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Bill expanding protection of Stringfellow Acid Pits in Jurupa Valley signed by Newsom

New law further limits what can be brought to the site; follows 2022 transfer of lead-laced soil

Source: Press-Enterprise

As excerpted from the Press-Enterprise: A new law will further limit which materials can be stored at the notorious Stringfellow Acid Pits in Jurupa Valley.

Assembly Bill 777 was introduced by Assemblymember Sabrina Cervantes, D-Riverside, in March, and was signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom on Friday, Sept. 8.

The Stringfellow Acid Pits are a Superfund cleanup site in Pyrite Canyon, north of the 60 Freeway. The site was formerly home to a hazardous waste facility, at which improper disposal practices polluted the groundwater, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Existing law prevented “hazardous substances” from other toxic waste sites from being treated, stored, transferred to or disposed of at Stringfellow, a news release from Cervantes’ office states. The new bill expands that law, prohibiting any kind of “sample or waste,” as defined by California code, from other toxic waste sites.

AB 777 also requires that the Department of Toxic Substances Control give notice to the city of Jurupa Valley and other agencies if any other material or substance from another site — other than those needed for the ongoing cleanup of Stringfellow — are brought there.

The bill was introduced after the transfer of lead-laced soil to Stringfellow from the Exide battery recycling plant in Los Angeles County was disclosed in June 2022. After pushback from Jurupa Valley officials and community members, the Department of Toxic Substances Control agreed to relocate the containers of soil, which was done in the following months.

In the release, Cervantes said Jurupa Valley’s residents were “justifiably outraged” by the transfer of soil. She called it “outrageous” that the state’s Department of Toxic Substances Control “would use our Inland Empire communities as a dumping ground for toxic substances from other parts of the state.”