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Puma Energy Caribe LLC

Other (Former) Names of Site:Caribbean Petroleum Refining (CPR), Caribbean Refining Corporation, Caribbean Gulf Refining Corporation, Chevron Corporation

EPA Identification Number: PRD000632182
Facility Location: Luchetti Industrial Park, Rte 28, Bayamon, Puerto Rico 00961 Link to the site map
EPA Contact Name: David N. Cuevas Ph.D., (787) 977-5856, cuevas.david@epa.gov
Last Updated: June 2012
Environmental Indicator Status: Human Exposures Under Control: More information is needed.
Groundwater Contamination Under Control:More information is needed.

Site Description

Puma Energy Caribe LLC (Puma), formerly known as Caribbean Petroleum Refining LP (CPR), is located in the Luchetti Industrial Park in Bayamón, Puerto Rico. The site is bounded to the west and southwest by industrial and commercial facilities, and to the south and east by Fort Buchanan, a U.S. military reservation. It encompasses approximately 179 acres. The facility is divided into four general areas: tank farm, process, administration, and wastewater treatment plant areas.

Petroleum refining operations at the site, 48,000 barrels a day, commenced in 1955 and ended in 2000. From CPR 2000 to 2009, CPR operated as petroleum product storage and distribution facility until the 2009 explosion incident. Puma acquired the property on May 11, 2011.

Hazardous wastes historically managed at the site include primary oil/water/solids separation sludge (F037), secondary oil/water/solids separation sludge (F038), slop oil emulsion solids (K049), heat exchanger bundle solids (K050), API separator sludge (K051), ignitable waste (D001), and toxicity characteristic (benzene) wastewater (D018).

Site Responsibility

Cleanup at this site is being addressed by Puma with oversight from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), under authority of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). The Puerto Rico Environmental Quality Board (EQB) also participates with EPA in the investigation and cleanup decision-making and oversight. In 1995, EPA and CPR signed an Administrative Order on Consent (Order) requiring CPR to conduct a RCRA Facility Investigation (RFI) and Corrective Measure Study (CMS). Puma replaced CPR as the party responsible for implementing remaining obligations under the 1995 Order, as modified by an Agreement between EPA and Puma signed on May 11, 2011.

Threats and Contaminants

In accordance with the 1995 Order, the RFI included investigation of environmental impacts at 35 Solid Waste Management Units (SWMUs) and Areas of Concern (AOCs) with evidence of past releases of hazardous waste and/or constituents to soil. Also included in the RFI is an investigation of Las Lajas Creek, a surface water body that traverses the site. With the new agreement signed by Puma, newly discovered SWMUs and AOCs with evidence of releases as a result of the October 2009 explosion will also be included in the RFI. Extensive groundwater monitoring at the facility indicate the presence of benzene and toluene as well as floating Non-Aqueous Phase Liquids consisting of free product/hydrocarbons.

CLEANUP APPROACH

The site has been addressed historically in three measures: Closure of the Equalization Basin, Interim Corrective Measures and long-term corrective measures directed at cleanup of the entire site.

Cleanup Status/Corrective Action

The site is being addressed by CPR under EPA oversight in three measures: closure of the equalization basin, Interim Corrective Measures and long-term corrective measures directed at cleanup of the entire site.

Response Action Status

Closure of Equalization Basin
The equalization basin, which was a major source of contamination at the facility, underwent approved RCRA closure in August 1999. EPA approved the closure on December 3, 1999. Closure entailed dewatering the basin, stabilizing the residual sludge, backfilling the basin, installing an impermeable clay and flexible membrane liner cap, installing drainage layer, and installing a vegetative cover, followed by semiannual groundwater sampling.

Interim Corrective Measures
CPR installed an Underground Recovery System (URS), which operated until October 2009 after been completely destroyed in the explosion and fire. Sixty (60) monitoring wells were routinely pumped to collect free product of which twenty-two (22) were equipped with pneumatic ejector pumps that operated continuously in the most contaminated part of the groundwater aquifer. Three-hundred to seven-hundred gallons of free product were recovered per month. Puma has plans to reinstall and operate a new URS.

Entire site
Until October 2009, a rigorous program of soil and groundwater investigation was conducted by CPR following EPA's approval of the RFI work plan in 1998. The investigation was almost complete by the time of the explosion. Puma is currently evaluating the environmental conditions of the site and where the additional investigation will focus. After the current condition evaluation is complete and approved by EPA, Puma will submit a new RFI Work Plan which will be followed by the RFI activities (field sampling, report) and the Baseline Risk Assessment, all instrumental in the development of the CMS.

Cleanup Progress

Between October 1991 and October 2009 over 70,000 gallons of free product/hydrocarbons were recovered and recycled back into the facility's process stream when the refinery was operating or sold as product. The remaining amount of free product in the groundwater will be determined during the additional RFI. The off-site migration of hydrocarbons has been controlled through the free product recovery action.

Site Repository

Copies of supporting technical documents and correspondence cited in the site fact sheet are available for public review at the following location:

US Environmental Protection Agency, Region 2
Caribbean Environmental Protection Division
City View Plaza II – Suite 7000
No. 48 Rd. 165 KM 1.2
Guaynabo, PR 00968-8069

The inspection of some of the documents cited in the site fact sheet may require a formal request under the United States Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

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