The settlement will provide money to build replacement wells, pipelines and a treatment plant to remove perchlorate from groundwater supplies. The clean-up funding will be in place for up to 30 years. More than $55 million could be provided over that period, although the final total will depend on inflation and improvements in treatment technology, officials said. The settlement is funded by the Whittaker Corp., Remediation Financial Inc., Santa Clarita LLC and their insures. The settlement requires that they make an immediate payment of $22.5 million. “We are pleased to bring this negotiation to an end on a cooperative and amicable basis,” said Eric Lardiere, vice president and general counsel of Whittaker Corp. “Whittaker has worked well with the CLWA and the water retailers over the last four years and intends to continue.” After pollutants from the Whittaker-Bermite site contaminated two wells that had to be shut down, the Castaic Lake Water Agency and other local water agencies sued in 1999. SANTA CLARITA – Water agencies have won a settlement that could bring them nearly $100 million to clean contamination from the Whittaker-Bermite site in Saugus, officials announced today. The settlement ends a lawsuit with the current and past owners of the former munitions plant and adds to a $10 million agreement secured in 2003. It does not specify a total dollar figure, but it does set a 30-year payment schedule. “We at the water agency are excited that we have finally accomplished a settlement almost seven years after the lawsuit was filed,” said Dan Masnada, general manager of the Castaic Lake Water Agency. “It’s been a long haul, but ultimately I think it will be worth it to the residents of the valley that won’t have to bear the cleanup costs.” The 996-acre Whittaker-Bermite site in the center of town is contaminated with high levels of perchlorate, a component in rocket fuel that has been linked to thyroid problems. The Castaic Lake Water Agency plans to pump and treat water from two of those wells. “We’re very dependent in Southern California on water that comes from the northern part of the state, and as much as we can get local groundwater the better off we’ll be,” said Bob Haueter, district director for Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, R-Santa Clarita. “And obviously this cleanup will aid us in being more self-sufficient.” [email protected] (661) 257-5253 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!
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