What Does The UMTRA Uranium Clean Up In Moab, Utah Have To Do With The Residents Of Los Angeles

There is a massive pile of Uranium tailings, the byproduct of Uranium enrichment, sitting in Moab, Utah that sits right next to The Colorado River and is leaking Uranium into the river which is the drinking water source for a large portion of Southern California.

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The Moab Uranium Mill Tailings Remedial Action (UMTRA) is a project, administered by the Department of Energy, to move the pile out into the middle of the high desert and bury it somewhere that the Uranium cannot spill into the drinking water supply.

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The Department of Energy states that the project is 51% complete.  Tailing shipments began in April, 2009, and are expected to continue through about 2032.

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Because of the location of the pile there is concern that a flash flood will strike and wash even more Uranium into the river, which will make it’s way to Lake Mead, and eventually directly a major Southern California drinking water supply.   What does a flash flood look like in Moab, Utah?

I’m doing all kinds of research on this subject right now, reaching out to different officials and agencies, working to understand the real risks of this pile, and soon I’ll have a short film prepared for the people of Los Angeles, filled with information and links so they can research the issue themselves, and so that we can all work together to make sure So Cal is both aware of the issue and prepared in the event of a disaster.

-Matt

Poison in the Grapes – Castle Homes – Akron, Ohio – Superfund Information

Summit Equipment & Supplies, Inc.

Site Information
  • Akron, OH (Summit County)
  • EPA ID# OHD055523401
Repository

(where to view written records)

Akron-Summit County Public Library
Science & Technology Dept.
60 S. High St.
Akron, Ohio

Background

The 7.5-acre former salvage yard and scrap metal facility, located at 875 Ivor Ave., Akron, is bordered by the Akron-Barberton Beltway Railroad tracks to the north; a low-lying woodland and marsh to the east; a residential area to the south; and a light industrial area to the west. The marsh to the east of the salvage yard is immediately adjacent to Lake Nesmith, a local recreation area.

Operating from the 1950s to the 1980s, Summit Equipment accepted large numbers of transformers containing PCB oils. It also stored transformers and batteries intended for scrap and reclamation.  In the early 1970s, batteries were recycled while metals from electrical equipment were smelted on-site in a small furnace.  Oil reclaimed from the transformers reportedly provided fuel for the furnace.  These activities resulted in on-site PCB contamination of soil and off-site movement of the PCBs. These site operations also resulted in ground water contamination under the site.

In 1987, EPA conducted an emergency action to stop the PCBs from moving off-site.  About 300 capacitors and 1,300 transformer carcasses were also removed to stabilize the site and protect neighbors’ health as well as the environment.

In 1991, EPA also oversaw removal and disposal of:

  • 2,000 tons of contaminated scrap, motors, and stone
  • over 160 drums containing various items including furnace residue, metal grinding dust, and PCB- and mercury-contaminated soil
  • non-hazardous waste oil, paint residue, and batteries
  • over 432 cubic yards of tires
  • 219 tons of building demolition debris
  • two large transformer carcasses weighing 2,500 pounds
  • three mercury rectifiers and eight compressed air cylinders

In 1998, the EPA finalized a long-term cleanup plan, called the record of decision, which included:

  • clearing unexploded ordnance
  • excavating all contaminated soil
  • backfilling and regrading the excavated areas with clean fill
  • transporting contaminated soil to a permitted landfill for disposal
  • monitoring the ground water
  • restricting future land and ground water use

All of these actions were completed by 2000 along with continued ground water monitoring.  The 1998 cleanup plan was slightly modified in 2004 to remove unnecessary land-use restrictions.

Site Updates | Latest Update | Technical Documents || Five-Year Reviews || Legal Agreements


You will need the free Adobe Reader to view some of the files on this page. See EPA’s PDF page to learn more.

Site Updates

August 2014

In 2013, EPA completed a status review of the site’s cleanup. This type of review is required at least every five years where the cleanup is complete but hazardous substances remain at levels too high to allow unrestricted use of the site. These reviews are done to ensure that the cleanup continues to protect people and the environment.

The review included:

  • An evaluation of background information.
  • Cleanup requirements.
  • Effectiveness of the cleanup and any anticipated future actions.
  • An analysis of ways for EPA to operate more efficiently.
  • Maintenance and monitoring efforts.

The review found the cleanup continues to protect people and the environment. The area remains fenced to discourage trespassing, although a fence is not required to prevent exposure to hazardous substances. Also, a natural treatment process, called monitored natural attenuation, continues to cleanse the groundwater of hazardous substances before they can move off-site.

Report trespassers to local police; direct health concerns to the Summit County Health Department Exit EPA Disclaimer

The next review will be in 2018. The third five-year review (PDF) (30pp, 831KB) details the site’s progress.

