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May—June 2020 Newsletter

Islands covered in flowers in the ocean with text "EPA in the Pacific Southwest"Serving Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Pacific Islands, 148 Tribal Nations

Improving Water Quality at the U.S.-Mexico Border

Transborder pollution has caused serious water quality problems in the Tijuana River Valley and along southern California beaches from Imperial Beach to Coronado. EPA is committed to addressing the environmental and public health risks from this pollution. There is now significant new funding for comprehensive, long-term solutions through the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Trade Agreement.

Redeveloping a Superfund Site into a Place to Live, Work and Play

Before and after photographs of Monterey Park, California, showing transformation from a contamintaed landfill to the onterey Market Place shopping centerMonterey Park, California

The former Operating Industries Landfill in Monterey Park, Calif. – which operated from 1948 until 1984 and contaminated air, groundwater, and soil with various organic and inorganic compounds from hazardous wastes – has been transformed into a hub of economic, recreational and residential activity. It now hosts the 500,000 square-foot Monterey Market Place shopping center and may be utilized for solar development.

Cleaning Up Contaminated Properties

In May, EPA announced that 13 communities in the Pacific Southwest were selected to receive a total of nearly $6.6 million to assess and clean up contaminated properties under the agency’s Brownfields Program. These funds will aid under-served and economically disadvantaged communities, including neighborhoods located in Opportunity Zones, in addressing abandoned industrial and commercial properties. These communities are among 151 selected nationally to receive grant awards totaling over $65.6 million.

Enforcement Update

Protecting Drinking Water Resources

EPA has reached a $6,521,025 settlement with 145 parties to clean up contaminated groundwater at the Omega Chemical Corporation Superfund site in Whittier, California. The settlement will help address the groundwater contamination to which these companies and others have contributed.