EPA Proposes Cleanup Plan for Puerto Rico Superfund Site
Proposed plan will address contaminated soil and groundwater
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed a plan to clean up contaminated soil and ground water at the Cidra groundwater contamination site in Cidra, Puerto Rico. The site includes portions of the commercial district and an industrial park in Cidra. The EPA’s plan calls for a combination of cleanup technologies within distinct areas of the site, specifically a dry cleaner business and a vacant property owned by Ramallo Brothers Printing Inc., to protect people’s health and the environment.
Groundwater at the site is contaminated with harmful volatile organic compounds, which are often found in paint, solvents, aerosol sprays, cleaners, disinfectants, automotive products, dry cleaning fluids and printing operations. Some volatile organic compounds can cause cancer. The extent and nature of potential health effects depend on many factors, including the level and length of exposure to the pollution.
Four public drinking water supply wells at the site had to be taken out of service because they were contaminated. There are 15 active drinking water wells located within four miles of the site, serving a total population of more than 8,000 people. Area residents are currently connected to safe sources of drinking water from other municipal water supplies in the area.
The EPA held a public meeting Dec. 4, 2013 to explain the proposed plan and encouragedpublic comments. Comments will be accepted until Dec. 20, 2013.
The EPA added the Cidra site to the Superfund list in 2004. The EPA conducted an in-depth investigation of the extent of the contamination in order to determine how best to clean it up over the long term.
The proposed cleanup plan mainly consists of three sections:
- International Dry Cleaners area
- Ramallo Brothers Printing Inc. soil area
- Ramallo Brothers Printing, Inc. ground water area
In addition, the EPA is proposing to place restrictions on how the land may be used in order to limit people’s exposure to contaminated ground water and soil.
During soil and groundwater cleanup activities, monitoring, testing and further studies will be conducted to ensure the effectiveness of the cleanup. The EPA will conduct a review every five years to ensure the effectiveness of the cleanup.
Written comments may be mailed or emailed to:
Adalberto Bosque, Ph.D.
Remedial Project Manager
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
City View Plaza II Suite 7000
#48 PR-165 Km. 1.2
Guaynabo, PR 00968-8069
Telephone: (787) 977-5825