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FOCUS GROUP has extensive experience in addressing hazardous waste sites with emerging and unregulated contaminants such as perchlorate. In addition, Dr. Santos assisted a state government agency in the rollout of its drinking water and hazardous waste cleanup standards for perchlorate, making it one of the first states in the nation to issue such standards.

NASA JET PROPULSION LABORATORY
La Caňada Flintridge (Pasadena), CA
January 2003 - Present

The Challenge

The Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), operated for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) by the California Institute of Technology (CalTech), is situated on 176 acres of land in La Caňada Flintridge, adjacent to Pasadena, CA.  During the 1940s and 1950s, when the site was operated by the US Army, chemical wastes, including volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and perchlorate, were disposed of in seepage pits on the JPL property, a common and accepted method of waste disposal at the time.  Those chemicals eventually reached the groundwater table hundreds of feet below the surface and eventually migrated toward drinking water wells owned by the City of Pasadena and the Lincoln Avenue Water Company in neighboring Altadena.  JPL and the surrounding area were eventually placed on the National Priorities List (NPL) under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability (CERCLA) Act, and NASA subsequently assumed responsibility as the lead agency in the soil and groundwater cleanup effort.

In 1993, FOCUS GROUP (under contract to CalTech) developed a Community Involvement Plan to address investigation and cleanup of volatile organic chemical in soils and groundwater.  The discovery of perchlorate in groundwater resulted in NASA again contracting FOCUS GROUP, as a subcontractor to BEM Systems, Inc. (and subsequently Battelle Memorial Institute) to support NASA in developing and implementing a long-term comprehensive public outreach program to accompany the comprehensive CERCLA cleanup process.

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