TRW Inc.

Last updated

TRW Inc.
Industry Automotive and aerospace
Successor TRW Automotive, Northrop Grumman and Goodrich Corporation
Headquarters Euclid, Ohio / Lyndhurst, Ohio, United States
Key people
Simon Ramo, Dean Wooldridge
Products Automotive, aerospace and credit reporting
Number of employees
122,258 [1]
Subsidiaries CAV, Girling, LucasVarity Automotive and Lucas Aerospace

TRW Inc., was an American corporation involved in a variety of businesses, mainly aerospace, electronics, automotive, and credit reporting. [2] It was a pioneer in multiple fields including electronic components, integrated circuits, computers, software and systems engineering. TRW built many spacecraft, including Pioneer 1, Pioneer 10, and several space-based observatories. It was #57 on the 1986 Fortune 500 list, [3] and had 122,258 employees. [1] The company was called Thompson Ramo Wooldridge Inc., after the 1958 merger of the Ramo-Wooldridge Corporation and Thompson Products. This was later shortened to TRW.


The company was founded in 1901 and lasted for just over a century until being acquired by Northrop Grumman in 2002. It spawned a variety of corporations, including Pacific Semiconductors, The Aerospace Corporation, Bunker-Ramo and Experian. Its automotive businesses were sold off by Northrop Grumman as TRW Automotive, which is now part of ZF Friedrichshafen. TRW veterans were instrumental in the founding of corporations like SpaceX. [4] [5]

In 1953, the company was recruited to lead the development of the United States' first ICBM. [6] [7] Starting with the initial design by Convair, the multi-corporate team launched Atlas in 1957. [8] It flew its full range in 1958 and was then adapted to fly the Mercury astronauts into orbit. [8] TRW also led development of the Titan missile, [6] which was later adapted to fly the Gemini missions. The company served the U.S. Air Force as systems engineers on all subsequent ICBM development efforts [9] but TRW never produced any missile hardware because of the conflict of interest. [10] In 1960, Congress spurred the formation of the non-profit Aerospace Corporation to provide systems engineering support to the U.S. government [6] but TRW continued to guide the ICBM efforts.


TRW originated in 1901 with the Cleveland Cap Screw Company, founded by David Kurtz and four other Cleveland residents. [11] Their initial products were bolts with heads electrically welded to the shafts. In 1904, a welder named Charles E. Thompson adapted their process to making automobile engine valves [11] and by 1915, the company was the largest valve producer in the United States. [12] Charles Thompson was named general manager of the company, which became Thompson Products in 1926. [13] Their experimental hollow sodium-cooled valves aided Charles Lindbergh's solo flight across the Atlantic. [12]

In 1937, Thompson Motor Products bought J.A. Drake and Sons (JADSON).[ citation needed ] The company made high-performance valves that were used in many racing engines of the day, including the Miller Offy.[ citation needed ] Dale Drake (son of J.A. Drake) bought the Offy engine design with his partner Louis Meyer in 1946 and won the Indianapolis 500 twenty-seven times, more than any other engine design.

During the period leading up to World War II, through the end of the Korean war, Thompson Products was a key manufacturer of component parts for aircraft engines, including cylinder valves. The TAPCO plant, owned by the U.S. government but operated by Thompson Products, extended for almost a mile along Cleveland's Euclid Avenue. It employed over 16,000 workers at the peak of WW II production. As jet aircraft replaced piston-engined aircraft, Thompson Products became a major manufacturer of turbine blades for jet engines.

In 1950, Simon Ramo and Dean Wooldridge while working for Hughes Aircraft, led the development of the Falcon radar-guided missile, among other projects. They grew frustrated with Howard Hughes' management, and formed the Ramo-Wooldridge Corporation in September 1953, [13] with the financial support of Thompson Products. [2] The detonation of a thermonuclear bomb by the Soviet Union spurred Trevor Gardner to form the Teapot Committee in October 1953. Chaired by John von Neumann, its purpose was to study the development of ballistic missiles, including ICBMs. Ramo and Wooldridge were committee members, and Ramo-Wooldridge Corp. became the lead contractor of the resulting ICBM development effort, reporting to the United States Air Force.

With continued backing from Thompson Products, Ramo-Wooldridge diversified into computers and electronic components, founding Pacific Semiconductors in 1954. [14] [15] They also produced scientific spacecraft such as Pioneer 1. Thompson Products and Ramo-Wooldridge merged in October 1958 to form Thompson Ramo Wooldridge Inc., unofficially known as "TRW". [13] In February 1959, Jimmy Doolittle became chairman of the board of Space Technology Laboratories (STL), the division which continued to support the Air Force ICBM efforts. [13]

Other aerospace companies believed TRW's Air Force advisory role granted it unfair access to their technologies [14] and in September 1959, Congress issued a report recommending that STL be converted to a non-profit organization. With nearly half of STL's employees, [13] The Aerospace Corporation was formed in June 1960. It headed the Atlas conversion for Mercury, Titan conversion for Gemini, and provided ongoing systems engineering support for the government. The Air Force continued its ICBM work with TRW. [2]

