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U.S. EPA issues Order to investigate chromium contamination in Glendale


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has ordered a Glendale, Calif. business to conduct a soil and groundwater investigation for hexavalent chromium contamination at the 718 West Wilson Avenue property.

The Wilson Avenue property is part of the former Drilube Company site, located within the San Fernando Valley Area 2 Superfund Site. Between 1945 – 2004, the Drilube Company operated an aerospace and aircraft plating, painting and metal finishing operation which used hazardous substances including chromic acid, muriatic acid, nickel compounds, sodium hydroxide, ammonium hydroxide, caustic potash, and sulfuric acid.

“In order to safeguard the groundwater resources used by Glendale and other cities, the EPA is aggressively pursuing the investigation and cleanup of chromium sources such as the former Drilube site,” said Keith Takata, director for the EPA’s Superfund division, Pacific Southwest Region. “The EPA will seek to have responsible parties perform the necessary work.”

The EPA estimates that this study will cost $250,000.

Hexavalent chromium is regarded by EPA as a carcinogen. Chromium is a metal found in natural deposits as ores containing other elements, and used in making steel and chemical compounds. Solutions of hexavalent chromium are used in chrome plating, wood preserving, leather tanning and the manufacture of dyes and pigments.

Starting in 1998, the EPA funded a 4-year study conducted by the Regional Water Quality Control Board of the extent of chromium contamination in the San Fernando Valley. This study provided the foundation for future chromium investigation and cleanup efforts. In 2007, the EPA assumed the lead on 3 chromium source sites, including the former Drilube site.


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