News Releases from Region 02
EPA Deletes the Hormigas Groundwater Superfund Site in Puerto Rico, from federal Superfund list
NEW YORK - After completing all cleanup work, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has deleted the Hormigas Groundwater Plume Superfund Site from the National Priorities List, which is the federal Superfund National Priorities List of the most contaminated hazardous waste sites. The site was originally added to the Superfund list because solvents were found in a public drinking water supply well, which is no longer in use. Regular monitoring of the water quality reveals that the work EPA performed here is complete and continues to provide protection for residents.
“Cleaning up Superfund sites and returning them to safe and productive use is a top priority for EPA,” said EPA Regional Administrator Pete Lopez. “I am pleased that our work with the local government and the local community at the Hormigas Groundwater Plume site in Caguas and Aguas Buenas, Puerto Rico, is complete, and we are turning the page and removing its designation as a Superfund site.”
The former Hormigas public water system has two wells - referred to as Eufracia and Hormigas - that 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 tetrachloroethylene (also known as perchlorethylene, or PCE) in the Eufracia well, which was above the federal drinking water standards. PRASA closed the Hormigas water system in 2009 and connected homes 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 National Priorities List in 2011, the EPA conducted further assessments. The EPA spent approximately $1.5 million on a study to identify any sources and determine the nature and extent of the contamination. The EPA has not identified any sources of soil or groundwater contamination that would pose a risk to human health or the environment and concentrations in groundwater have decreased over time so that they are now below drinking water standards. Additionally, the originally affected homes have been connected to a different water distribution system. The community’s current drinking water supply from the PRASA is monitored regularly to ensure the water quality meets drinking water standards and is safe to consume.
Based on the data collected and the EPA evaluation, the EPA has determined that it is appropriate to delete the Hormigas Groundwater Plume Superfund Site from the Superfund National Priorities List.
For more information, visit: https://19january2021snapshot.epa.gov/superfund/hormigas-ground-water-plume
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