Dean Wooldridge retired in January 1962 [13] to become a professor at California Institute of Technology (Caltech). [2] Simon Ramo became president of the Bunker-Ramo Corporation in January 1964, jointly owned by TRW and Martin Marietta for the production of computers and monitors. Thompson Ramo Wooldridge officially became TRW Inc. in July 1965. [13] Free of anti-competitive restrictions short of ICBM hardware, STL was renamed TRW Systems Group that same month. [13] In 1968, the company entered the credit reporting industry by purchasing Credit Data Corporation and renaming it TRW Information Systems and Services Inc. The Credit Data group was formed in 1970 [13] to compete with Dun & Bradstreet, [2] from the combination of TRWISS and ESL Incorporated [13] to specialize in technical strategic reconnaissance. TRW Information Systems and Services Division (Credit Data) was spun off in 1996 to form Experian. [16] TRW acquired LucasVarity in 1999, then selling Lucas Diesel Systems to Delphi Automotive and Lucas Aerospace (then called TRW Aeronautical Systems) to Goodrich Corporation. [17]

The company was 57th [3] on the Fortune 500 list of highest revenue American companies in 1986 and had 122,258 employees in 2000. [1] It operated in 25 countries. [2]

On 3 February 1986, the TRW plant in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, burned to the ground in an eight-alarm fire. [18] The damage was estimated to be greater than US$10 million and was the most serious fire to date in the area.

In February 2002, Northrop Grumman launched a US$5.9 billion hostile bid for TRW. Northrop Grumman, BAE Systems, and General Dynamics contended for the company with Northrop's increased bid of US$7.8 billion ultimately being accepted on July 1, 2002. Soon afterward, the automotive assets of LucasVarity and TRW's own automotive group were sold to The Blackstone Group as TRW Automotive. [19]

A portion of TRW's Lyndhurst campus was developed as Legacy Village. The headquarters building became home to the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute. [20] Demolition of the TRW headquarters building began in October of 2023 and is currently underway. [21] [22]

Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft, says that he got "his first big break" at age fifteen, debugging energy-grid control software for TRW. "It was kind of scary", Gates said, realizing the things the program was going to help operate. "This thing needs to work". [23]


A satellite reflector being developed by TRW near Cleveland, Ohio (1968) Satellite reflector - 1968.jpg
A satellite reflector being developed by TRW near Cleveland, Ohio (1968)

TRW Inc. was active in the development of missile systems and spacecraft, notably, the early development of the U.S. ICBM program under the leadership of the Teapot Committee led by John von Neumann. TRW pioneered systems engineering, creating the ubiquitous N2 chart and the modern functional flow block diagram. It served as the primary source of systems engineering for the United States Air Force ballistic missile programs. [24]

Space exploration

Space Technology Laboratories (STL), then a division of Ramo-Wooldridge Corp., designed and produced the identical payloads for Pioneer 0, Pioneer 1 and Pioneer 2. These were intended to orbit and photograph the Moon, but launch vehicle problems prevented this. NASA launched Pioneer 1 as its first spacecraft on 11 October 1958. [25] It set a distance record from Earth, and provided data on the extent of Earth's radiation belts.

Pioneer 10 and 11 were nearly identical spacecraft, designed and fabricated by TRW Systems Group. [26] They were optimized for ruggedness since they were the first man-made objects to pass through the asteroid belt and Jupiter's radiation belt. Simplicity, redundancy, and use of proven components were essential. [27] As NASA's first all-atomic powered spacecraft, [28] these used plutonium-238 units developed by Teledyne Isotopes. [29] Pioneer 10 carried eleven instruments and Pioneer 11 carried twelve for investigating Jupiter and Saturn, respectively. [30] Data was transmitted back to Earth at 8 watts, 128 bytes/s at Jupiter, [31] and 1 byte/s from further out. Pioneer 10 was the first man-made object to pass the planetary orbits and its last telemetry was received in 2002, thirty years after launch. [32]

TRW Systems Group designed and built the instrument package which performed the Martian biological experiments, [33] searching for life aboard the two Viking Landers launched in 1975. The 15.5 kg (34 lb) system performed four experiments on Martian soil using a gas chromatograph-mass spectrometer (GC-MS) and a combined biological instrument.

Space-based observatories

TRW designed and built the following space observatories:

The teams developing the following observatories continued their work as part of Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems:


TRW Systems Group designed and manufactured the Vela series of nuclear detection satellites which monitored the 1963 establishment of the nuclear Partial Test Ban Treaty. [35] Subsequently, they produced the Advanced Vela series, first launched in 1967, which could detect nuclear air bursts using instruments actually called bhangmeters. It had the first dual-spin attitude control system with the total system momentum controlled to zero. [36] The Vela and Advanced Vela satellites were the first to alert astronomers to the presence of gamma-ray bursts. They also reported a mysterious apparent nuclear test now called the Vela incident.

