Vieques Island/Atlantic Fleet Weapons Training Area
EPA added portions of Vieques Island, Puerto Rico to the Superfund National Priorities List (NPL) on February 11, 2005, by an act of the Governor of Puerto Rico. During the 1940s, the U.S. Navy acquired about 25,000 acres on the eastern and western ends of Vieques, Puerto Rico, an island located about seven miles southeast of mainland Puerto Rico. Vieques was used for naval gunfire support and air-to-ground training from the 1940s until May 1, 2003, when the Navy ceased all military operations on the island and transferred its property on the eastern side of the island to the U.S. Department of the Interior's (DOI) Fish and Wildlife Service. The land was designated as a wildlife refuge. About 8,100 acres of land on the western side of the island, which had been used for the munitions storage, was transferred to DOI, the municipality of Vieques and the Puerto Rico Conservation Trust on May 1, 2001.Various areas of the island may be contaminated by solid and/or hazardous waste resulting from decades of military activity including training exercises, equipment maintenance, supply storage and waste disposal. Working with EPA and the Puerto Rico Environmental Quality Board (EQB), the Navy is conducting environmental investigations of its previously-owned property under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) to determine what cleanup actions are needed. Prior to the inclusion of the site in the NPL, the environmental investigations were being performed under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA).