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Hazardous Waste Cleanup: Thermo King de Puerto Rico Incorporated in Arecibo, Puerto Rico

On this page:

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

Cleanup Status

The site ground water contamination is still has been investigated.

Periodic groundwater monitoring for volatile organic compounds (VOCs) has been conducted at the Thermo King facility from December 1999 through November 2013. Several VOCs in excess of the EPA Maximum Contaminant levels (MCLs) have been detected in the shallow and deep aquifers, as well as in three identical perched water zones. 1,1-Dichloroethene (1,1-DCE) is the primary contaminant of concern at the site based on its concentration in groundwater relative to other detected contaminants.
A perozone (ozone + hydrogen peroxide) injection pilot test was conducted in 2008 by WSP Environmental & Energy (WSP). WSP conducted the pilot test in accordance with a work plan dated July 24, 2006.  Perozone injection was not judged to be an effective remediation technology due to difficulty injecting the oxidants into a tight and highly heterogeneous aquifer matrix.

A hydrogeologic evaluation was completed in August 2010 by ERM. As part of this study, a soil vapor extraction (SVE) pilot test was conducted to obtain subsurface information and evaluate the applicability of this technology to the site conditions. Based on data from the pilot test area monitor wells were inconsistent indicating that there are numerous small perched water zone in the contaminant source area instead of just three larger perched water zones as previously thought.

A soils vapor extraction (SVE) well, SVE-1, was installed in the source area in August 2012. A SVE pilot test was subsequently performed using the newly installed SVE well to verify the applicability of SVE technology within the source area. The results of the August 2012 SVE pilot test confirm that there is recoverable contaminant mass within the unsaturated zone beneath the former 1,1,1-TCA tank area.

In June 2013, ERM began the process of applying for a permit to install and subsequently operate the proposed SVE remediation system. As of December 2013 the first two phases of the application process has been approved. Thermo King will implement the SVE by the end of 2014.

Contaminated soil at the site has been removed.  There is ground water contamination at the site which is being investigated.

Site Description

Thermo King de Puerto Rico, Inc. facility is located in the Zeno Gandia Industrial Area in Arecibo, Puerto Rico. Major features of the facility include six buildings used for manufacturing and storage, a wastewater treatment plant, a hazardous waste and non-hazardous waste storage area, a guardhouse, and two employee parking lots.

The facility manufactures transport refrigeration units and is engaged in the production of solenoids, wire harnesses, control boxes, and plastic in-lays.  Other activities conducted at the facility include metal shearing, metal punching, welding, painting, and electrical wire harness and metal finishing.

Contaminants at this Facility

The primary contaminants that have been detected in the soil and groundwater are 1,1-dichoroethene, tricholoroethene, benzene, and vinyl chloride. Based on available information, there are no known imminent threats to human health or the environment from the Thermo King de Puerto Rico, Inc. Facility.

Site Responsibility at this Facility

RCRA Corrective Action activities at this facility are being conducted under the direction of EPA’s Region 2, RCRA Program at the Caribbean Environmental Protection Division, Response and Remediation Branch.

Thermo King de Puerto Rico, Inc. is not a RCRA permitted facility. Thermo King entered into the Facility Lead Corrective Action Program with a letter of commitment to the EPA on April 9, 2002.  A Focused RCRA Facility Investigation (RFI) Work Plan was submitted on May 23, 2002, and approved by the EPA on September 26, 2002.