The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announces two settlements -- for a total of over $3 million -- with companies believed to be responsible for "industrial" chemicals in the soil and groundwater in areas including parts of Glendale, North Hollywood and Burbank.
Not to worry though, this is actually a good thing. It doesn't mean that you showered last night with Bath and Body Works Lavender Breeze shower gel -- and a surprise handful of trichloroethylene.
It DOES mean:
There will be more clean water tap-able and also more protection against chance of future contamination.
The affected area as a whole is known the San Fernando Valley Superfund Site.
What is a Superfund? Superfunds are areas designated by the EPA that need some super cleaning.
"We will investigate contamination in groundwater and soil in order to identify more sites," Rusty Harris-Bishop, communications coordinator for the EPA division in charge at this site tells L.A. Weekly. "We need to find out the extent of where there is chromium contamination in ground water ... We know where it isn't, but we want to find out where it is so we can prevent the chance of contamination from migrating."
Treatment plants filter industrial chemicals out of the water before we drink it -- this project will make sure more and more water that has been contaminated becomes useful again.
The money will go toward two main things:
1) Increasing the capacity of water treatment plants, so that there is more drinkable water available, and
2) More research into the extent of the problem.
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"This is a big problem," Harris-Bishop tells the Weekly. "It is a long project [started here in 1986] and the site is large. If we encounter new work, we have to go find more funds."
Which is what they did. $2.2 million of the settlements will go toward expanding the treatment system and the rest toward finding more contaminated areas to tap into and clean in the future -- and to prevent spreading.
Looking red-handed -- and being held accountable by footing the bill and chipping in on the work are: Goodrich Corporation, ITT Corporation, Lockheed Martin Corporation and PRC DeSoto International , Inc.