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Whittaker-Bermite soil treatment to step up in the spring

Permits sought for extra electricity to operate equipment

Posted: December 10, 2012 6:38 p.m.
Updated: December 10, 2012 6:38 p.m.

Cleanup of the Whittaker-Bermite property is expected to move into high gear this spring with soil, air and water treatment systems requiring increased power from Southern California Edison.

Construction of the new equipment is slated to be ready by late spring, according to officials with California Department of Toxic Substances Control, who are overseeing the cleanup.

“Whittaker’s contractors are in the process of constructing soil vapor extraction and groundwater treatment systems,” department spokeswoman Charlotte Fadipe said Monday.

Whittaker Corporation is responsible for cleaning about 1,000 acres of land in the heart of the Santa Clarita Valley.

The site south of Soledad Canyon Road near the Saugus Speedway was contaminated after decades of munitions manufacturing and testing there.

“They are acquiring permits for operation of these (latest cleanup) systems and are working with the city of Santa Clarita to get soil excavation permits,” Fadipe said.

Whittaker cleanup staff are working with Southern California Edison to get additional power on the site, which is needed to operate the new cleanup equipment.

“There is currently no power on some portions of the site,” Fadipe said.

Power posts and power lines were removed from the site in the 1980s, she said.

“So now that we know where the contamination is, the (soil vapor extraction) systems need to operate, and this requires power,” she added.

Whittaker-Bermite was the site of a munitions plant operated from the 1930s through 1987, and the soil is polluted with perchlorate and other contaminants. The 996 acres are sometimes called Santa Clarita’s “doughnut hole” because of their strategic central location within the city.




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