Technical Documents

Top of page

Five-Year Reviews

Top of page

Legal Agreements

Missing information… information:

Previously, all data for this site was publicly available.  Recently with the changed in the EPA website Superfund access to necessary records has been systematically blocked.  In the case of missing PDF’s, when one clicks on the links they are now greeted with this page.

national priorites list

Please read my external autobiographical articles on LinkedIn for more information:

1. Why I’ll Never Have Mainstream Success

2. Media Corruption: How Can You Tell When WEWS ABC News Is Lying About A Superfund Site?


San Fernando Valley Superfund Information

Note: In San Fernando Valley there is a TCE vapor intrusion issue.  Yet, in the EPA documentation there is no mention on vapor intrusion, which is the biggest concern with TCE.  The following infographic was created for the MEW study – a study of vapor intrusion in Mountain View under Google’s Quad Annex building and depicts the same phenomenon  that is happening in San Fernando Valley.  Since 2011, one article has been published in Los Angeles on the subject matter.  LA Times, LA Weekly, KTLA, have refused to report.  Variety has also refused to publish paid advertising for myself and my causes.

Google Quad674

San Fernando Valley

The San Fernando Valley Superfund Sites are located in the eastern portion of the San Fernando Valley (see the map), between the San Gabriel and Santa Monica Mountains. The San Fernando Valley is an important source of drinking water for the Los Angeles metropolitan area, the cities of Glendale, Burbank, and San Fernando, La Canada- Flintridge, and the unincorporated area of La Crescenta. There are four separate areas comprising the San Fernando Superfund Sites: (1) Burbank & North Hollywood, (2) Glendale/Crystal Springs,(3) Verdugo, and (4) Pollock/Los Angeles.
The information on this page applies to the San Fernando Valley Superfund Sites overall. For information specific to the four individual areas, click on the links above and visit the web pages for the separate areas.

History: In 1980, after finding organic chemical contamination in the groundwater of the San Gabriel Valley, the California Department of Health Services (DHS) requested all major groundwater users to conduct tests for the presence of certain industrial chemicals in the water they were serving. The results of testing revealed volatile organic compound (VOC) contamination in the groundwater beneath large areas of the San Fernando Valley. The primary contaminants of concern were the solvents trichloroethylene (TCE) and perchloroethylene (PCE), widely used in variety of industries including metal plating, machinery degreasing, and dry cleaning.

TCE and PCE have been detected in a large number of production wells at levels that are above the Federal Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL), which is 5 parts per billion (ppb) for each of these VOCs. The state of California MCL is also 5 ppb for TCE and PCE. MCLs are drinking water standards. Other VOC contaminants in the San Fernando Valley have also been detected above the Federal and/or State MCLs. As a result of the groundwater contamination, many production wells have been taken out of service. The water agencies of the San Fernando Valley closely monitor the quality of drinking water delivered to residents. The water meets all federal and state requirements and is safe to drink. Due to groundwater contamination, much of the drinking water delivered to residents is purchased from the Metropolitan Water District (MWD) of Southern California.

Nitrate, an inorganic contaminant, has also been detected in the groundwater in the San Fernando Valley, consistently at levels in excess of the MCL of 45 parts per million (ppm). Nitrate contamination may be the result of past agricultural practices and/or septic system or ammonia releases.

State and local agencies acted to provide alternative water supplies and to investigate and clean up potential sources. EPA and other agencies became involved in coordinating efforts to address the large-scale groundwater contamination. In 1984, EPA proposed four sites for inclusion on the Superfund National Priorities List (NPL): Area 1 – Burbank & North Hollywood, Area 2 – Glendale/Crystal Springs, Area 3 – Verdugo and Area 4 – Pollock/Los Angeles. The original boundaries of the sites were based on drinking water wellfields that were known to be contaminated by VOCs in 1984. In 1986, the four sites were included on the NPL. EPA manages the four sites and adjacent areas where contamination has (or may have) migrated as one large site. EPA has pursued a more comprehensive approach for the investigation and cleanup of the contamination.

In 1987, EPA and Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) signed a Cooperative Agreement providing federal funds to perform a remedial investigation (RI) of groundwater contamination in the San Fernando Valley.

EPA is currently focusing its efforts on four operable units (OUs) within two of the four San Fernando Valley Superfund sites to accelerate the investigation and cleanup of the study area. Each OU represents a discrete, interim contaminant remedy currently in progress throughout the eastern portion of the San Fernando Valley. EPA has signed Records of Decision (RODs) for four OUs in the San Fernando Valley: North Hollywood OU (1987 and 2009) and Burbank OU (1989) within the Area 1 site, and Glendale North and South OUs (1993) within the Area 2 site. The North Hollywood OU Interim Remedy began operating in 1989, and the Burbank OU has been operational since 1996. The Glendale North and South OUs began partial operation in August 2000 and achieved full operation capacity in June 2002. While conducting the OU remedies, EPA has also conducted basinwide investigations which ultimately may lead to a basinwide final ROD.

