Montrose Chemical Corporation, California
Superfund Site: Montrose Chemical Corporation, California
2. Pollutants and Pathways.
Thirty five years of plant operation with no care taken about pollution allowed DDT (the end product), chlorobenzene (the raw material) and the resulting toxic products to move from the site in a lot of different pathways.
Waste materials and Non Aqueous Phase Liquids (NAPL) were released into the environment. Non aqueous solutions do not easily dilute in water. On soils they are very difficult to remove. When the NAPL gets into ground water if floats on top of the water. When NAPL-type pollutants are in groundwater for years and years they slowly dissolve into the groundwater. If the groundwater is a drinking water source in the community many people will become sick with many health problems including cancer. The Del Amo manufacturing plant right next door to the DDT production plant is also a superfund site. The double dose of pollution from the two plants made a dangerous toxic site.
The soils of the Montrose Chemical Plant property had high concentrations of DDT. So did the properties which adjoined it. Fortunately in the residential area which received DDT in the dust that the wind picked up, the yards were not highly contaminated with the DDT dust.
Storm water and groundwater pathways carried pollutants from the site. Storm water ran off property carrying water-borne pollutants and polluted sediments into the storm water drainage.
3. Clean up
Before the Montrose Chemical Corporation closed it hired a hauling company to take some the pollutants including acid wastes and acid tars to hazardous material landfills. Some of the wastes were dumped in the Pacific Ocean and some were dumped into a ravine near the plant.
The cleanup is very complicated and ongoing. The asphalt cover is still in place. A lot of the sediments from sanitary sewers, storm sewers, and the ravine have been removed. The strategy for cleaning the groundwater is being planned and will be started in 2012. (EPA, 2011).
Maybe someday the Montrose community will have a great success in clean up and be able to use the area again. A superfund site in New Jersey has been cleaned up successfully and is in such good condition that it is now a park (NRPA, 2011).
EPA. (2010). “Community Involvement Plan. Montrose Superfund Site and Del Amo Superfund Site.” U.S. Enivironmental Protection Agency. epa.gov. April 2010. Web. 23 Oct. 2011.
National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA).“Turning a Former Super-fund Site into an Award-winning Park.” Parks & Recreation. June 2000. Web. 23 Oct. 2011. 35 (6) p. 92+.
Region 9: Superfund. (2011). Montrose Chemical Corp. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). epa.gov. 18 Oct. 2011. Web. 23 Oct. 2011.