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U.S. EPA REACHED AGREEMENT ON PROPOSED SUPERFUND SITE

 U.S. EPA REACHED AGREEMENT ON PROPOSED SUPERFUND SITE
 SAN FRANCISCO, May 11 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Environmental


Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) today announced an agreement with the Shell Oil Co. and Dow Chemical Co. in which the two companies have agreed to investigate soil and groundwater contamination at the Del Amo Plant site, a proposed Superfund site near Los Angeles.
 "Industry coming forward to address contamination at the Del Amo Plant site is a very positive step," said Jeff Zelikson, U.S. EPA regional hazardous waste management division director. "Reaching this agreement is another example of how U.S. EPA's ultimate objective can be achieved: protection of the public health and the environment."
 Under the consent order, the companies are required to identify the nature and extent of soil and groundwater contamination at the site and evaluate cleanup methods. Shell and Dow will test and evaluate various cleanup technologies for a smaller portion of the site where waste disposal pits are known to exist. The two companies also have agreed to reimburse the U.S. EPA and the state of California for past costs and for future oversight costs.
 Shell and Dow estimate the cost for the investigation will be $10 million. U.S. EPA will collect approximately $450,000, and the state of California will collect an additional $450,000 in past costs from Shell and Dow for work performed at the site. U.S. EPA is seeking $250,000 in past costs from other responsible parties.
 In Region 9, responsible parties have agreed to settlements valued at over $700 million in cleanup work at Superfund sites. Almost 90 percent of cleanups in the western region are being funded by the private sector. Nationwide, over 60 percent of all cleanups underway are being undertaken by responsible parties and the total value of private party commitments now exceeds $5 billion.
 "These settlements demonstrate the progress the Superfund program is making in getting sites cleaned up and health risks significantly reduced," said Zelikson. "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."
 The U.S. government built the Del Amo facility in 1942 to manufacture synthetic rubber for use in World War II. Under agreements with the government, the facility was operated by several different companies, including Shell and Dow. In 1955, the U.S. government sold the facility to Shell, which operated the facility from 1955 through 1969. Since that time, the property has been sold several times and much of the property has been commercially developed. Groundwater and soil at the Del Amo Plant site is contaminated with volatile and semi-volatile organic compounds. The pollutants are associated with the rubber manufacturing process.
 The U.S. EPA proposed the Del Amo Plant site be added to the Superfund National Priorities List (NPL) in July 1991. The NPL is the U.S. EPA's list of hazardous waste sites potentially posing the greatest long-term threat to public health and the environment.
 -0- 5/11/92
 /CONTACT: Paula Bruin of the U.S. EPA, 415-744-1587/ CO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Shell Oil Co., Dow Chemical ST: California IN: OIL SU:


MM-RM -- SF008 -- 8745 05/11/92 15:32 EDT
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Date:May 11, 1992
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