Monday, June 10, 2013

A Little History on the Lockheed Martin and Burbank Water Problems

Just want to shed light on this serious topic...

Lockheed Martin, Burbank-
Following is a case report from Dr. David Ozonoff supporting the plaintiffs (employees) filing suit against Lockheed Martin, Burbank for TCE exposure & illnesses as a result.  This report carefully outlines the scientific methods used to identify illnesses resulting from TCE exposure as well as listing several studies conducted on the subject. Arguments are discussed relating to the presence of biases and other issues in the majority of the studies that have been conducted to date (as of around the year 2000).

EPA Link to Hexavalent Chromium Superfund Clean-Up (Glendale & Surrounding Area):

Lockheed opened a plant in Burbank in the 1930s, and during WWII employed over 80,000 people in producing aircraft there. In 1943 Burbank became home to Lockheed's secret aerospace development facility, formerly codenamed the Skunk Works, which was located at Plant B-1, 2300 Empire Avenue, and covered over 100 acres adjacent to the Bob Hope/Burbank Airport. Lockheed-Martin moved out of Burbank in the early 1990s, but left behind a toxic legacy of its activities, including a plume of contaminated groundwater. The many chemicals improperly disposed of on site over the Skunk Works sixty-year Burbank tenure included solvents TCE and PCE, and hexavalent chromium, a known carcinogen.

The former Lockheed facility is considered a major polluter of the designated San Fernando Valley Superfund Site (Area 1), which defines a four-mile zone of contaminated groundwater. Groundwater monitoring from 1981 to 1987 revealed that approximately fifty percent of the water supply wells in over 5254 acres of the eastern portion of the San Fernando Valley were contaminated. In 1984 TCE and PCE groundwater contamination was discovered in water supply wells in Burbank. The area is part of the San Fernando Valley groundwater basin, an aquifer that had provided drinking water to over 800,000 local residents. Contamination sources at Lockheed included underground storage tanks, sumps, degreasers, and pipes. Exposure to groundwater contaminants can occur through ingesting drinking water, washing or bathing, and through inhalation of VOCs in vapors during showering.

In 1996, thousands of Burbank residents sued Lockheed after learning the company had paid out $66 million in secret settlements to 1,357 residents, and $30 million to workers for illness and loss of property value. In 2002, Lockheed Martin Corp. agreed to pay $1.25 million to settle all outstanding claims by residents who contend that they were sickened by decades of chemical contamination at the site. Besides civil lawsuits, Lockheed has had to pay more than $265 million since the late 1980s to clean up underground drinking water supplies, and they could spend as much as $100 million more in the next two decades.

BURBANK, CA (12/10/2000). Lockheed Martin Corp. will pay $5 million to settle a lawsuit by more than 300 Burbank residents who claimed they got sick from toxic chemicals released during decades of manufacturing, the Associated Press reports. Superior Court Judge Carl J. West gave final approval to the settlement on Friday, calling it "a reasonable and fair settlement."

LA Times Article: Lockheed Linked to Chromium 6 Pollution

Lockheed Martin, Glendale

U.S. EPA signs agreement with Lockheed Martin for chromium investigation in Glendale: Firm must investigate former Loral Librascope site

Release date: 05/19/2008
Contact Information: Francisco Arcaute, (213) 244-1815, cell (213) 798-1404,
LOS ANGELES – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today entered into an agreement with aerospace manufacturer Lockheed Martin to investigate the site of Loral Librascope, a former electronic weapons manufacturer in Glendale, Calif., for chromium contamination.

Loral Librascope, which produced electronic weapons and combat systems between 1949 and the 1990s, is bordered by Sonora Avenue and Flower Street.  The company, acquired by Lockheed by merger in 1996, joined a 2000 consent decree to implement the EPA’s cleanup of solvent-contaminated groundwater in the Glendale Superfund site area. 
“The EPA is requiring Lockheed Martin to perform a subsurface contamination investigation at the former Loral Librascope site as part of our ongoing investigation of soil and groundwater chromium contamination in the Glendale area,” said Keith Takata, EPA’s Superfund Director for the Pacific Southwest region. “Cleaning up the contamination is essential to protecting the San Fernando Valley groundwater resources from further chromium contamination.”

The EPA has been active in groundwater cleanup efforts in the San Fernando Valley area since the early 1980s when solvent contamination was first discovered. Last year, the EPA launched a focused investigation on chromium groundwater contamination within the Glendale Superfund site area that will lead to cleanups at chromium sources impacting Glendale area groundwater.

Chromium is a metal found in natural deposits as ores containing other elements. The greatest use of chromium is in metal alloys such as stainless steel, protective coatings on metal, magnetic tapes, and pigments for paints, cement, paper, rubber, composition floor covering and other materials. Its soluble forms are used in wood preservatives.
For more information on chromium, please visit: or

Link to EPA's original document posted above:

Lockheed West Seattle Seattle Washington NPL

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Burbank Water, Lockheed and Disney

Erin Brockovich Website

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