First launched in 1970, the company built all twenty-three reconnaissance satellites in the Defense Support Program (DSP), which are the principal components of the Satellite Early Warning System currently used by the United States. These are operated by the Air Force Space Command, and they detect missile or spacecraft launches and nuclear explosions using sensors that detect the infrared emissions from these intense sources of heat. During Desert Storm, for example, DSP satellites were able to detect the launches of Iraqi Scud missiles and provide timely warnings to civilians and military forces in Israel and Saudi Arabia. [37]

The initial seven Tracking and Data Relay Satellite System (TDRSS) were built by TRW to improve communication coverage for the Space Shuttle, International Space Station (ISS), and U.S. military satellites. When first launched in 1983, the TDRS satellites were the largest, most sophisticated communications satellites built at the time. [38] The seventh vehicle in the series was ordered as a replacement when TDRS-B was lost in the Challenger accident.

Launched in 2002, TRW produced the Aqua spacecraft based on their modular standardized satellite bus. [39] A joint project of the U.S. Global Change Research Program (NASA), Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), and National Institute for Space Research (INPE), Brazil, Aqua delivers 750 Gigabytes per day detailing the Earth's water cycle in the oceans, lakes, atmosphere, polar ice caps, and vegetation.

Rocket engines

TRW designed and built the descent engine or (LMDE) for the Apollo lunar lander. Due to the need for a soft landing on the Moon, it was the first throttleable engine for crewed space flight. This, and the requirements for high thrust, low weight, and crushability (in case of landing on a large rock), [15] earned surprising praise from NASA's history pages, considering the complexity of the lunar missions: "The lunar module descent engine probably was the biggest challenge and the most outstanding technical development of Apollo". [40] This engine was used on Apollo 13 to achieve free return trajectory and make a minor course correction after damage to the Service Module.

After the Apollo program Moon landings, the LMDE was further developed into the TRW TR-201 engine. This engine was used in the second stage Delta-P of the Delta launch vehicle for 77 launches between 1972–1988.


At the turn of 1964-65, the United States started the ambitious Bushmaster program to create small-caliber assault guns for arming promising infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) of the American Army. The result of this program was the creation of a whole series of automatic cannons with an external automatic drive in caliber from 25 to 40 mm, which received their own general name Bushmaster.

At the early stage of American research, TRW was one of the companies involved in the development of automatic guns of the Bushmaster program, where, under the leadership of engineer Eugene Stoner, the author of the famous M16 rifle, a 25 mm automatic cannon was developed under the internal designation TRW model 6425, an ordinary system with automatic gas venting and locking the barrel with a rotary bolt is enough. [41]

The TRW-6425 design was later bought from Oerlikon-Bührle, it was improved and manufactured as the Oerlikon KBA 25 mm. [42] [43]

Semiconductors and computers

The Ramo-Wooldridge Corp formed Pacific Semiconductors in June 1954, under the leadership of Harper North who had been head of electronics R+D at Hughes Aircraft Company. The funding for this endeavor from Thompson Products was about ten times their initial investment in Ramo-Wooldridge. [14] [15] The original goal was to produce the recently invented transistor for commercial sales.

In 1957, Howard Sachar and Sanford "Sandy" Barnes invented the Varicap electronic component (also known as the varactor diode) at Pacific Semiconductors. [44] This device reduced the physical size of radio tuners and eliminated the need for moving mechanical parts. This simplified the implementation of remote control TV tuners. Sachar and Barnes were awarded an Emmy in 2007. [45]

The company manufactured the RW-300 for sales in 1959, one of the first "all-transistor" computers [14] with a power supply that used vacuum tubes. The computer was targeted at industrial control applications, with 1024 analog inputs multiplexed to a 1.9K sample/s 10-bit analog-to-digital converter which was transparent to the programmer. It weighed about 600 lb (270 kg). [46] [47] The real-time operating system was written by John Neblett, and was the intellectual precursor of the RSX-11 operating system for the PDP-11. [48]

The TRW-130 computer was introduced in 1961, [49] [50] and designated the AN/UYK-1 by the U.S. Navy as part of its pre-GPS TRANSIT (NAVSAT) satellite-based location system. It used Doppler shifts to compute a location in about 15 minutes, and had rounded corners to allow installation in submarines.

The Transistor Transistor Logic (TTL) logic gate, which was the electronics industry standard for two decades, was invented by TRW's James L. Buie in 1961.

In 1965, engineers Don Nelson and Dick Pick at TRW developed the Generalized Information Retrieval Language and System, for use by the U.S. Army to control the inventory of Cheyenne helicopter parts. This developed into the Pick Database Management System which is still in use as of 2016. [51]

TRW LSI Products, Inc. was a wholly owned subsidiary formed to commercialize the integrated circuit technology the company had developed in support of its aerospace business. They produced some of the first commercially available digital signal processing ICs including the TDC1008 multiplier-accumulator. [52] They also made the first 8-bit flash ADC IC, the TDC1007, [53] resulting in an Emmy Award for analog/digital video conversion technology. [54] TRW also pioneered gallium arsenide (GaAs) chip applications for local multipoint distribution service (LMDS) systems, radios, and satellite communications. [55]


Bel Canto Stereophonic Recordings, a TRW subsidiary, was a record label active from the mid-1950s to the early 1960s.

