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U.S. EPA ANNOUNCES LARGEST PRIVATE PARTY SUPERFUND SETTLEMENT

 U.S. EPA ANNOUNCES LARGEST PRIVATE PARTY SUPERFUND SETTLEMENT
 SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- U.S. EPA today announced the lodging of the largest private party settlement ever reached for a single Superfund site cleanup. The settlement, valued at more than $130 million, involves more than 170 parties and addresses contamination at the Operating Industries Inc. (OII) Superfund site, Monterey Park, Calif.
 "Together with two earlier settlements -- with a combined value of approximately $75 million -- the total value of settlements reached for this site now stands at more than $200 million," said Jeff Zelikson, U.S. EPA regional hazardous waste management director. "The Operating Industries site is an excellent example of the Superfund program working as it was intended. The very powerful enforcement and liability provisions serve as an inducement for the private sector to voluntarily agree to perform cleanup actions, rather than litigate. Today's consent decree avoids the litigation path and mobilizes the private sector resources on cleanup activities.
 "Nationwide, we have been very successful in demanding that those responsible for Superfund sites bear the cost of paying for them," said Zelikson. "Consistent with U.S. EPA's vigorous enforcement policy, the Agency has negotiated more than 2 billion dollars in settlements with responsible parties throughout the nation during the last two years. These decrees are a significant addition."
 The Superfund consent decree was lodged today in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles.
 According to the proposed settlement, the settling parties have agreed to design and construct three systems on the site: a system to control both surface emissions and subsurface movement of gas from the landfill, a landfill cover and a surface water management system.
 The settlement also provides for reimbursement of state and federal costs previously incurred at this site and for the payment of state and U.S. EPA oversight costs for work to be performed by the settling parties under the consent decree.
 As a result of earlier settlements, the private parties have begun construction on the leachate treatment plant which should begin operation in early 1993. The plant will treat contaminated liquids from the site. Leachate generated at the OII site contains hazardous constituents such as vinyl chloride, trichloroethylene, benzene and toluene. Control and treatment of this leachate is a significant step in the cleanup of the OII site.
 The OII landfill is located at 900 Potrero Grande Drive in Monterey Park, approximately 10 miles east of Los Angeles. The site occupies 190 acres and is divided by the Pomona Freeway. The 45 acres north of the freeway are known as the North Parcel and the 145 acres south of freeway is known as the South Parcel. The neighboring city of Montebello surrounds the southern portion of the landfill on three sides.
 The site is owned by the former operators, Operating Industries Inc. Disposal operations began at the landfill in 1948 when it was operated by the Monterey Park Disposal Co. In the early 1950s, OII purchased the landfill. Over the life of the landfill, many wastes have been disposed of at the site, including industrial, residential and commercial refuse, liquid wastes, and various hazardous wastes. OII ceased disposal operations in late 1984.
 In January 1984, the state of California placed OII on the
California Hazardous Waste Priority List. In October 1984, U.S.


EPA proposed OII for the federal Superfund National Priorities List (NPL) and the site was placed on the NPL in May 1986.
 A copy of the consent decree will be available, along with other site-related documents, at the following local libraries:
 Montebello Regional Library Monterey Park Library
 1550 W. Beverly Blvd. 318 Ramona Street
 Holifield Park Library
 1060 S. Greenwood
 Montebello, CA
 The public can formally comment on the agreement by submitting written comments to:
 Assistant Attorney General
 Environment & Natural Resources Division
 Department of Justice
 P.O. Box 7611
 Ben Franklin Station
 Washington, D.C. 20530
 Attn: U.S. v Chevron Chemical Co. et al
 D.J. 90-11-2-156
 -0- 12/3/91
 /CONTACT: Lois Grunwald of U.S. EPA, 415-744-1588/ CO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ST: California IN: SU:


RM -- SF001 -- 8991 12/04/91 00:03 EST
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Date:Dec 4, 1991
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