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EPA finishes clean-up of contaminated soil


BARSTOW • The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency completed the task of removing 1,100 tons of perchlorate-contaminated soil at a local residence where the chemical was found to be contaminating the city’s water supply in 2010.

The crew removed 98 truckloads of soil and finished by lining the areas with plastic and unloading new soil on the ground.

On Scene Coordinator, Will Duncan told the Desert Dispatch at the beginning of the clean-up that the work was going smoothly and they expected to finish before the holidays.

The Golden State Water Company, the city water supplier, issued a press release in early December to assure customers that water in town is safe. In 2010, the water well that was contaminated by perchlorate was shut down and the entire water system was flushed.

“The water provided to Barstow residents continues to meet all EPA and California drinking water standards,” the press statement read.

The residence where the contaminated soil was found in Northeast Barstow, was home to the late owner of the defunct Mojave Pyrotechnics Company. It was believed to be unintentionally spilled from drums of material that were stored on the property, Duncan said.

The business once provided explosives used in simulated battlefield scenarios at the National Training Center in the 1980s. The current resident of the home, a widow to the late business owner, may be held responsible for the cost of the clean-up Duncan said. However, those details have not been settled.

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