In the media

Christopher John Boyce was a TRW employee convicted of selling security secrets to the Soviet Union via the Soviet embassy in Mexico City in the mid-1970s. Boyce and his accomplice, Andrew Daulton Lee, were the subjects of the best-selling 1979 Robert Lindsey book The Falcon and the Snowman , and the 1985 film of the same title.

Representatives from Space Technology Laboratories (STL) present their ICBM expertise to Don and Pete in Mad Men season 2 episode "The Jet Set". [56]

The Star Trek: The Original Series season 1 episode "Operation -- Annihilate!" (13 April 1967) was filmed on the then-TRW campus (now Northrop Grumman's Space Park) in Redondo Beach, California. The two sets of stairs shown are those leading to the cafeteria of Building S. [57] William Shatner had previously filmed at the TRW campus for the Outer Limits episode "Cold Hands, Warm Heart". In the episode, he plays an astronaut for "Project Vulcan". The 1967 sci-fi film Countdown, also filmed at the TRW Space Park.

The TRW building is supposedly one of the credit company buildings demolished in the 1999 film Fight Club . This is because at the time the book was written, TRW was in the business of credit reporting. However, there is no TRW building in Delaware, where the demolition purportedly happens. [58]

TRW equipment/boxes can be seen stored and being unloaded in the film Close Encounters of the Third Kind during scenes filmed at Devils Tower.


Superfund site

In the 1960s and 1970s, TRW stored trichloroethylene (TCE), a critical chemical for cooling and degreasing computer chips, in tanks deep underground in Sunnyvale, California for later use. [68] TCE is also found in household cleaners. [69] As a result of pipe and tank degradation, the tanks leaked into the ground, resulting in contaminated soil and groundwater. [70] TCE was later determined to be toxic to humans at high concentrations. In 2013, The Atlantic referred to the site as a "paved-over environmental disaster zone". [71]

In the 1980s, the US introduced the federal Superfund program to clean up the country's toxic waste sites. [72] The site TRW (now Northrop Grumman) is responsible for is called the 'TRW Microwavesite'. [73] [74] [75] The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) worked with TRW to treat the water with ultraviolet light and oxygenation and excavate the contaminated soil. [76] In 1994, a public health study determined that the groundwater was still unacceptably contaminated, which can cause vapor intrusion. [77] [78] The EPA says the site has institutional controls to protect people from contact with affected water. Drinking water in the area comes from Hetch Hetchy and municipal wells. [79]

In the 2000s, a bioremediation method developed by Stanford University using bacteria in molasses to naturally breakdown the TCE into harmless sub-compounds was implemented. [80] [81] Other measures included engineering vapor pathways to avoid direct human contact by releasing it into the air. [82] Jared Blumenfeld, the former EPA director, said that TCE released in the air after the cleanup efforts reduces the concentrations to levels that eliminate health risks. [83] Blumenfeld said that airborne TCE is not ideal, but the cleanup has reduced the toxins by 90% as of 2013, according to Max Shahbacian, the project's lead at California State Water Resources Control Board before it was transferred to the EPA, and geologist Michael Calhoun. [84] [85]

In 2014 and 2015, a newly required vapor intrusion test of the surrounding residential area, including homes, apartment buildings, and four schools, showed unacceptable levels of TCE. [86] [87] A 2011 study had revealed TCE caused birth defects and cancer by all pathways of exposure. [88] [89] [90] In 2014, the region's congressional representative Anna Eshoo expressed concerns that the EPA had not been properly monitoring the site and notififying residents of a possible health issue. [91] The EPA litigated with the responsible parties in order update its notification and testing measures to warn residents about possible exposure as early as possible and keeping people away from any unsafe areas. [92]

As of 2016, the site is owned by GI Partners, an investment company, and has been leased by Apple Inc. since 2015 for research and development as of 2021. [93] [94] [95] The octagonal glass building [71] was renovated in 2014 and made available for occupancy in 2015. The safety of the site was verified by the EPA. [96] In 2016, the Donald Trump administration cut funding the Superfund program by $330 million and EPA funding by more than 30%, resulting in a significant reduction in enforcement and testing. [97] [98] [99] During his presidency, the EPA increased its use of consent decrees, or administrative settlements, to ensure progress continued under the budget cuts, forcing responsible parties to pay for the cleanup. Scott Pruitt, Trump's head of the EPA threatened to cut budgets again for the enforcement. [100] [101] [102] In 2019, the EPA and Philips Semiconductors agreed to a consent decree, with Northrop Grumman as a signatory, to fund the remaining cleanup and monitoring of the site, along with two nearby sites collectively known as the "Triple Site". [103] [104]

In March 2021, Ashley Gjøvik, a former Apple program manager, publicized concerns that the site had not been properly tested since 2015 after receiving an email from Apple notififying employees of forthcoming vapor intrusion testing. [105] [106] An EPA study in 2019 had confirmed the previous remedies effective, but as of 2021 cracks in the floor were found to be exposing employees to TCE. [107] Gjøvik filed a whistleblower complaint with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration after she was terminated for leaking confidential information. She says the firing was retaliatory for reporting her concerns to the EPA. The claim is being investigated as of December 2021. [108] [109]

