FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE |
TUESDAY, JUNE 29, 2004
EPA (415) 947-4297
TDD (202) 514-1888
U.S ANNOUNCES AGREEMENTS WITH PROPERTY OWNERS AND
TARGET CORPORATION TO ASSIST ENVIRONMENTAL CLEANUP AND REDEVELOPMENT OF RIALTO, CALIFORNIA PROPERTY
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Department of Justice and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced two agreements valued at nearly $1 million to assist in the cleanup of the Denova Environmental Superfund Site located in Rialto, California. In addition to providing for cleanup and repayment of EPA cleanup costs, the agreements pave the way for retailer Target Corp. to proceed with a project that will bring new jobs to the area.
Under the first agreement, an administrative order on consent, the current owner of the 20-acre Denova Site will pay EPA $640,000 from the proceeds of the sale of the property to Target, in settlement of the United States’ claim under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) for recovery of its past response costs at the Site.
The second agreement, a prospective purchaser agreement (PPA) between EPA and Target, will facilitate Target’s purchase and redevelopment of the Denova Site and adjacent property as a distribution center to serve the southern California area. Target estimates the development will create 1,000 temporary jobs, and the center will create 1,300 permanent jobs with an estimated $40 million annual payroll.
“These agreements show that cleaning the environment and facilitating job creation are absolutely compatible,” said Tom Sansonetti, Assistant Attorney General of the Justice Department's Environment and Natural Resources Division. “Not only does today’s action help replenish the Superfund, it also creates the possibility of future jobs for those living near the Denova Site.”
“One of the EPA’s overriding goals is to turn polluted properties into properties that are a benefit to the communities they are in, and this agreement with Target does just that,” said Wayne Nastri, the regional administrator of the EPA’s Pacific Southwest Regional office in San Francisco. “Jobs are being created, and simultaneously we are assuring protection of human health and the environment.”
In the PPA, the United States agrees not to sue Target under CERCLA for existing contamination at the distribution center property. In exchange, Target will pay the EPA $100,000.
Before redevelopment of the Site, Target will perform steps necessary to complete cleanup of the Site. In all, the value of Target’s cleanup work and reimbursement from all parties is approximately $1 million.
The Site was used during World War II by the Army for transportation and temporary storage of ordnance-loaded railcars. From the mid-1980s through May 2002, the Site was operated privately by two different companies-first Broco Environmental Inc. and then Denova Environmental Inc.-as a chemical and explosives storage and disposal facility.
In May 2002, the EPA’s Region 9 Emergency Response Section began an emergency removal of hazardous materials and explosives abandoned at the Site by Denova Environmental Inc. These hazardous materials and explosives were located only 75 yards from the nearest residential neighborhood. The removal took 11 months and cost $3 million, and resulted in the cleanup of over 550,000 pounds of explosives, more than three times the legal limit allowed to be stored at any one facility.
EPA’s response actions at the Site were assisted by the Marine Corps at Camp Pendleton and Twenty-nine Palms; the San Bernardino County Fire Department Hazardous Materials Unit; the San Bernardino County Bomb Squad; the FBI and Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives; the California Department of Toxic Substances Control; and the Rialto Fire Department.
The agreements are subject to a 30-day public comment period, which began on June 22 when notice of the agreements was printed in The Federal Register.