Since completion of the remedial investigation for the San Fernando Valley in 1992, EPA has continued to monitor groundwater contamination through its Basinwide Monitoring Program. The monitoring Program consists of quarterly sampling of over 500 groundwater wells located throughout the eastern portion of the valley. Data generated from these sampling events are used to map the extent of TCE, PCE, and Nitrate contamination in groundwater.

For More Information about the history of the separate areas that comprise the San Fernando Valley Superfund site, click on the following links: (1) Burbank & North Hollywood, (2) Glendale/Crystal Springs, (3) Verdugo, and (4) Pollock/Los Angeles.

Site Map: Shows the location of all the individual areas that comprise the San Fernando Valley Superfund sites. click here

Photographs: These photographs depict groundwater sampling activities that occurred during a 1998 sampling event. click here

More photographs: There are also photographs available depicting activities specific to the following San Fernando Valley Superfund sites: (1) Burbank & North Hollywood (Burbank treatment plant or North Hollywood treatment plant, (2) Glendale/Crystal Springs, (3) Verdugo.

Contaminants and Risks

Contaminated Media
  • Groundwater

This area contains information regarding the San Fernando Valley groundwater basin as a whole. Information regarding threats and contaminants specific to the four separate areas that comprise the San Fernando Valley Superfund site can be obtained from the web pages for those separate areas: (1) Burbank & North Hollywood, (2) Glendale/Crystal Springs, (3) Verdugo, and (4) Pollock/Los Angeles.

Plume Maps of TCE, PCE, and Chromium
The water quality data collected through the EPA’s Water Quality Monitoring Program for over 500 wells are used to map the extent of TCE, PCE, and chromium contamination in groundwater. Click here to go to the plume maps webpage.

Groundwater Quality Monitoring Reports
Since completion of the remedial investigation for the San Fernando Valley in 1992, EPA has continued to monitor groundwater contamination through its Basinwide Monitoring Program. The monitoring program consists of quarterly sampling of over 500 groundwater wells located throughout the eastern portion of the valley.

Data generated from these sampling events are used to map the extent of TCE, PCE, and Nitrate contamination in groundwater. Groundwater Quality Monitoring reports are generated periodically depending on the sampling events to present the groundwater quality results.

The report sections and tables are available in .PDF format to view and print. The figures presented in the reports are available in .JPG and .PDF file formats.

> 2007 Groundwater Quality Monitoring Report
> 2006 Groundwater Quality Monitoring Report
> 2005 Groundwater Quality Monitoring Report
> 2004 Groundwater Quality Monitoring Report
> 2003 Groundwater Quality Monitoring Report
> 2002 Groundwater Quality Monitoring Report
> 2001 Groundwater Quality Monitoring Report
> 2000 Groundwater Quality Monitoring Report
> 1999 Groundwater Quality Monitoring Report
> 1998 Groundwater Quality Monitoring Report
> 1997 Groundwater Quality Monitoring Report
> 1996 Groundwater Quality Monitoring Report
> 1995 Groundwater Quality Monitoring Report

Who is Involved

[See web pages for separate areas within the San Fernando Valley Superfund Site: (1) Burbank & North Hollywood, (2) Glendale/Crystal Springs, (3) Verdugo, and (4) Pollock/Los Angeles.]

Investigation and Cleanup Activities

The San Fernando Valley Basinwide Operable Unit (OU) activities consist of Basinwide Field investigations, data management and groundwater modelling. The San Fernando Valley Basinwide OU supports the other San Fernando Valley OUs in all phases of the Superfund process.

[For more information on the other OUs, see: (1) Burbank & North Hollywood, (2) Glendale/Crystal Springs, (3) Verdugo, and (4) Pollock/Los Angeles.]

Cleanup Results to Date

[See web pages for separate areas within the San Fernando Valley Superfund Site: (1) Burbank & North Hollywood, (2) Glendale/Crystal Springs, (3) Verdugo, and (4) Pollock/Los Angeles.]

Potentially Responsible Parties

Potentially responsible parties (PRPs) refers to companies that are potentially responsible for generating, transporting, or disposing of the hazardous waste found at the site.

No Further Action (“NFA”) Letter recipients
Under a cooperative agreement between EPA and the State Water Resources Control Board, the California Regional Water Quality Control Board, Los Angeles Region (“LA-RWQCB”) conducted assessments of facilities in the San Fernando Basin to determine the extent of solvent usage and to assess past and current chemical handling, storage and disposal practices. These investigations were conducted pursuant to the LA-RWQCB’s Well Investigation Program. Many of these investigations are currently in progress. For parties whose facilities the LA-RWQCB later determined that additional investigation was not required, the LA-RWQCB sent “no further action” (NFA) letters.