See also

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  68. Winegarner, Beth (15 June 2017). "Silicon Valley's Toxic Past Haunts Sunnyvale Neighborhood". KQED. Retrieved 10 February 2023. The Triple Site gets its name from the three chipmakers responsible for the contamination: Philips, Advanced Micro Devices and TRW Microwave. In the 1960s and '70s, these companies stored TCE in underground tanks for later use.
  69. "Trichloroethylene - Cancer-Causing Substances - NCI". 10 December 2018. Retrieved 10 February 2023. Trichloroethylene (TCE) is a volatile, colorless liquid organic chemical. TCE does not occur naturally and is created by chemical synthesis. It is used primarily to make refrigerants and other hydrofluorocarbons and as a degreasing solvent for metal equipment. TCE is also used in some household products, such as cleaning wipes, aerosol cleaning products, tool cleaners, paint removers, spray adhesives, and carpet cleaners and spot removers. Commercial dry cleaners also use trichloroethylene as a spot remover.
  70. Winegarner, Beth (15 June 2017). "Silicon Valley's Toxic Past Haunts Sunnyvale Neighborhood". KQED. Retrieved 10 February 2023. In the 1960s and '70s, these companies stored TCE in underground tanks for later use. But the tanks and pipelines sometimes ruptured, leaking TCE into the soil and groundwater.
  71. 1 2 Madrigal, Alexis C. (23 July 2013). "Not Even Silicon Valley Escapes History". The Atlantic. Retrieved 10 February 2023. The empty octagonal glass building is a TRW Microwave Superfund site. I'd been walking on a paved-over environmental disaster zone, colonized by whoever wanted to benefit from lower leasing prices and a lack of NIMBY opponents.
  72. Winegarner, Beth (15 June 2017). "Silicon Valley's Toxic Past Haunts Sunnyvale Neighborhood". KQED. Retrieved 10 February 2023. It wasn't until the 1980s, when the EPA launched its Superfund program to clean up the nation's most toxic sites, that these properties began to get attention. By then, the TCE had spread through groundwater a mile to the north, underneath hundreds of homes and apartments and all four schools.
  73. McGee, Patrick (3 September 2021). "US labour board examines retaliation claims against Apple". Financial Times . Retrieved 19 March 2022. Her office, known as "Stewart 1" within Apple, is located on what the Environmental Protection Agency refers to as the "TRW Microwave Superfund site", a location requiring special oversight owing to previous contamination by hazardous waste materials in the soil and groundwater beneath the building.
  74. McGee, Patrick (13 December 2021). "Apple faces probe over whether it retaliated against whistleblower". Financial Times. Retrieved 31 January 2023. Gjovik pointed to a potential conflict of interest regarding Apple board member Ronald Sugar, chair of the audit committee, as he was previously chief executive of Northrop Grumman, the defence company responsible for the dump — and maintenance — of waste materials beneath the Sunnyvale office.
  75. Nieves, Evelyn (26 March 2018). "The Superfund Sites of Silicon Valley". The New York Times. ISSN   0362-4331 . Retrieved 10 February 2023. On this site, of the former microwave and semiconductor manufacturing company TRW Microwave Inc., groundwater and soil had been contaminated with volatile organic compounds. Cleanup, operation and maintenance activities and monitoring are ongoing.
  76. Winegarner, Beth (15 June 2017). "Silicon Valley's Toxic Past Haunts Sunnyvale Neighborhood". KQED. Retrieved 10 February 2023. In the early 1980s, the EPA worked with the manufacturers to clean up the toxic plume by excavating soil and treating the water. One method decontaminates the water by exposing it to ultraviolet light; the other oxygenates the water, releasing the TCE into the air, where it disperses.
  77. California Department of Health Services (10 January 1994). "Public health assessment for TRW Microwave, Inc. (building 825), Sunnyvale, Santa Clara County, California, Region 9. Cerclis No. CAD009159088. Final report". Office of Scientific and Technical Information . OSTI   5176565. Various variable organic contaminants (VOCs) have been detected in on-site and off-site groundwater at levels of human health concern. The only completed human exposure pathway is from inhalation by off-site residents of volatile organic compounds migrating into homes from shallow groundwater. The pathway was originally proposed based on extrapolations from groundwater concentrations to soil-gas vapors and from soil-gas vapors to indoor air concentrations using mathematical models. Studies conducted by the California Department of Health Services indicate that the contaminated groundwater may contribute to the indoor air quality but not at a level of public health concern.
  78. US EPA, OLEM (23 September 2015). "What is Vapor Intrusion?". Retrieved 31 January 2023. This figure depicts the migration of vapors in soil gas from contaminated soil and groundwater into buildings.
  79. "TRW MICROWAVE, INC (BUILDING 825) Site Profile". Environmental Protection Agency . Retrieved 19 March 2022. However, institutional controls are in place to ensure that no one can ingest or come in direct contact with contaminated groundwater. Drinking water is not affected by the contamination. Drinking water in this area comes from the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir in the Sierra Nevada Mountains, and is regularly tested to ensure that it meets all applicable state and federal requirements. Municipal wells for the cities of Santa Clara and Mountain View tap a deep aquifer as a drinking water source that has not been affected by the contamination.
