Hazardous Waste Cleanup: TAPI Puerto Rico Incorporated in Guayama, Puerto Rico
On this page:
- Cleanup Status
- Site Description
- Contaminants at this Facility
- Site Responsibility
By letter dated April 16, 2002, the United States Environmental Protection Agency, Region 2 (EPA) notified the facility that data gathered from a CERCLA study of the Fibers Public Supply Wells Superfund Site indicated a potential impact to groundwater at the facility. Groundwater sampling of two of the facility’s production wells tentatively identified di-isopropyl ether (IPE) in groundwater at concentrations up to 1700 micrograms per liter (µg/L).
Based on this groundwater results, EPA required facility to implement a SWMU Assessment Plan in accordance with Condition III.E of the facility's RCRA Permit. An Environmental Site Assessment consisting of a soil and groundwater investigation is currently being conducted to delineate the extent of the contamination at the TAPI facility in accordance with the provisions of an EPA-approved SWMU Assessment Work Plan, dated June 2004. A Screening Level Ecological Risk Assessment (SLERA) will be performed in 2014 as part of the investigation.
An Environmental Site Assessment consisting of a soil and groundwater investigation is currently being conducted to delineate the extent of the contamination at the TAPI facility. Phase 1 of the site assessment completed in July 2005, in which the groundwater contamination was confirmed, and warranted further corrective action investigation to be carried out. Phase 2 of the site assessment was completed in June 2007.
The sampling results of Phase 2 investigation indicate that a further groundwater investigation is necessary to complete the delineation of potentially impacted groundwater at the facility. Based on the results of the Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the investigation so far, EPA has concluded that groundwater is the only media contaminated. Phase 3 delineated the extent of the contaminated groundwater. Groundwater with concentration of contaminants above risk-based criteria is not leaving the facility.
In Phase 1, groundwater samples were collected from 13 direct-push sampling locations, deep well MW-1B, and two operating production wells SKF-721 and SKF-722. At the direct-push locations, the shallow groundwater was sampled; at wells MW-1B, SKF-721, and SKF-722, the deeper groundwater was sampled. The samples were analyzed for volatile organic compounds (VOCs) including di-isopropyl ether, base neutral/acid extractable compounds (BNAs), and metals. Deep well MW-1B, which was installed in April 2005, is screened from 30 to 40 ft below ground surface.
In Phase 2, groundwater samples were also collected from nine monitoring wells screened in the shallow groundwater. Three of the monitoring wells were installed in April 2005 and six in March 2007. The samples were analyzed for constituents of concern detected in shallow groundwater above screening levels during first phase of site assessment. The constituents of concern were di-isopropyl ether, benzene, chlorobenzene, ethylbenzene, methylene chloride, naphthalene, antimony, arsenic, lead, thallium, and vanadium. Also deep well MW-1B and production wells SKF-721 and SKF-722 were re-sampled for di-isopropyl ether.
Except for diisopropylether, the other constituents of concern were delimited to the central region of the facility. Two additional wells were installed to the southeast of the property to delineate di-isopropyl ether extent as part of a Phase 3 assessment performed in June 2009. Di-isopropyl ether impact in groundwater was delineated. Di-isopropyl ether is not leaving the facility at levels above the current risk based criteria value of 1500 µg/L. The facility is currently performing a vapor intrusion and a Screening Level Ecological Risk Assessment.
Groundwater results from the various phases of investigation were compared to groundwater screening levels. Groundwater screening levels were obtained from EPA Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs) and, where Maximum Contaminant Levels were not available, EPA tap water risk based criteria were used. Texas Risk Reduction Program protective concentration levels were used for groundwater screening levels for di-isopropyl ether, as Maximum Contaminant Levels, tap water risk based concentrations, or EPA Region risk based criteria.
The TAPI facility is located on the southeastern coastal plain of Puerto Rico. The facility is about 1.1 miles north of the Caribbean Sea and 3.5 miles south of the foothills of the Cordillera Central Mountains. The Town of Guayama is located approximately 2.2 miles to the northeast and Puente Jobos Ward is located approximately one mile to the northwest. An EPA Superfund site (Fibers Public Supply Wells) is located approximately one mile to the northeast.
Contaminants at this Facility
In addition to IPE, benzene, chlorobenzene, ethylbenzene, methylene chloride, naphthalene, antimony, arsenic, lead, thallium, and vanadium were detected at levels in excess of screening levels. Phase 2 of the site assessment was completed in June 2007. The sampling results of Phase 2 investigation indicate that further groundwater investigation is necessary to complete the delineation of impacted groundwater at the facility. A Phase 3 investigation was performed in September 2009 that delineated the extent of contaminated groundwater. TAPI is currently performing semiannual groundwater monitoring of its wells as part of the ongoing investigation.
Site Responsibility at this Facility
The cleanup at this facility is being addressed by TAPI with oversight from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), under the authority of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). However, the Puerto Rico Environmental Quality Board (EQB) also participates with EPA in cleanup decision-making and oversight.
TAPI’s permit was renewed in January 2008. This RCRA Permit authorizes TAPI to manage one (1) hazardous waste container storage area and eight (8) existing hazardous waste tank systems (tank system numbers: 408, 430, 436, 450, 451, 452, 453 and 604). In addition, there are certain requirements for the operation of two existing (2) hazardous waste incinerators.