Additionally, EPA and the LA-RWQCB sent joint NFA letters to parties in cases where both EPA and the LA-RWQCB determined that additional investigation was not required.

Based on information provided to EPA by the RWQCB or otherwise known to EPA and the RWQCB when the joint NFA letters were issued, the entities who received the joint NFA letters were not asked by EPA or the RWQCB to participate in regional ground-water cleanup projects for the San Fernando Basin Superfund Sites. However, EPA may re-open a site investigation or request participation in regional ground-water cleanup projects, if new information becomes available or site conditions change. Click here for the list of LA-RWQCB No Further Action letter recipients and joint EPA/LA-RWQCB No Further Action letter recipients. Parties who received a joint NFA letter are noted with a “Y” in the “Joint Letter” column on the NFA Letter list.

General Notice Letter (“GNL”) and Special Notice Letter (“SNL”) Recipients
A GNL notifies an entity that EPA has identified the entity as a potentially responsible party (“PRP”) for the purpose of Superfund response actions. Besides designating a facility or person as a PRP, the GNL is used to encourage PRP coalescence and formation of steering committees, an important step prior to negotiations with EPA for Superfund response work, both investigatory and remedial.

An SNL, in addition to designating an entity as a potentially responsible party (“PRP”), initiates a formal settlement process between EPA and the PRPs. The SNL is used to facilitate an agreement between EPA and the PRPs for the PRPs to conduct site work and to pay EPA’s oversight and other response costs. The SNL requests an offer from PRPs to perform these actions and sets a formal time period for negotiations to be completed, after which EPA may unilaterally order the PRPs to undertake the site work and to pay EPA’s oversight costs, and initiate a lawsuit to recover EPA’s other response costs.

EPA sent general notice and special notice letters to parties EPA considered potential contributors to the volatile organic compound (VOC) groundwater contamination in the Area 1 – North Hollywood, and Area 2 – Glendale/Crystal Springs San Fernando Valley NPL sites. Click here for the list of General Notice and Special Notice letter recipients.

EPA may from time-to-time identify additional potentially responsible parties based on new information, or changes in site conditions.

