The Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday requested another $4.8 million from the federal Superfund toxic waste cleanup program to remove chemicals from San Fernando Valley ground-water supplies, bringing its funding request to $12 million.
An application for the additional funds from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency was approved unanimously and without discussion by council members and sent to Mayor Tom Bradley for his expected approval. A spokesman for the city Department of Water and Power said the EPA is expected to act on the city's request within two months.
The funds will be used to build an aeration tower in North Hollywood, which will remove contaminants from the water, and to conduct a study to determine the extent and sources of the pollution in ground-water supplies.
Joe Hegenbart, the DWP's assistant engineer of water design, said the department has received all the permits needed to begin construction of the tower once it receives EPA funding. The cost of the project has increased because more work may be required than originally expected for studying the pollution problem, he said.
The DWP also is seeking funds for operation of the aeration tower. When the original application was filed with the EPA, DWP officials were unaware that operating costs qualified for Superfund financing, Hegenbart said.
About a dozen wells in the North Hollywood area have been shut down because of unacceptable levels of trichloroethylene, or TCE, and perchloroethylene, or PCE. Both are suspected cancer-causing solvents. Water drawn from about a dozen other wells with lower pollution levels is being blended with clean supplies to reduce contamination to acceptable levels.
Water from Valley ground-water supplies is delivered to central, south and east Los Angeles.