Montrose Chemical Corp. of California and three other companies have agreed to pay a $77.6 million settlement to clean up and investigate contaminated groundwater at a pair of Superfund sites in Los Angeles County, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Tuesday.
The companies — Montrose Chemical, Bayer CropScience Inc., TFCF America Inc. and Stauffer Management Co. LLC — will pay to address contamination at former pesticide and rubber manufacturing plants at the Montrose and Del Amo Superfund sites, according to the DOJ.
The companies have also agreed to pay an additional $8 million to federal and state agencies, ending a legal battle that has been pending for the past three decades. From 1947 to 1982, Montrose operated the country’s largest manufacturing plant for the pesticide DDT, federal prosecutors said.
“These settlements will enhance groundwater quality in Los Angeles County by requiring the responsible polluters to clean up two major portions of the Montrose Superfund Site and investigate the historic stormwater pathway,” said Assistant Attorney General Todd Kim of the DOJ’s Environment and Natural Resources Division.
For years, residents of the area have been impacted by contamination from the former pesticide- and rubber-manufacturing sites, said Meredith Williams, director of the California Department of Toxic Substances Control.
“We stand with the people who live, work, and play near this contamination, and we will continue our efforts to make the polluters pay for their actions,” Williams said.
According to the DOJ, each of three settlement agreements deal with specific activity to address cleanup of the sites:
— The first settlement requires pumping and treating the groundwater to federal and state cleanup standards and then re-injecting the treated water back into the ground.
— The second settlement will bring about treatment of the soil to address historical releases that are an ongoing source of groundwater contamination. Air monitoring will be performed to ensure there are no impacts to the surrounding community.
— The third settlement requires investigation of potential contaminant releases in the historic stormwater pathway leading from the Montrose Superfund Site, south of Torrance Boulevard. This settlement will be used to determine if there is contamination in the pathway that may require cleanup.