Documents and Reports

Hide details for Community Involvement Community Involvement
08/01/93 Final Revised Community Relations Plan
03/10/08 San Fernando Valley Chromium Worshop Poster Session
Hide details for Fact Sheets Fact Sheets
03/01/88 EPA and DWP Begin Investigating Groundwater Contamination in the San Fernando Valley
07/01/90 Groundwater Cleanup Studies Continue in the San Fernando Valley Basin
05/01/93 EPA Announces Results of Basinwide Groundwater Remedial Investigation
08/01/93 Status Update Fact Sheet
04/01/97 EPA Reduces San Fernando Valley Cleanup Costs by $49 Million
09/01/97 U.S. EPA Efforts Minimize Impacts on the Valley’s Economy
10/01/98 Superfund Law and Real Estate Transactions
11/01/99 EPA Announces Well Sampling Event
06/01/03 Site Update Revised Site Update (Web Version)
07/09/09 North Hollywood Operable Unit Proposed Plan for Enhanced Groundwater Remedy
12/10/09 San Fernando Valley Superfund Sites Update, and EPA Selects Second Interim Remedy for the North Hollywood Operable Unit
07/05/11 EPA Seeks Your Input – Participate in Community Interviews
05/07/12 EPA to Install Ground Water Monitoring Wells in the Glendale/Burbank Area La EPA instalará pozos de monitoreo en el área de Glendale/Burbank
05/01/13 North Hollywood OU Proposed Plan to Amend Record of Decision, San Fernando Valley Area 1, May 2013
Hide details for Images Images
05/28/98 BURBANK TREATMENT PLANT
FIRST QUARTER OF 1998 SAMPLING EVENT
Hide details for Legal Documents Legal Documents
General Notice Letter – Special Notice Letter Recipients
No-Further Action Letter Recipients
Hide details for Maps Maps
10/01/08 San Fernando Valley Contamination map
10/01/09 San Fernando Valley Contamination map
01/01/10 San Fernando Valley Groundwater Contamination maps for 2010 (PCE, TCE, Chromium, Nitrate)
11/28/11 San Fernando Valley All Areas – Contamination Concentration
12/21/11 Figure X – 1,2,3-TCP Concentrations in the Shallow Zone
12/21/11 Figure X – 1,4-Dioxane Concentrations in the Shallow Zone
12/21/11 Figure X – Perchlorate Cocentrations in the Shallow Zone
01) 1998, Annual, TCE, Shallow (433K)
02) 1998, Annual, TCE, Deep (412K)
03) 1998, Annual, PCE, Shallow (431K)
04) 1998, Annual, PCE, Deep (411K)
05) 1998, Annual, NO3, Shallow (400K)
06) 1998, Annual, NO3, Deep (394K)
07) 1997, Annual, TCE, Shallow (288K)
08) 1997, Annual, TCE, Deep (269K)
09) 1997, Annual, PCE, Shallow (282K)
10) 1997, Annual, PCE, Deep (267K)
11) 1997, Annual, NO3, Shallow (269K)
12) 1997, Annual, NO3, Deep (247K)
13) 1996, Annual, TCE, Shallow (282K)
14) 1996, Annual, TCE, Deep (263K)
15) 1996, Annual, PCE, Shallow (278K)
16) 1996, Annual, PCE, Deep (262K)
17) 1996, Annual, NO3, Shallow (295K)
18) 1996, Annual, NO3, Deep (242K)
19) 1995, Spring, TCE, Shallow (282K)
20) 1995, Spring, TCE, Deep (265K)
21) 1995, Spring, PCE, Shallow (278K)
22) 1995, Spring, PCE, Deep (263K)
23) 1995, Spring, NO3, Shallow (304K)
24) 1995, Spring, NO3, Deep (244K)
25) 1995, Fall, TCE, Shallow (282K)
26) 1995, Fall, TCE, Deep (264K)
27) 1995, Fall, PCE, Shallow (279K)
28) 1995, Fall, PCE, Deep (263K)
29) 1995, Fall, NO3, Shallow (261K)
30) 1995, Fall, NO3, Deep (242K)
31) 1994, Spring, TCE, Shallow (282K)
32) 1994, Spring, TCE, Deep (262K)
33) 1994, Spring, PCE, Shallow (278K)
34) 1994, Spring, PCE, Deep (261K)
35) 1994, Spring, NO3, Shallow (304K)
36) 1994, Spring, NO3, Deep (242K)
37) 1994, Fall, TCE, Shallow (281K)
38) 1994, Fall, TCE, Deep (264K)
39) 1994, Fall, PCE, Shallow (278K)
40) 1994, Fall, PCE, Deep (264K)
41) 1994, Fall, NO3, Shallow (264K)
42) 1994, Fall, NO3, Deep (245K)
43) 1993, Spring, TCE, Shallow (287K)
44) 1993, Spring, TCE, Deep (262K)
45) 1993, Spring, PCE, Shallow (282K)
46) 1993, Spring, PCE, Deep (261K)
47) 1993, Spring, NO3, Shallow (271K)
48) 1993, Spring, NO3, Deep (241K)
49) 1993, Fall, TCE, Shallow (280K)
50) 1993, Fall, TCE, Deep (264K)
51) 1993, Fall, PCE, Shallow (280K)
52) 1993, Fall, PCE, Deep (262K)
53) 1993, Fall, NO3, Shallow (269K)
54) 1993, Fall, NO3, Deep (244K)
55) 1992, Spring, TCE, Shallow (283K)
56) 1992, Spring, TCE, Deep (261K)
57) 1992, Spring, PCE, Shallow (278K)
58) 1992, Spring, PCE, Deep (259K)
59) 1992, Spring, NO3, Shallow (265K)
60) 1992, Spring, NO3, Deep (242K)
61) 1992, Fall, TCE, Shallow (286K)
62) 1992, Fall, TCE, Deep (263K)
63) 1992, Fall, PCE, Shallow (284K)
64) 1992, Fall, PCE, Deep (262K)
65) 1992, Fall, NO3, Shallow (272K)
66) 1992, Fall, NO3, Deep (245K)
67) 1991, Annual, TCE (238K)
68) 1991, Annual, PCE (238K)
69) 1990, Annual, TCE (239K)
70) 1990, Annual, PCE (239K)
An index to all the plume maps for the San Fernando Valley Superfund site
[Model Calibration] – Calibration Wells (89K)
[Model Calibration] – Difference Between Simulated and Estimated Groundwater Contours, Autumn 1988 (100K)
[Model Calibration] – Model Layer 1 Cells that Become Dry During WY 1982-1992 Simulation (109K)
[Model Calibration] – Simulated versus Estimated Groundwater Contours, Autumn 1988 (110K)
[Model Configuration] – Bottom of Model Layer 1- Elevation (113K)
[Model Configuration] – Bottom of Model Layer 2 – Elevation (109K)
[Model Configuration] – Bottom of Model Layer 3 – Elevation (105K)
[Model Configuration] – Bottom of Model Layer 4 – Elevation (107K)
[Model Configuration] – Extent of Model Layers (101K)
[Model Configuration] – Location of Available and Constructed Cross Sections (85K)
[Model Configuration] – San Fernando Basin Groundwater Flow Model (115K)
[Model Configuration] – Thickness of Model Layer 1 (114K)
[Model Configuration] – Thickness of Model Layer 2 (105K)
[Model Configuration] – Thickness of Model Layer 3 (103K)
[Model Configuration] – Thickness of Model Layer 4 (104K)
[Model Parameters] – Hydraulic Conductivity Zone, Model Layer 1 (134K)
[Model Parameters] – Hydraulic Conductivity Zone, Model Layer 2 (126K)
[Model Parameters] – Hydraulic Conductivity Zone, Model Layer 3 (119K)
[Model Parameters] – Hydraulic Conductivity Zone, Model Layer 4 (115K)
[Model Parameters] – River Bed Conductance Zones (112K)
[Model Parameters] – Specific Yield Zones Model Layer 1 (130K)
[Model Parameters] – Total Transmissivity of Model Layers 1, 2, 3 (116K)
[Model Parameters] – Zoned Ratio of Horizontal to Vertical Hydraulic Conductivity Along Boundary Between Model Layers 1 and 2 (108K)
[Model Stresses] – Delivered Water Recharge Zone (129K)
[Model Stresses] – Hill and Mountain Front Recharge Zones (105K)
Hide details for Technical Documents Technical Documents
08/01/96 1995 Groundwater Quality Monitoring Report
06/01/97 1996 Groundwater Quality Monitoring Report
06/01/98 1997 Groundwater Quality Monitoring Report
02/01/99 1998 Groundwater Quality Monitoring Report
02/01/99 1999 Groundwater Quality Monitoring Report
03/01/00 2000 Groundwater Quality Monitoring Report
03/01/01 2001 Groundwater Quality Monitoring Report
08/01/03 2002 Groundwater Quality Monitoring Report
01/30/04 San Fernando Valley Modeling Results
07/01/04 2003 Groundwater Quality Monitoring Report
07/01/05 2004 Groundwater Quality Monitoring Report
01/01/07 2005 Groundwater Quality Monitoring Report
12/01/07 2006 Groundwater Quality Monitoring Report
03/10/08 San Fernando Valley Chromium Workshop Material
07/01/09 2007 Groundwater Quality Monitoring Report
Community Involvement

