Arizona Department of Environmental Quality v. Very Large Semiconductor Company (VLSC), et al


A Very Large Semi-Conductor Company (VLSC) was sued under CERCLA for causing groundwater pollution in the Southwest quadrant of Phoenix, Arizona. Nic Smith was brought in on behalf of VLSC and his team was able to locate 250 additional PRPs (Potentially Responsible Parties) to share in the clean-up costs.

The Story:

Our team of investigators initially used old Polk City Directories, the Phoenix Historical Society, tax assessor records and old newspaper files to find out what other types of businesses had been in the area where the contamination was found.

We also reviewed the local fire departments' dispatch logs to develop information on structural fires in the affected area, looking for specific businesses that would have utilized TCE, which was the primary contaminant.

We then located those business owners, asked to see their business records and conducted interviews with them to find out their business practices.

We also contacted local businesses that did business with the companies in the targeted area. If, for example, a paint store was located in the area, we would speak to local paint wholesalers who might have dealt with the company to see their business records and verify the types and quantities of potentially toxic solvents ordered by the business in question.

By the end of the investigation, we had identified 250 additional parties that would share the clean up costs with VLSC, the most significant being the Papago Air National Guard facility where TCE was used in large volume in the maintenance and care of large aircraft.

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