The city of San Bernardino, Calif. will receive $69 million and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency $6.5 million, as part of a Consent Decree for the Newmark Groundwater Contamination Superfund site, located near San Bernardino.
"San Bernardino is an area of rapid expansion, which places huge demands on area water sources," said Wayne Nastri, EPA's Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest Region. "The EPA is pleased to be part of the team that is working to improve the water quality for generations to come."
This Consent Decree-among the U.S. EPA, the U.S. Department of the Army, the City of San Bernardino, and the California Department of Toxic Substances Control-resolves claims by the city of San Bernardino and the California Department of Toxic Substances Control against the U.S. Army over alleged groundwater contamination, and provides funds for the cleanup of the contamination.
Under the settlement, the city of San Bernardino is required to use most of the funds to operate and maintain EPA's groundwater extraction and treatment remedies at the Newmark Groundwater Contamination Superfund Site for up to fifty years. The city of San Bernardino may use some of the funds to build additional treatment plants to expand its water delivery capacity.
More than 25 percent of the municipal water supply for the City of San Bernardino's 175,000 residents has been affected by water contamination. According to the settlement, the city of San Bernardino will provide clean replacement water for area residents and prevent contamination from reaching downstream production wells, which affect over 800,000 people in several nearby counties.
The Newmark Groundwater Contamination site covers a portion of a groundwater aquifer used as a public water supply source for the City of San Bernardino. Water contamination was not discovered until 1980, revealing the presence of chlorinated solvents, tetrachloroethylene (PCE), and trichloroethylene (TCE).
For more information on the EPA's Superfund program, please visit http://www.epa.gov/region09/waste/sfund/index.html