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Goodrich to clean up at Rialto superfund

The United States has settled with the Goodrich Corporation requiring the company to investigate and clean up contaminated groundwater and soil at the B.F. Goodrich Superfund Site in Rialto, California. These settlements, along with previous settlements, will result in a comprehensive clean up of the site which may total as much as $100 million. In addition, EPA will be proposing to rename the site the Locust Avenue Superfund Site.

“After nine years of ongoing litigation, EPA is thrilled to announce the final work settlement for this Superfund Site,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s regional administrator for the Pacific Southwest.

Goodrich, under an administrative consent order, must, at its own expense, install additional groundwater monitoring wells and complete testing and engineering analyses. Well installation and testing is expected to begin this summer and continue into 2014. Data from this analysis is needed to assist EPA with the development of the clean up plan which is expected to be available for public comment in 2015.

Once that clean up plan is selected, Goodrich, under a judicial consent decree, must design, build and operate, under EPA’s oversight, any clean up facilities selected by the agency in its clean up plan to address groundwater and soil contamination in central and south Rialto.

Goodrich will pay at least the first $21,500,000 of the cost of this clean up work. The company is also responsible, with contributions from the Department of Defense and certain settlement proceeds from other responsible parties, for ensuring the completion of the cleanup work which could last for the next 30 years or more, no matter what its cost. Although EPA has not yet determined the full scope of the clean up plan, remedies for similar groundwater contamination sites in Southern California have cost more than $40 million.

The U.S. has also entered into an additional settlement with KTI, Incorporated. KTI will pay $2.8 million to EPA to be used for costs related to the site. KTI will also allow EPA and other parties performing work on EPA’s behalf to access the site for any clean up work.

The cities of Rialto and Colton and the county of San Bernardino are also parties to the Goodrich consent decree. The cities sued Goodrich in 2004 and 2005. EPA joined the litigation in 2010 to require clean up and recover federal money spent at the site.

From about 1957 to 1962, the B.F. Goodrich Corporation conducted research, development, testing and production of solid-fuel rocket propellant in Rialto, California. Operations at the site by Goodrich and others have contaminated soil and groundwater with trichloroethylene (TCE) and perchlorate, which contributed to the closure of public drinking water supply wells in the area. The Superfund site was added to the EPA’s National Priorities List in September 2009.

The Goodrich and KTI consent decrees (City of Colton v. American Promotional Events, Inc., et al.) will be lodged with the federal district court by the U.S. Department of Justice and are subject to a comment period and final court approval.