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EPA Getting $17 Million From Polluters to Help Cleanup Toxic Landfill in Monterey Park

EPA Getting $17 Million From Polluters to Help Cleanup Toxic Landfill in Monterey Park

A long-standing toxic landfill in Monterey Park, 10 miles east of Downtown LA, is on the verge of getting another multi-million dollar cleanup.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has announced that it is working on a settlement with 275 former polluters who would pay $17 million toward cleaning up the 190-acre area, called the Operating Industries Inc. Superfund Site (OII), which is situated near 900 Potrero Grande Drive.

While this is just a drop in the bucket compared to the $600 million in settlement money the EPA has negotiated with nearly 1,000 other responsible parties, it is nonetheless being touted as an important step in cleaning up the area.

From 1948 to 1986, according to the EPA, the site operated as a landfill where as many as 4,000 companies dumped commercial and industrial waste.

The 275 parties targeted in this latest settlement each sent between 4,200 and 110,000 gallons of liquid waste to the landfill.

"Today, landfills that accept hazardous waste must meet very strict design requirements," said the EPA's Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest Region, Jared Blumenfeld. "This was not the case with OII where hazardous materials were released into the environment."

The site has been recognized as an environmental problem since the early 1980s and was put on the National Priorities List in 1986.

The EPA says that the 30-day public comment period concerning this latest proposed settlement started January 7.