South Gate is one of several densely populated communities closestto the I-710 freeway, where the effects of pollution aredisproportionately higher than in other areas of Los AngelesCounty. Approximately one million people, about 70 percent of whomare minority and low-income households, are severely impacted byindustrial activities and goods movement in the area. In amulti-year effort, federal, state, and local governments andnonprofit organizations are working together to improve theenvironmental and public health conditions for residents along thiscorridor. TCE contamination in the groundwater at Southern Avenue IndustrialArea and Jervis B. Webb Co.
was found at levels up to 17,000 ppb(parts per billion) and 35,000 ppb respectively. The federalMaximum Contaminant Level for TCE in drinking water is 5 ppb. TheMCL is the highest level of a contaminant allowed in drinkingwater. Although the drinking water supply wells immediatelydowngradient of the two sites are located in a deeper aquifer andare not currently contaminated, because the aquifers are connected,there is the potential that drinking water wells may becomecontaminated.
There are at least 35 drinking water wells within 4miles of the site, serving approximately 226,000 people. From 1972 through to the present day, the Southern AvenueIndustrial Area site has been occupied by a facility thatmanufactures hot-melt adhesive tape for laying carpets. Prior to1972, Pacific Screw Products Corp. manufactured screw products atthe property until the business went bankrupt. The Jervis B. Komatsu Turbocharger
Webb Co. conducted metal fabrication, finishing,painting and assembly operations associated with the manufacture ofindustrial conveyor belt systems from the 1950s to 1996 on aportion of the Jervis B. Webb Co. site. China Detroit Diesel Turbo
In 1997, Reliable Steel,Inc. purchased this portion of the site. Blake Rivet Co. leasedanother portion of the site until approximately 1981. Blake Rivetproduced aluminum and stainless steel aircraft rivets. Volvo Turbo Kits
Since 1983, 1,664 sites have been listed on the NPL. Of thesesites, 359 sites have been completely cleaned up, resulting in1,305 sites currently on the Superfund list (including those addedtoday). There are 59 proposed sites awaiting final agency action. With all Superfund listed sites, EPA works to identify companies orpeople responsible for the contamination at a site, and requirethem to conduct or pay for the cleanup. For the new sites withoutfinancially viable responsible parties, EPA will investigate thefull extent of the contamination before starting significantcleanup at the site.