Dec 15, 2017

EPA Prioritizes Cleanup of Orange County North Basin Groundwater

The site is one of twenty-one others targeted for immediate action

EPA prioritizes cleanup of Orange County site

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has targeted the Orange County North Basin, Ca., which provides much of the water used in 22 California cities, for immediate action. Orange County Water District (OCWD), under EPA oversight, is currently conducting an interim remedial investigation and feasibility study to address groundwater contamination in the Orange County North Basin. OCWD has agreed to complete this study and work with the EPA so that cleanup can begin as soon as possible. 

The groundwater plume is contaminated with chlorinated solvents and other contaminants covering over five square miles. Contamination in the North Basin is believed to be the result of spills and leaks from industrial activities in the area such as manufacturing and metals processing businesses that utilized solvents, as well as dry cleaning facilities over the last several decades. There are many properties in the North Basin where historical industrial activity has contaminated the soil and groundwater with chemicals, including tetrachloroethene (PCE), trichloroethene (TCE), 1,1-dichloroethene (1,1-DCE), and 1,4-dioxane.