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Case Summary: Settlements Reached with Pyro Spectacular Industries and Emhart Industries regarding B. F. Goodrich Superfund Site (2012)

On December 5, 2012, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced the filing of settlements agreement, one in October and the other in December, 2012, with the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. These settlements result in a combined total of nearly $50 million to clean up contamination at the Rockets, Fireworks, and Flares (RFF) Superfund Site (formerly B. F. Goodrich Superfund Site) in Rialto, Calif. The settlements are with a number of site parties including Emhart Industries (Emhart), the Department of Defense (DOD), and Pyro Spectaculars Industries (PSI).

Under the December 4, 2012, settlement agreement, Emhart, DOD and the other settling defendants, agreed to spend $43 million over the next 30 years to cleanup contaminated groundwater at the site. The cities of Rialto, Colton, and the county of San Bernardino will receive $8 million.

The October 10, 2012 settlement agreement, with Pyro Spectaculars Inc (PSI) and the other settling defendants, produced an agreement for the parties to pay $4.3 million to the EPA and $1.3 million to the cities of Rialto and Colton and San Bernardino County.

In March 2013, additional settlement agreements were announced by EPA and DOJ and are summarized separately.

On this page:

Information about the Principal Settling Parties

The December 4, 2012 “Emhart” settlement includes the following entities: Emhart Industries, Inc., Black & Decker Inc., the U.S. Department of Defense, American Promotional Events, Inc. – West, The Ensign-Bickford Company, Raytheon, Whittaker Corporation, Broco, Inc., and J. S. Brower & Associates, Inc. and related companies. Emhart Industries, Inc., is headquartered in Rialto, Calif. and for more than 40 years has been assembly technologies for a variety of industries including aerospace and defense.

The October 10, 2012 “PSI” settlement includes the following entities: Pyro Spectaculars Inc (PSI); Astro Pyrotechnics (a defunct subsidiary of PSI); Trojan Fireworks; Thomas O. Peters and the 1996 Thomas O. Peters; Kathleen S. Peters Revocable Trust; and Stonehurst Site, LLC. Pyro Spectaculars Inc (PSI), headquartered in Towson, Md. is a public display fireworks operator, wholesaler and importer/exporter of fireworks, as licensed by the California State Fire Marshal and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives.

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Information about the Rockets, Fireworks, and Flares (RFF) (formerly B.F. Goodrich) Superfund Site

The Rockets, Fireworks, and Flares (RFF) Superfund Site is located in a mixed residential, commercial, and industrial area in the city of Rialto, Calif. The site encompasses a source area of soil and groundwater contamination known as the “160-acrea area”. The 160-Acre Area was part of a larger area acquired by the United States Army in 1942 to develop an inspection, consolidation, and storage facility for rail cars transporting ordnance to the Port of Los Angeles. Since the United States sold the Rialto property in 1946, a portion of the property has been used by defense contractors, fireworks manufacturers, and other businesses. See more information on the Rockets, Fireworks, and Flares Superfund Site web site.

Pollutants and Environmental Effects

The area’s groundwater is contaminated with trichloroethylene (TCE) and perchlorate, which have impacted public drinking water supply wells in the cities of Rialto and Colton.

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Summary of the Settlement Agreements

Under the December 4, 2012 settlement agreement, Emhart agreed to perform the remedial design/remedial action (RD/RA) selected in the interim record of decision (IROD) for the operable unit 1 (OU1). The current estimate for the cost of constructing and operating this remedy for 30 years is $43 million. The first $24.25 million of costs for this work will be covered by settlement amounts paid by a group of cash-out parties, also signatories to this agreement. DOD initially will contribute $17.5 million of this $24.25 million. In addition to a significant cash contribution, DOD has agreed to fund half of the construction costs over $10 million. DOD also has agreed to fund half of the operation and maintenance (O&M) costs after 25 years. The settlement agreement was approved by the court in July 2013.

The October 10, 2012 settlement agreement commits PSI and other settling defendants to pay $6 million dollars of which $4.33 million will be placed into an EPA special account to reimburse EPA for past costs and future oversight costs. The remainder will go to the cities of Rialto and Colton and San Bernardino. The settlement agreement was approved by the court in March 2013.

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Michele Benson
Assistant Regional Counsel
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Region 9
75 Hawthorne Street
San Francisco, CA 94105