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EPA Adds South Gate Facilities to Worst Toxic Sites List

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has added two former industrial sites in the city of South Gate to the Superfund National Priorities List in Los Angeles County, it was recently announced.

Last year, EPA proposed to add the Southern Avenue Industrial Area site and Jervis B. Webb Co. site to the list due to soil and groundwater contamination.

Superfund is the federal program that investigates and cleans up the most complex, uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous waste sites in the country.

“These industrial plants are located in the I-710 corridor, a priority area for EPA, where low-income and minority populations are overburdened by pollution,” said Jared Blumenfeld, EPA’s Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest. “Now that these sites are officially on the Superfund list, EPA will begin full-scale investigations of the contaminated soil and drinking water sources.”

From 1972 through today, the Southern Avenue Industrial Area site has been occupied by a facility that manufactures hot-melt adhesive tape for laying carpets. Prior to 1972, Pacific Screw Products Corporation manufactured screw products at the property until the business went bankrupt.

The Jervis B. Webb Co. conducted metal fabrication, finishing, painting and assembly operations associated with the manufacture of industrial conveyor belt systems from the 1950s to 1996 on a portion of the Jervis B. Webb Co. site. In 1997, Reliable Steel, Inc. purchased this portion of the site. Blake Rivet Company leased another portion of the site until approximately 1981. The Blake Rivet Company produced aluminum and stainless steel aircraft rivets.

With all Superfund listed sites, EPA works to identify companies or people responsible for the contamination at a site, and require them to conduct or pay for the cleanup. For the new sites without financially viable responsible parties, EPA will investigate the full extent of the contamination before starting significant cleanup at the site.