(New York, N.Y. – July 25, 2016) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed that no further cleanup is needed at the Hormigas Groundwater Superfund site in Caguas and Aguas Buenas, Puerto Rico. The site was added to the Superfund list because solvents were found in a public drinking water supply well, which is no longer in use. The community’s current drinking water supply is monitored regularly to ensure the water quality meets drinking water standards and is safe to consume.
The EPA will hold a public meeting on August 3, 2016 at 6:00 pm to explain the proposed plan. The meeting will be held at the Centro Comunal El Mirador, PR 785 Km 3.5, Hormigas Sector, Cañaboncito Ward, Caguas, Puerto Rico. Written comments will be accepted until August 19, 2016. However, the public can request a 30-day extension of the public comment period.
The former Hormigas public water system has two wells - Eufracia and Hormigas - and provided drinking water to over 5,000 people in Caguas and Aguas Buenas, Puerto Rico. In 2006, the Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority (PRASA) detected a contaminant known as Tetrachloroethylen (PCE) in one of the two wells (Eufracia well) above the federal drinking water standards. PRASA closed the Hormigas water system in 2009, and connected people to a different public water supply. The EPA collected more samples from the Eufracia well in 2009, and the results confirmed the presence of PCE. Two additional contaminants (Trichloroethylene and cis-1,2-dichloroethylene) were also detected in the Eufracia well.
Since the site was added to the Superfund list in 2011, the EPA conducted further assessments. The EPA has not identified any areas of soil or groundwater contamination that would pose a risk to human health or the environment, since the groundwater is not being used as a water supply. Based on the data collected and the EPA evaluation, the EPA does not believe any further cleanup action is needed at the site. Therefore, the plan proposed by the EPA calls for no further cleanup action for the site.
This information was received by press release from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.