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Question and Answer

RE: Scripps Completes Seafloor Survey of Dumpsite off the Coast (April 30-May 13)


“If any of the involved parties can be identified, could the area be treated as a hazmat site, with cleanup and remediation paid for by those responsible?”


I couldn’t find any definitive information about a hazmat site or if the companies could be identified or held accountable.

What I did find is that one of the companies has already been identified, Montrose Chemical Corporation, a DDT Manufacturing plant in Torrance that had logs documenting the reported dumping of 1,700 tons of DDT off of the Palos Verde peninsula between 1947 and the early 1970s.

On Dec. 20, 2000, the Los Angeles Times reported that four chemical companies including Montrose entered into a settlement for $73 million to help restore the ocean environment off of Southern California.

The payments were to go to The Environmental Protection Agency to clean up the contamination.

The suit was originally filed in 1990 and in 1996, the EPA declared the ocean off of Palos Verdes a national Superfund site, according to the Los Angeles Times article. It was designated as one of the country’s most hazardous sites.

As part of the agreement, the EPA cannot seek future funds from Montrose and the other defendants for offshore work.

According to the 2000 article, it was decided that removing the DDT would be a logistical nightmare and the EPA was expected to cover part of the deposit with a layer of sand dredged from the nearby harbor.

The study that was conducted this year shows that there was debris further out to sea and now there is a call for an expedited cleanup of the DDT by the Los Angeles County of Supervisors, according to a May 4 article from the Patch.



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