BALDWIN PARK — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ordered Aerojet General Corp. and 18 other companies to complete an up-to-$200-million cleanup of the contaminated San Gabriel Valley aquifer--the largest such order in California history, according to officials.
"They have to complete the design by the end of the year and complete construction by the end of next year," said Keith Takata, regional director of the EPA's Superfund division.
The move comes three weeks after talks between the defense giant, the federal agency and local water producers broke down and dashed hopes that relief for the 16-year-old Superfund site in Baldwin Park was finally in sight.
Aerojet reportedly offered $48 million for water producers to build their own plants to treat the water for organic solvents and byproducts of rocket fuel. But that number fell far short of the projected $150-million to $200-million cleanup costs.