Aug 10, 2018

EPA Improves Groundwater Cleanup at Commercial Superfund Sites

EPA to hold public meeting on August 23, 2018

Groundwater cleanup plan revamped in U.S. Virgin Islands
Groundwater cleanup plan revamped in U.S. Virgin Islands

The U.S. EPA proposed a cleanup plan to modify current cleanup activities at the Tutu Wellfield Superfund Site on St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. Previous industrial and commercial activities at the site contaminated the soil and groundwater with chlorinated volatile organic compounds. EPA’s proposed action expands and enhances the groundwater cleanup system that is currently operating at the site.

The one and a half square-mile site is in the Anna’s Retreat section of St. Thomas. In response to past releases of hazardous substances from area businesses, EPA required each responsible party to address soil contamination on their respective properties and the groundwater contamination that emanated from their operations. EPA also conducted a soil cleanup at the Virgin Islands Department of Education Curriculum Center and constructed a system to pump and treat groundwater underneath the entire site, which began operation in 2004. The U.S. Virgin Islands’ government is currently running this system.

EPA’s proposed cleanup plan would add additional wells to pull out groundwater from more of the areas that are the source of contamination and make the system more effective. The cleanup proposal also includes reinjection of treated, clean groundwater to create an underground barrier downgradient of the source area. In addition, the proposal calls for long-term monitoring and restrictions on the use of groundwater in the vicinity of the site.