U. S. Rep. Esteban E. Torres (D-La Puente), who has been elected chairman of the House Small Business Committee's subcommittee on environment and labor, said one of his first steps will be to hold hearings on ground-water pollution in the San Gabriel Valley.
Torres said the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency has been "very slow" to deal with the contamination of water wells. He said he intends to summon agency officials to "explain to the subcommittee and the people of the San Gabriel Valley why the EPA has been dragging its feet when we have known about the contaminated ground water for almost 10 years."
Dozens of San Gabriel Valley wells have been closed since the end of 1979, when officials discovered that industrial chemicals had invaded ground water. Since then, the EPA has placed four large areas of the ground-water basin on its Superfund cleanup list, conducted extensive studies and undertaken water treatment projects in El Monte and the Whittier Narrows area, but has not yet produced a comprehensive cleanup program.