California Town Sues for $35 Million in Cleanup Funds

A California town has sued six parties for more than $35 million to get its blighted property cleaned up.

The lawsuit, filed Jan. 20, identifies six parties liable for the contamination and cleanup of a former manufacturing site in Emeryville ( Successor Agency to The Former Emeryville Redevelopment Agency v. Swagelok Co. , N.D. Cal., No. 4:17-cv-00308, 1/20/17 ).

The town’s attorneys have estimated the cost of cleanup to be between $35 million and $65 million. About $7.6 million in site investigation work already has been completed.

According to court documents, samples taken from the property show contamination via vapor intrusion, soil and groundwater. The detected pollutants include trichloroethylene, tetrachloroethylene, vinyl chloride and chloroform.

The hazardous chemicals are linked to the production of calculating machines on the property, including nickel-plating and enameling, and the production of valves for gas and fluid systems.

According to the plaintiff, the property is part of a blighted area of Emeryville and still actively contributes to environmental contamination.

The six responsible parties, the plaintiff alleges, are the successors of companies that initially contaminated the property. The parties are Hanson, Swagelok Co., Whitney Research Tool Co., the Catherine Lennon Lozick Trust and the trustees of a revocable trust agreement connected to Lozick.

A spokesperson for Swagelok said the company doesn't comment on legal matters.

Hanson didn't yet responded to a request for comment.

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