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Upjohn Facility
Barceloneta, PR

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Brenda Reyes (787)-977-5869

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EPA added the Upjohn Facility site in Barceloneta, Puerto Rico to the Superfund National Priorities List on September 1, 1984 because harmful contaminants were found in the soil and groundwater. The two-acre Superfund site located in the Barceloneta Municipality contained a pharmaceutical manufacturing plant.  Wells on-site were contaminated from a leak in an underground storage tank. The company installed groundwater monitoring wells and covered the area of the site with the underground tanks to prevent rainwater from entering the soil.  A vacuum extraction well was used to remove contamination from the soil.

The soil and groundwater is contaminated with carbon tetrachloride, which is a colorless, nonflammable, vaporous toxic liquid used mainly as a refrigerant, fire extinguisher, cleaning fluid, solvent, or insecticide.  Metals in the groundwater are believed to have come from nearby industrial activity and from the construction of the stainless steel monitoring wells.  The population affected by the contamination was provided with alternative water supplies. The island’s largest source of groundwater is underneath the site. Groundwater discharges to nearby wetlands.

Upjohn pumped, treated and monitored the contaminated groundwater since 1982. EPA selected a cleanup plan for the site in 1988.  Upjohn is legally required to design and conduct the cleanup plan selected by EPA.  A new public water supply well was constructed to replace a contaminated well and has been operational since 1995.  EPA reported the completion of the expanded pump and treat system in 1998.  EPA has conducted two Five-Year Review Reports of the site and both reports confirmed that the cleanup continues to be protective of human health and the environment.  The next Five-Year Review Report is due by September 2008. Under current conditions at this site, potential or actual human exposures are under control.


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