Public Meetings: [See web pages for separate areas within the San Fernando Valley Superfund Site: (1) Burbank & North Hollywood, (2) Glendale/Crystal Springs, (3) Verdugo, and (4) Pollock/Los Angeles.]

Please note that the March 10, 2008, San Fernando Valley Chromium Workshop Poster Session Documents can be found in the Community Involvement subsection and the San Fernando Valley Chromium Workshop Material can be found in the Technical Documents subsection of the Documents and Reports section above.

Public Information Repositories

The public information repositories for the site are at the following locations:

Burbank Public Library,
Central Library,
110 North Glen Oaks Boulevard,
Burbank, CA 91502
(818) 238-5580

City of Glendale Public Library,
222 East Harvard Street,
Glendale, CA 91205
(818) 548-2021

City of Los Angeles Central Library
Science and Technical Department
630 West 5th Street
Los Angeles, CA 90071
Stella Mittlebach
(213) 228-7216

The most complete collection of documents is the official EPA site file, maintained at the following location:

Superfund Records Center

Mail Stop SFD-7C

95 Hawthorne Street, Room 403

San Francisco, CA 94105

(415) 820-4700

Enter main lobby of 75 Hawthorne street, go to 4th floor of South Wing Annex.

Additional Links

Contacts

EPA Site Manager
Gary Riley
Kelly Manheimer
Kevin Mayer
Lynn Keller
Rebecca Connell
415-972-3003
415-972-3290
415-972-3176
415-947-4162
415-947-4278
Riley.Gary@epamail.epa.gov
Manheimer.Kelly@epamail.epa.gov
Mayer.Kevin@epamail.epa.gov
Keller.Lynn@epamail.epa.gov
Connell.Rebecca@epamail.epa.gov
US EPA Region 9
Mail Code SFD
75 Hawthorne Street
San Francisco, CA 94105
EPA Community Involvement Coordinator
Jackie Lane
415-972-3236
1-800-231-3075
Lane.Jackie@epamail.epa.gov
US EPA Region 9
Mail Code SFD
75 Hawthorne Street
San Francisco, CA 94105
EPA Public Information Center
415-947-8701
r9.info@epa.gov
State Contact

Death Water: Superfund Toxic Waste Advocacy Project

Before the 1970’s The United States had no Environmental Protection Agency.  Prior to the creation of The EPA if one owned a factory, they loaded up a tanker and then promptly dumped their toxic waste in their local canal or stream.  If they had a lot of toxic waste they put it in barrels and then buried it.  The whole thing sounds ridiculous until one reads the story of Love Canal or Valley of the Drums.

