On October 25, 2017, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will host a public meeting at 7:00 p.m. at Grace Vargas Senior Center in Rialto, California.

  • What is the meeting about?
  • The meeting relates to the federal litigation initiated by Rialto more than ten years ago to force responsible parties to clean up and remediate contaminated groundwater. Specifically, the purpose of the October 25 meeting is to obtain public comments regarding a proposed consent decree that would resolve liability for the owner (Wong Estate) of 62 acres of property in Rialto, California, which was used by fireworks companies for decades.  In exchange for resolution of liability, the Wong Estate agrees to pay approximately $6,000,000.
  • Who benefits under the Proposed Consent Decree?
  • Residents of Rialto do not benefit. Even though the Proposed Consent Decree involves the owner of 62 acres of property in Rialto, California, none of the approximately $6,000,000 is earmarked for the City of Rialto or its citizens.  Instead, the Proposed Consent Decree calls for equal distribution of the approximately $6,000,000 between the United States and Goodrich Corporation, two of the parties that the City sued as potentially responsible parties for the contamination.
  • How come the Proposed Consent Decree Excludes Rialto?
  • The parties who negotiated the consent decree – the Wong Estate, the U.S., and Goodrich –excluded Rialto from the negotiation process, and have not provided any information concerning the negotiation process.
  • Can I review a copy of the Proposed Consent Decree?
  • Yes, a copy of the Proposed Consent Decree is available here.
  • What can I do?
  • Come to the October 25 meeting and speak up. Then, follow up after the meeting with letters to your elected representatives at the state and federal level to let them know that the residents of Rialto, who were most affected by the contamination and whose water fees were raised to fight the polluters, should be included in any settlement.

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