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Caribe General Electric Products Incorporated - Juana Diaz

Other (Former) Names of Site: None

EPA Identification Number: PRD090282757
Facility Location: State Road 149, km 67, Juana Diaz, Puerto Rico 00795    Link to the site map
EPA Contact Name: Jesse Aviles, (787) 977-5882, aviles.jesse@epa.gov
Last Updated: May 2013
Environmental Indicator Status: Human Exposures Under Control has been verified.[PDF 114.7 KB, 14 pp]
Groundwater Contamination Under Control has been verified. [PDF 108.5 KB, 16 pp]

Site Description

Caribe General Electric Products, Inc. (CGEP) facility is located on State Road 149 at kilometer 67, in Juana Diaz, Puerto Rico. CGEP, Juana Diaz started operations in 1957 on the property of Puerto Rico Industrial Development Company, which was used at that time to grow sugarcane. CGEP later acquired the property in 1987. The company handled electroplating of manufactured wiring devices. There are no operations at the CGEP Juana Diaz facility at the current time. CGEP has a contracted caretaker for the property and also maintains a security guard 24 hours a day.

From 1957 to 1970 the company's west field was used as a receptor for processed defective mercury buttons. The wastes disposed at this landfill included plastic fragments, broken glass, mercury switch buttons, brass stampings and rubber. In 1982 the site was included in the national Pollutant Priority List. To the west of the facility is a residential area with a population of 10,000 inhabitants within five miles.

Site Responsibility

The cleanup at this site is being addressed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), under authority of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). However, the Puerto Rico Environmental Quality Board (EQB) participates with EPA in cleanup decision-making and oversight. In 1983 a CERCLA (Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act), also known as Superfund, Order was issued to CGEP requiring the Company to clean up the contaminated landfill at the facility. Before cleanup, CGEP was required to conduct remedial investigation and study of alternative remedial actions (feasibility study).

In 1987 Caribe General Electric Products, Inc. (CGEP) requested a change in status from a Hazardous Waste Storage Area to a Hazardous Waste Generator facility, since the only RCRA unit at the facility was the container storage area for which CGEP submitted a closure plan. Therefore, Superfund took responsibility for overseeing cleanup of the landfill while RCRA was responsible for closure of the waste water treatment and the container storage areas.

Threats and Contaminants

A 1989 RCRA Facility Assessment (RFA) Report conducted by the Environmental Quality Board (EQB) in Puerto Rico identified nine solid waste management units (SWMUs) in three areas of the site. The three areas, the landfill for the defective mercury buttons, wastewater treatment area (WWTA) and the container storage area (CSA) required further investigation. The RFA determined that the landfill, WWTA and the CSA needed further investigation and a cleanup.

Soil contamination at the Caribe General Electric Products site was due to poor waste management practices resulting from land filling mercury-contaminated buttons and inadequate containment system for the wastewater treatment area and the container storage area.

CLEANUP APPROACH

Cleanup Status/Corrective Action

The landfill was addressed by EPA under CERCLA authority. The WWTA and the CSA were addressed by CGEP, with EPA oversight under RCRA. After site investigation and remediation, EPA has determined that no further action (NFA) is required for knownsolid waste management units (SWMUs) and areas of concern (AOCs) provided that the site is solely used for industrial purposes.

Response Action Status

Entire site
The Record of Decision (ROD) for the facility was signed in November 1988. In the ROD, metal (mercury) extraction was chosen as the cleanup technology. Problems with this method led to a July 1999 amended ROD allowing cleanup by excavation and disposal of the soil and debris in a hazardous waste landfill located in Pinewood, South Carolina. Cleanup was completed in April 2000.

The container storage area has been closed by excavating the contaminated soil and back filling with clean soil. Closure certification was approved by Environmental Quality Board (EQB) in March 1991.

The wastewater treatment area (WWTA) was investigated and Caribe General Electric Products (CGEP) submitted a WWTA assessment report in April 2001. EPA provided comments to CGEP on the report in August 2001 and requested CGEP to submit a closure plan for the WWTA. In December 2002, CGEP submitted a closure plan for the WWTA. CGEP submitted a revised closure plan in December 2003. EPA approved this closure plan which has been implemented. The draft closure report was submitted to EPA on March 29, 2005.

Cleanup Progress

Over 13,000 tons of contaminated soils and debris were excavated from the landfill. The excavated materials will be disposed of at the RCRA landfill in Pinewood, South Carolina. The excavated landfill was backfilled with clean soil in April 2000. All SWMUs and areas of concern have been remediated and determined to require no further action provided the site is solely used for industrial purposes.

EPA was using the administrative procedures found in 40 CFR Part 270 to solicit public comment prior to making its final corrective action decisions for the CGE Juana Diaz facility. Having received no comments on its proposed determination and in light of the industrial restrictions placed on the CGE facility, EPA finalized its tentative determination that no further action was required at all solid waste management units and areas of concern September 27, 2007.

Final Cleanup Status or Projection

Permit Status

This facility does not have a Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) permit.

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
RCRA Records Center
290 Broadway, 15th Floor, Room 1538
New York, New York 10007-1866
Telephone: (212) 637-3043

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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