to community organizations and the public. Both sessions are open to the public at no charge.
 Topics will include the investigation and cleanup process, risk management, cleanup standards and technology, pollution prevention and real estate and lending issues. Santa Clara County Supervisor Ron Gonzales who moderates the evening session said, "Groundwater contamination is an ongoing concern for county residents. This conference will provide the public with the opportunity to be fully informed on these topics."
 -0- 5/5/92
 /CONTACT: Jim Thompson of RWQCB, 510-464-3815; Don Schwartz of


Santa Clara County Hazardous Materials Advisory Committee, 408-299-2443; or Paula Bruin of U.S. EPA, 415-744-1587/ CO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ST: California IN: SU:

RM -- SF006 -- 6678 05/05/92 15:04 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:May 5, 1992
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