EPA Reaches Settlements to Study Indoor Air and Groundwater Contamination in Sunnyvale - NBC Bay Area
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EPA Reaches Settlements to Study Indoor Air and Groundwater Contamination in Sunnyvale

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    EPA Reaches Settlements to Study Indoor Air and Groundwater Contamination in Sunnyvale
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    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) logo is displayed on a door at its headquarters on March 16, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

    Seven years after NBC Bay Area's Investigative Unit uncovered how pervasive and fast that plume of toxic chemicals under Moffett Field was growing, the Environmental Protection Agency announced two companies will help pay to clean it up.

    Some residents and a Google work space had to have special remedies to reduce the amount of toxic trichloroethylene, or TCE, in the air inside buildings around Moffet.

    TCE was used early in Silicon Valley's history in the 1970s and 1980s as a solvent for etching silicon chips and was dumped into the environment where it still lingers to this day.

    The Investigative Unit's reporting prompted California's Cancer Registry to conduct its own investigation, which found a higher than expected rate of certain cancers among residents in the area.

    Federal EPA officials announced Monday that private companies, Phillips Semiconductors, Advanced Microdevices and Northrop Grumman Systems have agreed to spend some $4 million studying and helping to clean up the contamination.

    View the Investigative Unit's previous coverage below:

     

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