The Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board recently told Shell Oil Company to clean a Carson, California neighborhood that had been built atop a storage facility capable of holding over 100 million gallons of crude oil. The order came due to the high levels of carcinogenic chemicals found in the surrounding soil such as benzene, benzopyrene, and naphthalene.
The company is contemplating an appeal because, when they sold the land in 1965, the new owner inherited the responsibility to clean the area. The facility was maintained by Shell from the 1920s to the 1960s. Residents did not become aware of the facility until 2009, when the Department of Toxic Substances Control found the site in an unrelated investigation. Experts are concerned cleanup will be difficult because of the structures that now obscure the facility.
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