SAN FRANCISCO The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said Wednesday (Aug. 31) that it has reached agreements with eight potentially responsible parties suspected of causing soil or groundwater contamination that may have contributed to the contamination at a Superfund Site in Phoenix.
The Superfund Site is believed to have been created largely by spills and releases from Freescale Semiconductor (formerly Motorola) and Honeywell fabs in the area.
The EPA said Wednesday it signed agreements with eight more industrial companies whose historical spills and releases may have contributed to the site. The companies agreed to pay the EPA to investigate and identify potential sources of chlorinated solvents at their respective facilities as well as the costs for oversight of the investigation and past costs incurred for studying their facilities, the EPA said.
"In the end, this is about protecting and restoring the groundwater," said Keith Takata, the EPA's Superfund division director for the Pacific Southwest region, in a statement. "These settlements will help us to identify whether there are other sources of contamination that may have contributed to groundwater contamination and help us close out the investigation phase and focus more on cleanup."
The site, known as the Motorola 52nd Street Superfund Site, contains an area of groundwater contaminated with chlorinated solvents. Groundwater at the site, ranging from 40-90 feet below ground surface, is not used for drinking water. The city of Phoenix supplies drinking water primarily from surface water sources to water users living within the site. Drinking water is tested by the city to ensure compliance with regulatory standards, according to the EPA.
Motorola-Freescale has operated a groundwater treatment plant in the area since 1992. Freescale and Honeywell have operated an additional treatment plant in the area since 2001. Soil and groundwater at the Honeywell facility have been under investigation since the early 1990s, according to the EPA.
The companies to sign recent agreements with the EPA are the Salt River Project; Arizona Public Service Co. and Pinnacle West Capital Corp., ArvinMeritor, AdobeAir, Cooper Industries, BDR Liquidating and Phoenix Newspapers Inc.