In particular, ‘Love Canal’ near Buffalo, New York was the site of one of the worst — at the time — toxic waste incidents in U.S. history:

In the mid-1970s Love Canal became the subject of national and international attention after it was revealed in the press that the site had formerly been used to bury 21,000 tons of toxic waste by Hooker Chemical (now Occidental Petroleum Corporation).  Hooker Chemical sold the site to the Niagara Falls School Board in 1953 for $1, with a deed explicitly detailing the presence of the waste, and including a liability limitation clause about the contamination. The construction efforts of housing development, combined with particularly heavy rainstorms, released the chemical waste, leading to a public health emergency and an urban planning scandal. Hooker Chemical was found to be negligent in their disposal of waste, though not reckless in the sale of the land, in what became a test case for liability clauses. The dump site was discovered and investigated by the local newspaper, the Niagara Falls Gazette, from 1976 through the evacuation in 1978. Potential health problems were first raised by reporter Michael H. Brown in July 1978.”

Long story short; The New York School system knew the land was polluted.  They built a school on top of the 21,000 tons of buried toxic waste, in drums, in spite of Hooker Chemical demanding the school district not do so.  Eventually, after being sued for the land, Hooker Chemical relented; The company agreed to sell the land for $1 with the recommendation that the school system not build a school on the polluted land while also attempting to assign liability for the buried toxic waste to the New York school system for any damages that would arise in the event of exposure, to the students, to hazardous chemicals.

Years later, people in, and around, the school started getting sick.  Local journalists furiously uncovered, and exposed, this blatant atrocity in the form of buried poison underneath a children’s playground.  The U.S. government was “shocked” that all of this had occurred.  As a result of Love Canal and other incidents the U.S Environmental Protection Agency was formed.  Almost a decade later, the EPA Superfund was created to clean up the worst of the worst toxic waste incidents in The U.S..

“Superfund or Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980 (CERCLA) is a United States federal law designed to clean up sites contaminated with hazardous substances as well as broadly defined “pollutants or contaminants”.  Superfund also gives authority to federal natural resource agencies, states and Indian tribes to recover natural resource damages caused by releases of hazardous substances, and created the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR), CERCLA’s broad cleanup authority, to clean up releases or threatened releases of hazardous substances that may endanger public health or welfare or the (natural) environment was given primarily to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and states.”

For the next forty years The US EPA, seemingly, worked towards exposing, isolating, and cleaning up toxic waste sites.  During those four decades they uncovered over 1,323 of these sites, to date.  For perspective, if you put a hot dog stand on top of every EPA Superfund site in The United States you’d have an automatic fast food chain the size of Denny’s.

June_MapOfTheMonth_Superfund4MileBufferPopulationDensity1

II.  Correlation doesn’t equal causation

What types of chemicals are found in these sites?  Hexavalent Chromium, Cadmium, Lead, Mercury, TCE, Arsenic, Dioxin, Trichloroethylene (TCE), and PCB’s are the most common offenders. Hexavalent Chromium is the same nasty substance from the movie ‘Erin Brockovich,’ which ravaged the town of Hinkley, California, along with continually rising levels of Uranium in the ground water.  All of these substances have been proven to be hazardous to human health, hence the need for the Superfund project to begin with.

When we take the map of all of the cancer deaths in The US since 1980 a very visible correlation becomes apparent.

Since the subject of EPA Superfund sites is not something that is spoken about in every day circles; since most people have no idea that these sites exist in this abundance; since general practitioners and other medical professionals don’t generally keep a running tally of EPA Superfund sites in relation to the geographical location of their patients, this phenomenon of “toxic waste in your back yard”  has gone relatively unexplored in the mainstream national media, and medical communities, simply because a large percentage of people seems to be unaware that any of these events have happened, so it’s really hard to say if there is any real correlation between these sites and the cancer rate, in The U.S.

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Erin Brockovich, in the capacity of doing her work as an environmental advocate, runs a reporting website which assigns a “pin” to organic reports of illness, in The United States, from members of the public who believe they have been exposed to hazardous chemicals.  Erin’s infographics reveal even more of those “correlations.”

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Do these bits of evidences and correlations create causation? Nope.

But they prove that everywhere there are human beings there are Superfund sites, people with cancer, and people complaining that they have been exposed to volatile organic compounds.

The EPA and it’s efforts

Over the last four generations of Americans the EPA has done a lot to work towards cleaning this country up.  In spite of the constant calls for the agency’s closure, or refusals to gain support for an overhaul of the system in the 1990’s, The Environmental Protection Agency has tirelessly moved forward with the clean up efforts.

As the decades passed, however, glaring organizational idiosyncrasies have started to boil to the surface of the polluted water ways of the US EPA’s marketing efforts, in the form of internet accessible public records, most of which can be found in Google results.  When one starts to investigate any given EPA Superfund site, and the ways the public education campaigns have been administered, the truth become undeniably clear: all of this happened, all of it has been published, but very few people in The US know the true scope and magnitude of the ground water and soil pollution in this country.

