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U.S. EPA settles with Shell Oil and GSA over $1.2 million in cleanup costs at the Del Amo Superfund site

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Release date: 10/17/2006

Contact Information: Francisco Arcaute, 213 244 1815

LOS ANGELES – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has signed an agreement valued at approximately $1.2 million with the Shell Oil Company and the United States General Services Administration for recovery of response costs at the Del Amo Superfund Waste Pits located in Los Angeles County, Calif.

The past costs to be paid by the settling parties are: Shell Oil Company, $398,821.91; General Services Administration $809,729.34.

The General Services Administration is the federal department that inherited the liabilities of government-owned wartime industries. The former Del Amo facility was one such facility, having been built and owned by the U.S. government for the production of synthetic rubber during World War II. After the war, the government sold the facility to Shell, who continued to operate the plant until 1972.

“This settlement, and the innovative application of an environmentally friendly technology, have enabled the EPA to effectively address the threat to groundwater from the Del Amo Superfund site waste pits,” said Keith Takata, director of the U.S. EPA Region 9’s Superfund Division. “We intend that in time, the waste pits area can be put to productive re-use.”

Located at the corner of Vermont Ave. and Del Amo Blvd., the Del Amo Superfund site waste pits area was used as an industrial dump site between 1943 and 1972. Wastes – including benzene, naphthalene, ethylbenzene – contaminated the surrounding soil and groundwater. In September, 2002, the Del Amo facility was placed on the EPA’s National Priorities List of the most contaminated sites in the US.

In 1999, Shell began cleaning-up the Del Amo Superfund site, under EPA oversight, starting with a multi-layer impermeable cap over the waste pits and installation of the soil-vapor extraction wells. In 2006, the SVE system began operating; clean-up is expected to take place for 10-15 years.

For more information on the Del Amo Superfund, please visit:
www.epa.gov/region09/waste/sfund/superfundsites,, click “Site Overviews” and scroll down to “Del Amo.”
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