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EPA Orders $20 Million Worth of Groundwater Cleanup to Help Residents of San Gabriel Valley

Tap water has a bad rap these days. And in many cases, for good reason.

There's an awful lot of groundwater contamination out there.

But for those folks living in the San Gabriel Valley who - God forbid - like being able to actually drink their tap water, there was a splash of good news today ...

The U.S. Environmental Protection Service announced that the behemoth company Northrop Grumman has been ordered to pay around $20 million to address groundwater contamination stemming from an old technology facility in the City of Industry.

Northrop Grumman will be required to build a groundwater cleanup system and will install a treatment plant to deal with groundwater contaminated with hazardous VOCs and 1,4-dioxane, which can damage the nervous system, liver and kidneys, says the EPA.

"Today's order will protect the essential drinking water supplies in the San Gabriel Valley," EPA's Regional Administrator Jared Blumenfeld said in a statement. "The treatment system is designed to intercept the most highly contaminated groundwater plume and prevent it from migrating further."

Parts of Alhambra, Irwindale, La Puente, Azusa, El Monte and West Covina all rest atop the contaminated groundwater, says the EPA.

A total of 45 water suppliers that rely on the San Gabriel Basin groundwater provide 90 percent of the drinking water to more than 1 million people.