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Hazardous Waste Cleanup: Caribe General Electric Product in Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico

On this page:

  • Cleanup Status
  • Site Description
  • Contaminants at this Facility
  • Site Responsibility

Cleanup Status

On July 2010, EPA ordered GE Río Piedras to conduct a RCRA Facility Investigation (RFI) to determine nature and extent of potential contamination in soil from AOC-1. EPA approved the RFI Work Plan on October 12, 2011. On March  2012 GE conducted the RFI which consisted of surface (0-2 ft) and subsurface (2-4 ft) soil samples that were collected beneath the concrete slab at the former location of AOC-1 and analyzed for cresol compounds (i.e. 2-methylphenol, 3-methylphenol, 4-methylphenol). Results indicate that soil media beneath AOC-1 was not impacted by cresylic acid and no groundwater contamination is expected.

Site Description

 The Caribe General Electric Product facility (GE Río Piedras) covers approximately 4 acres and is situated on the northern coastal plain in a relatively flat industrial/urban area of Río Piedras with an elevation between 20 and 40 feet above mean sea level (amsl). The nearest surface water body is Laguna San José, located approximately 2 kilometers north of the Site immediately followed by the Atlantic Ocean north of Laguna San José. 

The facility was originally used for manufacturing fuses and other electrical accessories including current limiting fuses, home lighting protectors, fuse links, radio energy management systems, watt hour meters, and electrical relays. Manufacturing operations began in March 1966. GE closed operations and vacated the entire Site by 1999. Building 1 and Building 2 are now owned by Active Salesman Company and the Puerto Rico Industrial Development Company (PRIDCO), respectively. The site is currently used for general storage, warehousing, and process activities involved with the fabrication of metal signage.

Contaminants at this Facility

On September 8, 1984 a spill of cresylic acid (cresol) occurred within the Paint Room (AOC-1) of Building 1. Although the spill was contained, no confirmatory sampling was conducted. 

Site Responsibility at this Facility

On November 19, 1980 GE submitted the Part A Permit Application to EPA. The final permit was never issued because GE made a petition to change the facility status from the Treatment Storage and Disposal Facility (TSD) to a Large Quantity Generator (LQG) in 1984. After closure of their former hazardous waste storage area, EPA reclassified the facility as a LQG in January 1991. The facility remained a LQG until operations ceased in 1999.

Cleanup at this site has been addressed by General Electric with oversight from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), under authority of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). In addition, the Puerto Rico Environmental Quality Board (EQB) participates with EPA in the investigation and cleanup decision-making and oversight.