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COURT RULES FOR U.S. EPA, STATE IN MCCOLL CLEANUP

 SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA), the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), and the state of California today announced that Judge Robert Kelleher of the U.S. district court for the central district of California has ruled that four major oil companies and the property owner are responsible for the cleanup of the McColl Superfund site, Fullerton, Calif. The five responsible parties are Shell Oil Co., Atlantic Richfield Co, Union Oil Co of California, Texaco Inc., and McAuley LCX Corp.
 The decision came in a lawsuit brought by U.S. EPA and the state of California to recover costs incurred by the governments in connection with the site. To date, the governments have spent over $25 million, with future cleanup costs estimated at $80 million.
 "This decision confirms what EPA and the community have known for some time -- that these oil companies dumped their waste at the site and are responsible for cleaning it up," said Jeff Zelikson, U.S. EPA regional hazardous waste management director. "This enforcement action is consistent with EPA's policy of having private parties take responsibility for their actions."
 "The court's decision demonstrates that the parties responsible for environmental damage will be held accountable," said Acting U.S. Attorney Robert L. Brosio. "This office will continue to actively enforce federal environmental laws to protect the public and ensure the cleanup of contaminated sites."
 The court found that the four oil companies arranged for the dumping of nearly 100,000 cubic yards of highly acidic sludge at the site during the 1940s. The court rejected the companies' argument that their dumping was an "act of war" that would exempt them from liability under the Superfund law. The court also found that the site landowner, McAuley LCX Corp., is liable for the cleanup costs.
 U.S. EPA selected a cleanup plan for the site in June. The plan calls for neutralizing and solidifying much of the waste in place and then capping it. The agency estimates that cleanup can be concluded in four to six years. The oil companies began designing the cleanup remedy in July under orders issued by U.S. EPA.
 -0- 9/30/93
 /CONTACT: Paula Bruin of U.S. EPA, 415-744-1587/


CO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ST: California IN: ENV OIL SU: EXE

TM -- SF007 -- 7359 09/30/93 14:04 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 30, 1993
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