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Two Sites in Puerto Rico are Added to EPA’s Superfund National Priorities List

Release Date: 09/26/2006
Contact Information: Ben Barry, (212) 637-3651, barry.benjamin@epa.gov; Contacto en español: ----Elias Rodríguez, (212) 637-3664, Rodríguez.Elias@epa.gov

(San Juan, PR) The Maunabo Area Ground Water Contamination and the Pesticide Warehouse I sites in Puerto Rico are two of the most recent additions to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Superfund National Priorities List of the country’s most contaminated sites.

“By adding these sites to the National Priorities List, we can better ensure that residents are not exposed to potentially harmful concentrations of contaminants,” said Regional Administrator Alan J. Steinberg. “We will address the sources of contamination at the newly listed sites and make sure they no longer impact ground water or the areas surrounding them.”

The Maunabo Area Ground Water Contamination is located in the southeastern area of the island and consists of four wells supplying the Maunabo Urbano public water system that serve a total population of approximately 14,000 people. The ground water from which the wells draw contains the industrial solvents tetrachloroethylene (PCE), trichloroethylene (TCE), and cis-1,2-dichloroethylene (DCE The source of this contamination is not yet clear and the Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority is treating the water to comply with the standards established under the federal Safe Drinking Water Act.

Pesticide Warehouse I (PWI) is an active pesticide facility located in a rural/industrial area of Arecibo, Puerto Rico. During an investigation in March 1996, EPA observed numerous indications of poor housekeeping practices at PWI including: broken bags of pesticides, 25 drums in the main warehouse without secondary containment measures, pesticide bottles scattered throughout the property, and a trail of white residue that ran off the property and eventually into a vegetated area.

The two sites were previously proposed for inclusion on the National Priorities list and, after a period of public comment, have been added to the list.

For more information about the Superfund program: epa.gov/superfund