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Los Angeles Landfill Gets $340 Million Cleanup

Date: January 3, 2002

Source: News Room

Polluters have agreed to a $340 million cleanup of a former Los Angeles-area landfill that was declared a Superfund site 15 years ago. Under the settlement, 177 companies will contain and monitor contaminants at the 190-acre Operating Industries site. The dump is located in Monterey Park, about 10 miles east of downtown Los Angeles. The agreement brings the total cleanup cost to more than $600 million, making it one of the most expensive non-governmental Superfund sites in the federal program's history. An estimated 4,000 companies are believed to have dumped commercial and industrial waste at the landfill from 1948 to 1984. They include southern California's major employers: Exxon-Mobil, Unocal, Chevron, Texaco, Lockheed-Martin, Boeing and General Motors. Residents for 20 years have fought for cleanup and expressed health concerns. Cleanup contractors were hired by 57 companies; the other 120 companies are paying into a cleanup fund. The settlement does not require that contaminants be removed, but rather will allow them to degrade naturally. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that degradation could take 30 to 150 years.

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