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Hazardous Waste Cleanup: Heritage Environmental Services PR, LLC in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico

On this page:

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

Cleanup Status

There are no cleanup or corrective action activities taking place at this site.

Site Description

From August 2009 until October 2014, Heritage Environmental Services PR (“Heritage-PR”) owned and operated an environmental services facility for the treatment, storage and disposal (“TSD”) of hazardous wastes at 3080 Hostos Avenue in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico. The facility occupies approximately 49 acres in the Sabanetas Ward of Mayaguez, southward of the former Central Igualdad sugarcane plantation. Heritage-PR acquired the facility from Lilly del Caribe on August 2009. On October 2014, Heritage-PR sold the property to Kanaan Corporation.

Contaminants at this Facility

This facility is located in the Rio Grande de Añasco hydrological basin. Land use around the facility is mostly agricultural, although some commercial/industrial activities occur in its immediate vicinity. The Central Igualdad Community, a small residential cluster of 22 households, is the nearest residential area, located approximately 0.65 km north of the facility. A fuel storage/dispensing operation, Western Petroleum, is the nearest commercial neighbor to the facility, located about 0.5 km to the north, next to the Central Igualdad Community. There is a commercial compost operation sited in the vicinity of the facility, next to the Central Igualdad Community. Several ecologically sensitive areas lie in the Rio Grande de Añasco hydrological basin downstream from the facility, including Caño La Boqilla.

The main environmental threat at this facility would have come from accidental releases of hazardous wastes into soils, surface waters or air as part of the site’s transport or storage operations. However, waste management procedures were in place at the facility for all operational activities, including segregation and storage of wastes based on chemical compatibility (as stated in the Permit’s Waste Analysis Plan), prevention of waste spills (in the Permit’s Preparedness and Prevention section), and control of waste spills if they occur (in the Permit’s Contingency Plan). These procedures were described in the facility’s RCRA Permit. 

Site Responsibility at this Facility

Heritage-PR is a permitted RCRA TSD facility that stores hazardous wastes in tanks and containers for off-site shipment. The facility has a RCRA Permit that was transferred from Lilly del Caribe in August 29, 2009. The Permit authorizes the operation of ten (10) hazardous waste storage tanks, one (1) container storage area, several satellite accumulation areas, and a hazardous waste incinerator (Callidus) unit. The incinerator unit was closed as per RCRA requirements in September 4, 2012; EPA approved the Closure Report and Certification for the incinerator in February 6, 2013. Heritage-PR ships the wastes off-site to any of three (3) final disposal facilities it operates in the continental United States.

Heritage-PR filed a Class 2 Permit Modification request in December 27, 2010 to revise its RCRA Permit as to allow commercialization of the facility. Due to the significant public interest generated by this modification request, EPA elevated the modification to a Class 3. After a long and extensive public participation process, in March 18, 2013, EPA issued a final decision on Heritage's RCRA Class 3 Permit Modification request and Responsiveness Summary.

On March 2014, Heritage-PR filed a facility closure notification for all the RCRA permitted units. The facility closure was completed in early September 2014, and a Closure Report & Certification was submitted to EPA in November 6, 2014. EPA approved the Closure Report & Certification in August 13, 2015, thus terminating the facility’s RCRA permit. A full copy of the approved Closure Report & Certification is available for public review at the repository locations indicated below.

Any cleanup at this site would be addressed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) under the authority of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (“RCRA”).