How to locate your local Superfund site

For most people, in The United States, it’s not too hard to find your local EPA Superfund, toxic waste dump. Simply go to Google, type in the name of your town, and then the words EPA Superfund. Hit enter.  You will be immediately directed to hundreds of thousands of pages of documentation written, mostly, in language only scientists can understand.

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In the often bizarre cases of government conspiracies it almost seems like people are looking for a cover up.  We, as Americans, in this sad state of affairs we live in, expect our government to lie to us, to the point that even if The Fed tells the truth, no one believes them.  Some people expect to find genocide, or population control, in vapor trails, and evil in 9/11 conspiracy lore, false flags in domestic terrorism incidents; Alex Jones makes millions of dollars from this these theories.  In this case there is no invisible conspiracy.  There is no doubt The EPA has published most of this Superfund information.  No person, ever, could claim the things I am reporting on are a cover up, yet at the same time, if you travel the country like I have, speaking to Americans about the Superfund, you’ll find that most people have no clue that this multi-trillion dollar industry exists. 

 

Each Superfund record contains an explanation of the site, in plain English, and a section which details the size of the public information campaigns they’ve undertaken to let the residents who live in proximity to toxic waste sites know of their exposure to toxic waste.  Yet, if we pick an EPA Superfund site, and then process the numbers, we start to see that the figures associated with these marketing campaigns are so low as to render them completely ineffective.

One example is in Akron, Ohio, the site detailed out in my short film Poison in the Grapes.  The neighborhood has roughly 1,000 houses, or apartments.  The documentation for the site shows that only 300 mailers were sent out, “some to residents.” The local newspaper, Akron Beacon Journal, repeatedly, misreported on the subject matter while refusing to address the communities concerns, and still continues to do this to this very day.

Across the country in Los Angeles, in San Fernando Valley there were over 800,000 residential water customers were drinking Hexavalent Chromium directly out of their water faucets up until 1986.  The public education campaign for over half a million effected people was 1,800 mailers sent to residents. Currently, there are ground water pump stations situated all over San Fernando Valley furiously trying to rid the ground water supply of TCE and Hexavalent Chromium. At last report The EPA determined that the current method of remediation being used is “not effective.

Update: The EPA has raised the allowable limits of human exposure to chromium in order to bring this an other sites into “compliance.” A year after the EPA did this they released a statement that chromium-6 is “potentially” hazardous to human health.

If one did manage to put the aforementioned hot dog stands at each one of these sites you’d be out of business in a week for a bitter lack of advertising.  I was nothing but shocked to learn, when I outed Summit Equipment & Supplies, how many people in Castle Homes had no idea the dump was even there. I expected people to say, “Hey I remember that!” Instead, I got “How come I never heard about this?!”

If we continue this “low education” public awareness campaign for forty years, over 1,323 sites,  how many people does this leave who have been exposed to toxic waste without being informed?  Hundreds of thousands, if not millions, including members of the military who have been exposed at US military bases, like Camp Lejune.

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What can you do to help?

At this point there is really nothing that can be done to fix this glaring national public health issue but to educate the public and hope that people will understand the risks of Superfund sites, and keep their children away from them, regardless of what The EPA says, because by their logic, they have a 100% positive track record for successful clean-ups, which is statistically and realistically impossible.  The EPA will come into a community, tell them a site needs to be cleaned up for being a danger to the public health, and at the same time they will have their community relations officers tell those very same affected residents, “There is nothing to fear.”

UC Berkeley recently released a study showing that parents who have been exposed to Superfund chemicals – like TCE – have offspring that experience a 25% higher chance of experiencing genetically predisposed illnesses, which arise from random genetic anomalies, like Autism, and Lukemia.  Pair this with the recent report that two thirds of all cancers occur from “random genetic anomalies,” which included no mention of the Superfund project, and you start to understand that the reality you think you live in is not the reality you actually live in, and if you demand the truth, you won’t get it.

The only real things you can do to help are to get this information out, make sure everyone knows, or start your own cause fighting to educate people to the silent monstrosity that is toxic waste.

This is a non-political issue.  When Metallica’s James Hetfield wants to hunt, kill, and eat a whole bear on stage he wants it to be healthy; he wants the environment he hunts in to be free of volatile organic compounds, and the animals he hunts to be healthy.  When The Daily Show’s John Stewart wants to have an intimate relationship with the forest he does not want to catch an S-Tree-D.

For once in our lives in this clusterfuck of bi-partisan madness we live in we have a found a subject we can all support.  All I ask is that you share this article and be aware of what is happening in your own world.

Thank you for reading,
Matthew Berdyck