  80. Winegarner, Beth (15 June 2017). "Silicon Valley's Toxic Past Haunts Sunnyvale Neighborhood". KQED. Retrieved 10 February 2023. In the early 2000s, AMD and TRW switched to a method pioneered at Stanford University in which natural bacteria break down the TCE. The bacteria are fed molasses, lactose or vegetable oil to boost their population, creating enough microbes to transform TCE into harmless components, according to Michael Calhoun, a geologist with Haley & Aldrich Inc. and a consultant for AMD.
  81. Madrigal, Alexis C. (23 July 2013). "Not Even Silicon Valley Escapes History". The Atlantic. Retrieved 10 February 2023. Beginning in 2005 (around the time the company sold the site to the people who built Super Space Self Storage), AMD began to deploy in-situ bioremediation, after realizing that the efficiency of the groundwater pumping system was declining. In essence, molasses (literally, molasses) is pumped into the subsurface to feed colonies of microbes, who can degrade TCE into harmless compounds.
  82. "TRW MICROWAVE, INC (BUILDING 825) Site Profile". Environmental Protection Agency . Retrieved 19 March 2022. A passive subslab ventilation system was installed as a precautionary measure in 2014 to address vapor intrusion issues.
  83. Winegarner, Beth (15 June 2017). "Silicon Valley's Toxic Past Haunts Sunnyvale Neighborhood". KQED. Retrieved 10 February 2023. Although it isn't ideal to make TCE airborne, it reduces concentrations enough that it isn't a health risk to people, Blumenfeld said.
  84. Madrigal, Alexis C. (23 July 2013). "Not Even Silicon Valley Escapes History". The Atlantic. Retrieved 10 February 2023. The California Regional Water Quality Control Board judged the bioremediation a success; it has managed to reduce TCE concentrations by 90 percent, though the process is on-going, according to the lead project manager with the Water Board, Max Shahbacian.
  85. Winegarner, Beth (15 June 2017). "Silicon Valley's Toxic Past Haunts Sunnyvale Neighborhood". KQED. Retrieved 10 February 2023. Bioremediation has been successful for TRW and AMD.
  86. Cameron, Dell (15 October 2021). "Apple Wanted Her Fired. It Settled On an Absurd Excuse". Gizmodo. Retrieved 10 February 2023. In 2014, the Environmental Protection Agency deemed the remedies sufficient. But a year later, air samples were taken at nearby homes and schools and revealed TCE vapors had again reached "unacceptable levels."
  87. Winegarner, Beth (15 June 2017). "Silicon Valley's Toxic Past Haunts Sunnyvale Neighborhood". KQED. Retrieved 10 February 2023. Since early 2015, the team has knocked on more than 500 doors—every property in the Triple Site zone—and tested every school building. About 225 households have allowed testing. The team has detected concerning levels of TCE vapor in 55 households and 37 school buildings, Morash said. Buildings at Rainbow Montessori, San Miguel Elementary and King's Academy all tested positive for TCE vapor; mitigation systems are in place in the schools now, and their air is monitored regularly.
  88. Cameron, Dell (15 October 2021). "Apple Wanted Her Fired. It Settled On an Absurd Excuse". Gizmodo. Retrieved 10 February 2023. Throughout the mid-twentieth century, TCE was widely administered to dental patients and women in childbirth, inhaled as a way to ease pain. Today, it's a known carcinogen associated with childhood leukemia and low birth weight, and other birth defects.
  89. Winegarner, Beth (15 June 2017). "Silicon Valley's Toxic Past Haunts Sunnyvale Neighborhood". KQED. Retrieved 10 February 2023. When TCE is present in groundwater, it can turn to vapor, seeping through cracks in building frames and into homes and classrooms. Short-term exposure can cause slowed breathing, light-headedness and headaches; over the longer term, TCE exposure causes cancer, particularly kidney cancer and non-Hodgkin lymphoma. And in 2011, a study appeared to show that fetuses exposed to TCE in the first trimester have a higher risk of heart defects at birth. Socioeconomic differences could have influenced the results, though researchers tried to account for that.
  90. Nieves, Evelyn (26 March 2018). "The Superfund Sites of Silicon Valley". The New York Times. ISSN   0362-4331 . Retrieved 10 February 2023. From a story in The Palo Alto Weekly, Ms. Armstrong learned that the Environmental Protection Agency had officially declared trichloroethylene (TCE), a solvent commonly found in degreasing agents, spot cleaners and old Silicon Valley semiconductor plants, a carcinogen. The compound is linked to heart malformations in exposed fetuses and wreaks havoc on the liver, kidneys and brain.
  91. Hepler, Lauren (1 April 2014). "Toxic Silicon Valley sites connected to HP, Intel spur new federal inquiry". Retrieved 10 February 2023. In addition to Intel and Fairchild Semiconductor — which CIR said used toxic solvents to produce early computer chips — other companies associated with the region's EPA-designated Superfund sites include: Hewlett-Packard Corp., Intel Corp., Applied Materials Inc, CTS Printex Inc, Jasco Chemical Corp, Raytheon Co, Westinghouse Electric Corp, Advanced Micro Devices Inc, TRW Microwave Inc, National Semiconductor Corp, Monolithic Memories Inc, Synertek Inc, Lorentz Barrel & Drum Co and Intersil Inc./Siemens Components. "What I'm concerned about is that the Environmental Protection Agency is failing to properly monitor and regulate the emissions associated with remediating the toxic pollutants recovered from Superfund sites," Eshoo wrote in a March 28 letter to the EPA. "Of particular concern are the emissions of dioxin, which is on the EPA's 'Dirty Dozen' list of dangerous chemicals and is a known carcinogen."
