Contact: Tony Bell, Communications Deputy
Office: (213) 974-5555 Cell: (213) 215-5176
October 6, 2009 For Immediate Release
ANTONOVICH CALLS FOR 100% CLEAN-UP OF MORRIS DAM
LOS ANGELES COUNTY – To protect public health and the environment, the Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a motion by Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich to work with the federal government to complete a 100% toxic clean-up effort for Morris Dam, a reservoir in the San Gabriel Mountains north of Azusa used as a Navy torpedo testing facility since World War II. The Navy’s current $6.5 million proposal still leaves at least 15 to 20 percent of some contamination.
“The missile testing resulted in substantial contamination of this reservoir including arsenic and perchlorate in soil and sediments,” said Antonovich. “It is vital that a plan is developed for a 100% cleanup of the site to protect public health and the environment.”
The site was used for the development of submarine-based warfare systems, including torpedoes, bombs, and submarine-launched missiles like the Polaris rocket, the first ballistic missile that could be launched from submerged submarines. Operations at the facility ceased in 1993, and since then, Navy and State regulatory officials have been working to determine the extent of chemical contamination in the soil and reservoir.
The motion directs the County’s Public Health Director, Forester and Fire Warden to meet with the California EPA’s Department of Toxic Substances Control and the U.S. Navy to review the clean-up progress and report back to the Board in 30 days on the status of the investigation.