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Schiff Backs Glendale in Chromium 6 Fight

Environment: Congressman supports postponing use of water treatment plant over contamination standards.

February 03, 2001|ANDREW BLANKSTEIN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

GLENDALE — Siding with Glendale officials in their fight with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) said Friday he supports the city's call for a four-year delay in using a $25 million water treatment plant because it doesn't remove chromium 6 contamination.

Glendale agreed in 1993 to accept water pumped from the San Fernando Valley aquifer, which is designated as a federal Superfund site, under a federal consent decree.

The water would meet state and federal standards after being treated at the plant, which was completed last year.

But Schiff said in a statement Friday that he sides with Glendale officials who last week called for postponing use of the plant until concerns over chromium 6 are dealt with.

"Absent a definitive standard and considering the public concern over chromium 6, I believe it is prudent and sensible to delay the use of the water treated at the Glendale Superfund treatment plant," Schiff said.

Glendale officials say their imported water currently has less than 1 part per billion of chromium 6. By contrast, well water from the Glendale treatment plant has measured as high as 17 ppb of chromium 6, according to city water officials.

Those levels meet current state standards, but a state agency has recommended that chromium 6 should not exceed 0.2 ppb for optimum safety. That recommendation is now under review by the state Department of Health Services.

Federal officials are scheduled to meet Feb. 8 in San Francisco with all parties in the dispute.

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