EPA proposes cleanup for groundwater contamination at Puerto Rico superfund site

Sampling at the site showed that public water supply wells, soil, and groundwater are contaminated with volatile organic compounds.

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SAN GERMAN, PUERTO RICO, JULY 25, 2019 -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing a cleanup plan to address contaminated groundwater located in the surrounding areas of the Retiro Industrial Park in the San German Groundwater Contamination Superfund Site in San German, Puerto Rico. Sampling at the site showed that public water supply wells, soil, and groundwater are contaminated with volatile organic compounds. Under the proposal, EPA will apply non-hazardous additives to treat the groundwater and break down the contaminants, allowing the contaminants to naturally decline.

“EPA’s cleanup plan will comprehensively address the lingering groundwater contamination at this site to go along with our previous steps to protect people’s health,” said EPA Regional Administrator Pete Lopez. “This plan reflects EPA’s commitment to prioritize the Superfund program and ensure that these sites are cleaned up as quickly and safely as possible.”

EPA is proposing applying non-hazardous additives to treat the groundwater and break down the contaminants and allow them to breakdown naturally. The specific types of additives to be used will be determined by the EPA as part of the design of the cleanup. Throughout the cleanup, EPA will monitor, test and further study the groundwater to ensure the effectiveness of the remedy. The plan would also require restrictions on the use of groundwater in the area. EPA would conduct a review of the cleanup every 5 years to ensure its effectiveness. In addition, the EPA is assessing whether vapors from the groundwater and soil may have gotten into buildings on and near the site. EPA will install ventilation systems to eliminate vapors in buildings where needed. Under the proposed plan, the estimated cost of cleanup is $17.3 million.

The cleanup proposal is available at https://www.epa.gov/superfund/san-german-groundwater.

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