EPA Announces Final Phase of Groundwater Cleanup at Superfund Site

On Oct. 2, EPA announced that the final phase of groundwater cleanup will begin at the Valley Wood Superfund site in Turlock, Calif.

Valley Wood Preserving will implement this final phase of groundwater cleanup under an order issued the last week of September by EPA, and the agency will oversee the work to ensure compliance.

"This final phase of cleanup by Valley Wood Preserving will provide a permanent solution to the groundwater contamination," said Keith Takata, EPA's Superfund division director for the Pacific Southwest region. "We are pleased that the company is working cooperatively with EPA to complete the groundwater cleanup."

Completion of the groundwater treatment will mark the end of the overall site cleanup. The groundwater cleanup at the Valley Wood property is being conducted to remove residual levels of arsenic and hexavalent chromium contaminants released during the company's past wood treating operations.

The cleanup plan calls for in-ground treatment of arsenic groundwater contamination followed by several years of monitoring to confirm that cleanup goals have been achieved. The treatment process involves injecting a solution into the shallow groundwater that will permanently immobilize the remaining arsenic.

Between 1973 and 1979, Valley Wood Preserving treated wood on the property with a water-based solution containing chromium, copper, and arsenic. Wood-treating operations at the facility led to the contamination of the groundwater beneath and downgradient of the site. EPA included the site in its list of the nation's most polluted sites, the National Priorities List, in 1989. Initial cleanup work started in 1979, and most of the groundwater and soil contamination has been cleaned up.

For more information on the Valley Wood Preserving Superfund site, visit www.epa.gov/region09/valleywood.

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