U.S. Water News Online
LOS ANGELES -- A $100 million groundwater cleanup deal was
struck after a nearly seven-year legal battle with former and current
owners of a defunct munitions plant.
Four Santa Clarita Valley water agencies agreed to the settlement
calling for the Whittaker-Bermite facility's current and former
owners to clean up the perchlorate contamination. The chemical is
used in the manufacture of explosives, munitions and rocket fuel.
The Castaic Lake Water Agency, Newhall County Water District,
Santa Clarita Water Co. and Valencia Water Co. sued current and
former operators of the munitions site after perchlorate was found in
five Santa Clarita Valley wells.
"This ensures funding for a very important cleanup project in the
Santa Clarita Valley. It's very nice that we have a cooperative
approach," attorney Frederic A. Fudacz said.
The settlement, reported by the Daily Journal, must be approved by
a federal bankruptcy judge in Arizona because the site's current
owners, Remediation Financial Inc. and Arizona-based Santa Clarita
LLC, filed for bankruptcy in 2002.
The 1,000-acre Bermite site manufactured ammunition, explosives,
flares and detonators since the 1940s. Whittaker Corp. operated the
site until 1999, when it was purchased by Remediation Financial and
Santa Clarita LLC.
The settlement agreement reached by Whittaker, Remediation
Financial and Santa Clarita provides $100 million for the
construction of replacement wells, pipelines and a treatment facility
to remove perchlorate.
"We are pleased to bring this negotiation to an end on a
cooperative and amicable basis," Whittaker attorney Eric G. Lardiere
said in a joint statement with the water agencies.
Return to the
U.S. Water News' Archives page
Return to the U.S. Water
Use a comma to separate e-mail addresses:
Hi, I thought you might like to read this article.