  92. Winegarner, Beth (15 June 2017). "Silicon Valley's Toxic Past Haunts Sunnyvale Neighborhood". KQED. Retrieved 10 February 2023. After the 2011 study revealed the risk for birth defects from TCE, the EPA worked to update its process of notifying people about contamination. Previously, the agency tested buildings in Superfund zones quarterly, and then notified occupants of the results four to five months later, said former regional director Blumenfeld. But the risk to fetuses is highest in the first trimester, meaning pregnant women needed the information much sooner. Getting the agency to change was an uphill battle. Chipmakers hired lawyers to fight back. EPA headquarters in Washington D.C. told Blumenfeld to hold off because it was working on new national guidelines, but they never materialized, he said. Blumenfeld eventually won. Under the new notification requirements adopted in 2014, the EPA is required to test air quality inside buildings vulnerable to TCE vapor, install mitigation measures "quickly" and retest to make sure they're working. When exposures reach a certain level, those mitigations must happen immediately, and residents aren't allowed back in until it's safe.
  93. Donato-Weinstein, Nathan (9 July 2015). "Exclusive: Apple signs major lease in north San Jose, marking first significant entry into city". Business Journal . Retrieved 19 March 2022. It's not the "Spaceship." But San Jose is landing a big chunk of Apple Inc.'s real estate requirement in the city's highest-profile tech pickup in years. The Cupertino-based Mac maker has reached an agreement to lease the nearly 300,000-square-foot 101 Tech campus at 2325 Orchard Parkway, multiple industry sources told me this week.
  94. Cameron, Dell (15 October 2021). "Apple Wanted Her Fired. It Settled On an Absurd Excuse". Gizmodo. Retrieved 10 February 2023. The ground beneath Gjøvik's office—known internally as Stewart 1—was excavated in the mid-1980s and backfilled with gravel and concrete, one of several efforts to mitigate the contamination.
  95. Donato-Weinstein, Nathan (3 June 2016). "Apple leases lead to big paydays for value-add real estate investors". Retrieved 10 February 2023. Also last month, Hines and Oaktree Capital Management sold 825 Stewart Drive, a 75,350-square-foot office building in Sunnyvale. They paid $12 million for the asset in May of 2014. Its sale price two years later? About $34.73 million, a 189-percent increase, after selling to Menlo Park-based GI Partners May 20 on behalf of the California State Teachers' Retirement System.
  96. "TRW MICROWAVE, INC (BUILDING 825) Site Profile". Retrieved 10 February 2023. A new owner purchased the property in 2014 and has redeveloped it as commercial office space for occupancy in late 2015... Indoor air sampling conducted in 2015 confirmed that concentrations meet EPA's requirements for protection of human health under a commercial-use scenario and that the building is acceptable for occupancy.
  97. Winegarner, Beth (15 June 2017). "Silicon Valley's Toxic Past Haunts Sunnyvale Neighborhood". KQED. Retrieved 10 February 2023. President Donald Trump's proposed budget includes a 31.4 percent cut to the EPA, including $330 million in cuts to the Superfund program.
  98. Meyer, Robinson (24 May 2017). "Trump Wants to Give the EPA Its Smallest Budget in 40 Years". The Atlantic. Retrieved 10 February 2023. Superfund, the EPA program that cleans up toxic-chemical spill sites that have become public-health hazards, will have its budget cut by 25 percent. Such a cut will halt many cleanups.
  99. Lipton, Eric; Ivory, Danielle (10 December 2017). "Under Trump, E.P.A. Has Slowed Actions Against Polluters, and Put Limits on Enforcement Officers". The New York Times. ISSN   0362-4331 . Retrieved 10 February 2023. The documents, which were reviewed by The Times, indicate that E.P.A. enforcement officers across the country no longer have the authority to order certain air and water pollution tests, known as requests for information, without receiving permission from Washington. The tests are essential to building a case against polluters, the equivalent of the radar gun for state highway troopers.
  100. "Superfund and Natural Resource Damages Litigation Committee Newsletter" (PDF). Retrieved 10 February 2023. Given EPA's focus on accelerating site activities and completing site cleanups, PRPs are under increased pressure to quickly assess their potential CERCLA liabilities, achieve reasonable agreements for performing necessary work where warranted, and perform required investigation and cleanup activities. At the same time, due to the courts' increasing application of a short three-year statute of limitations to all CERCLA contribution actions, PRPs might have only a limited three-year time frame following the execution of an ASAOC or consent decree, or the issuance of a UAO, to commence CERCLA claims against other PRPs. As a result, parties that enter into judicial or administrative settlements with EPA or are subject to UAOs may wish to adopt a creative "two-track" strategy for managing their site investigation and/ or cleanup responsibilities, while concurrently and expeditiously pursuing their CERCLA contribution rights (to the extent available) against other PRPs to avoid a possible statutory time bar. Such a strategy should seek to take advantage of EPA's apparent willingness to "streamline" the cleanup process—consistent with certain Task Force recommendations—while still satisfying legal obligations to the government.
