Lockheed Martin will expand its groundwater cleanup efforts in the North Hollywood and Burbank areas of the San Fernando Valley groundwater basin under a settlement agreement with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, the utility announced Wednesday.
Under the agreement, Lockheed Martin will provide about 1.5 billion gallons of clean drinking water annually to the LADWP, which will result in $170 million in cost savings to its ratepayers over the next 30 years, according to the utility.
“When companies contaminate our water, they ought to be the ones paying to clean it up,” Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said. “This historic settlement agreement will help clean millions of gallons of groundwater in the San Fernando Basin, and expand local supplies for years to come.”
The groundwater pollution dates back to the aircraft company’s activities during World War II and the Cold War, which contributed to contamination of groundwater in Burbank and North Hollywood, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board.
Under the settlement agreement, Lockheed Martin will help convey groundwater from LADWP’s North Hollywood East Branch Well Field to a facility in Burbank and pay for the treatment so the water meets drinking water standards before being delivered to LADWP. The EPA will oversee the cleanup work until it determines no further action is required in the currently contaminated area, LADWP officials said.
LADWP has also entered into a separate, related agreement with Burbank, where the city will pump and treat the water and convey the treated water to LADWP at no extra cost to the utility because the work will be funded by Lockheed Martin.
LADWP officials said the agreement is major improvement over past “piecemeal” approaches to groundwater contamination cleanup.
“Lockheed Martin has worked collaboratively with the U.S. EPA and our partners in the San Fernando Valley for over 20 years on effective cleanup measures, and this agreement reflects a natural extension of that ongoing work,” said Kevin Pearson, director of Lockheed Martin’s environmental remediation program. “We look forward to continuing to work cooperatively with our partners in the area to meet our cleanup commitments.”
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