Central Phoenix Superfund site to be cleaned up by APS and Honeywell

OU3 Study Area (click on image for full size map)

[Source: Sadie Jo Smokey, Arizona Republic] — Honeywell and Arizona Public Service Co. have agreed to pay an estimated $1.5 million to prepare the way for the cleanup of a portion of a the Motorola 52nd Street Superfund Site, the Environmental Protection Agency announced.  The portion of the site, called Operable Unit 3, generally extends from 20th Street on the east to Seventh Avenue on the west, and is between McDowell Road on the north and Buckeye Road on the south.  OU3 is part of a larger underground plume of contaminated groundwater.

The work, which will take an estimated 2 1/2 years, involves installing groundwater and soil vapor monitoring wells to fill data gaps, and analyzing potential options for groundwater cleanup.  The companies also will develop a groundwater risk assessment that evaluates the potential threat to human health and the environment.  “These companies have agreed to carry out important work that will move the cleanup of this site forward,” said Keith Takata, Superfund Division Director for the EPA’s Pacific Southwest Region.  “This agreement will help protect the groundwater resources in Maricopa County.”

The Phoenix plume isn’t causing health problems because the contamination is more than 80 feet below the surface, and there are no drinking-water wells in the area. But environmental officials say it’s still important to get it cleaned up in case of future demand.

The Superfund Site, which involves primarily chlorinated solvents used in manufacturing, extends from 52nd Street to Seventh Avenue and from McDowell to Buckeye roads.  It was added to the Environmental Protection Agency’s federal Superfund list in 1989 and dozens of companies have been asked to investigate whether their operations also contributed to the chemical groundwater pollution and should help pay for the cleanup.  [Note: For more information on the issue, visit the U.S. EPA website or Arizona DEQ website.  Read the full article at Central Phoenix Superfund site to be cleaned up by APS and Honeywell.]

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