Welcome to the NASA Groundwater Cleanup Program website for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) providing community members and interested parties with easy access to information about cleanup activities being conducted under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA). View the Project Backgrounder.
CLEANUP PROGRAM STATUS (April 2020): The three treatment systems associated with the JPL Groundwater Cleanup program (i.e., the Source Area Treatment System, the LAWC Treatment System, and the Monk Hill Treatment System) continue to operate in accordance with approved plans and permits.
NASA progress continued with cleanup operations at all three systems during 2019.
We are pleased to post this 2019 Project Year in Review
Milestone Achieved: JPL Groundwater Cleanup Plan Approved and Signed By NASA and the Regulatory AgenciesNASA and the regulatory agencies overseeing NASA’s groundwater cleanup project at JPL have approved and signed a final Record of Decision (ROD) for the cleanup. The parties agree that continuing the operation of the three groundwater treatment plants will reach the cleanup goals. NASA has prepared a fact sheet on the ROD, covering the investigations and remedial actions that led to its approval, as well as the significance of the ROD itself.
New NASA-Funded LAWC Drinking Water Well is Operational
A new and deeper drinking water well became fully operational in July for the Lincoln Avenue Water Company (LAWC). The new well, funded and constructed by NASA, enhances groundwater cleanup efforts and helps maintain effective containment of the leading edge of groundwater chemicals that originated from long-discontinued waste disposal practices at JPL. The well also serves as a modern, reliable backup for the LAWC, ensuring for its customers continued clean drinking water supplies for many decades. A fact sheet on the well was published in April 2014 as construction began.
Cleanup Director Slaten Honored by NASA for “exceptional leadership “and “innovative solutions.”
Groundwater Cleanup Project Director Steve Slaten has won a prestigious 2017 NASA Blue Marble Award, recognizing his “exceptional leadership” and “innovative solutions to successfully remediate NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) groundwater.” >> See full story below
Cleanup Director Slaten Honored by NASA for “Exceptional Leadership”
JPL Groundwater Cleanup Project Director Steve Slaten has won a prestigious 2017 NASA Blue Marble Award, recognizing his “exceptional leadership … in implementing NASA's mission and vision while understanding and protecting the home planet and improving the quality of life on Earth.” Slaten was cited for his “innovative solutions to successfully remediate NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) groundwater.” The groundwater beneath and in the vicinity of JPL was affected by chemicals associated with historic and long-discontinued waste disposal practices at JPL. NASA is committed to cleaning up the groundwater and has funded three groundwater treatment systems to do the job – at the JPL source area, at the farthest reaches of the affected area at wells operated in Altadena by the Lincoln Avenue Water Company, and at roughly the midpoint of the affected area on City of Pasadena-owned property adjacent to the Windsor Reservoir.
In honoring Slaten, NASA said that he “spearheaded a collaborative approach to remediate groundwater contamination in partnership with the local water purveyors. He recognized that implementing and operating offsite cleanup systems would necessitate intense cooperation with water purveyors and permitting agencies,” and “the value and importance of public outreach. … Slaten was successful in gaining regulatory agreement for completion of this important cleanup. At the same time, he implemented key initiatives to reduce water use and increase the use of renewable resources, including energy optimization through reduced pumping requirements, innovative contracting initiatives, recycling 95 percent of the waste generated during construction of Pasadena’s treatment plant, using native, drought-tolerant plant species to landscape the new treatment plant, and recycling plant wastewater. He also championed the installation of a 564-kilowatt PV [photovoltaic] system at the Windsor Reservoir facility adjacent to the Monk Hill Treatment System.” The facility generates sufficient energy to offset all of the annual electricity consumed at the Windsor Reservoir site.
Slaten received his award in early April at NASA’s 2017 Environmental Conference, held at Johnson Space Center in Houston. He credited the support of NASA management, local officials and regulators, his team of contractors, and NASA Manager for Community Involvement Merrilee Fellows for her role in community outreach.