  101. Irfan, Umair (29 January 2018). "Scott Pruitt is slowly strangling the EPA". Vox. Retrieved 10 February 2023. "The problem at EPA right now is there is a chilling effect on enforcement," Jeff Ruch, executive director of Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, told E&E News. Even programs Pruitt ostensibly liked are suffering under his leadership, like the cleanup of highly contaminated Superfund sites. In an interview with CBS, Pruitt said he's aiming to take 27 to 30 sites fully or partially off the list this year. He's also threatened to cut agency funds for pursuing polluters to make them pay for cleaning up these locations.
  102. Rosin, Bob (1985). "EPA Settlements of Administrative Litigation". Ecology Law Quarterly. 12 (2): 363–398. ISSN   0046-1121. JSTOR   24112799. Observers have criticized federal administrative decision-making as unwieldy, prone to delay, and costly. Recent proposals for relieving these problems include greater procedural informality, decreased judicial scrutiny of agency decisions, negotiation as an alternative to current rule-making practices, and deregulation. This comment explores the use of settlements of administrative litigation as an additional means for easing these difficulties.
  103. "U.S. EPA reaches settlements to study and mitigate indoor air and groundwater contamination in Sunnyvale, California | Regional Associations Information Network". Retrieved 10 February 2023. The second settlement adds Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) and Northrop Grumman Systems Corporation (Northrop) as signatory parties—with Philips as the party performing the work— to assess vapor intrusion and implement mitigation measures in residential buildings adjacent to the Signetics site that are located over the groundwater contamination.
  104. Winegarner, Beth (15 June 2017). "Silicon Valley's Toxic Past Haunts Sunnyvale Neighborhood". KQED. Retrieved 10 February 2023. Philips is bankrolling cleanup costs at the Triple Site, but other elements of the process could be in trouble, Blumenfeld said, including enforcement.
  105. McGee, Patrick (13 December 2021). "Apple faces probe over whether it retaliated against whistleblower". Financial Times. Retrieved 31 January 2023. Gjovik's original complaints stemmed from mid-March, when she cited "chemical exposure" concerns at her Apple office in Sunnyvale, California. The facility is located on a Superfund site, requiring special oversight owing to previous contamination by hazardous waste materials beneath the building. When Apple sent an email about wanting to test the site for "vapour intrusion", Gjovik's questions about it were rebuffed by Apple's employee relations department. "They intimidated me not to speak about my safety concerns," Gjovik alleged.
  106. Cameron, Dell (14 October 2021). "Apple Wanted Her Fired. It Settled On an Absurd Excuse". Gizmodo . Archived from the original on 15 October 2021. Retrieved 30 December 2021. Gjøvik, 35, had become persona non grata at Apple soon after raising concerns internally this spring about the vaporous toxins long known to have tainted the soil beneath her Sunnyvale office... Apple, which has its own history of poorly handling toxic waste in Sunnyvale, did not conduct adequate testing, according to Gjøvik, whose concerns about the noxious compound grew after she recalled having once fainted at work for reasons she could not at the time explain. She wanted to know why Apple hadn't done more to keep employees abreast of the situation and asked to talk to a health and safety manager.
  107. Cameron, Dell (15 October 2021). "Apple Wanted Her Fired. It Settled On an Absurd Excuse". Gizmodo. Retrieved 31 January 2023. In 2019, a new EPA study stated the "vapor intrusion" issue had since been addressed but, it warned, a long-term fix still had to be assessed.
  108. Hamilton, Isobel Asher (14 December 2021). "OSHA is investigating Apple over its treatment of employees". Business Insider. Retrieved 20 April 2022. OSHA confirmed to Insider that it has opened a whistleblower investigation into Apple, but wouldn't confirm the identity of the whistleblower. Writing for Insider in September, Gjøvik said she was fired from Apple after filing labor complaints and publicly criticizing the company over issues including harassment. Gjøvik said she also raised concerns about potential toxic chemicals in the office building where she worked.
  109. Silberling, Amanda (31 January 2023). "Labor officials found that Apple execs infringed on workers' rights". TechCrunch. Retrieved 31 January 2023. Gjøvik was fired by Apple in September 2021 for leaking confidential information; she told TechCrunch that she thinks she was fired in retaliation after reporting to the EPA that her office was built on the triple site of toxic waste in Silicon Valley, where cracks in the floor exposed employees to carcinogenic fumes.