Wednesday, September 28, 2011

EPA Orders $60 Million Cleanup of Aerojet Superfund Site in Sacramento County

The Environmental Protection Agency announced today that it is ordering a $60 million clean-up of rocket fuel-polluted groundwater at the Aerojet Superfund Site in Sacramento County.

In its press release, the EPA stated that a 27-square mile swath of groundwater underneath and around the former aerospace facility is polluted with several compounds, including very high levels of perchlorate – a main component of rocket fuel – and a known developmental toxin.  Aerojet, under the direction of the EPA, will contain the underground plume to prevent it from spreading into nearby rivers and streams.  Future plans will also treat groundwater within the site’s boundaries.

Speaking of the order, EPA Region 9 Administrator Jared Blumental said:
This cleanup tackles the worst areas first to prevent toxic chemicals from fouling any additional water sources.  Not only is EPA holding Aerojet accountable for its pollution, but we want to assure local residents that they will have safe drinking water for years to come as the company works to restore the underground aquifer.
The Aerojet site, according to the EPA, covers 8,500 acres near Rancho Cordova, 15 miles east of Sacramento, and is about 1/2 mile from the American River.  Since 1953, Aerojet and its subsidiaries have manufactured liquid and solid propellant rocket engines for military and commercial applications and have formulated a number of chemicals, including rocket propellant agents, agricultural, pharmaceutical, and other industrial chemicals.  In addition, the Cordova Chemical Company operated chemical manufacturing facilities on the Aerojet complex from 1974 to 1979.

Additional information regarding the Aerojet Superfund site may be found at the EPA’s site overview page.

For more information regarding this matter, please contact Eric Adair or the KMTG attorney with whom you normally consult.

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