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North Railroad Avenue Plume

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Printable Version (PDF) (42 K, 1 pp)

Site Description

The North Railroad Avenue Plume site is located in Espanola, New Mexico, within the boundaries of the Santa Clara Pueblo. The site of a former dry cleaning operation, the groundwater is contaminated with perchlorethylene (PCE). People living in the city and on the pueblo receive their drinking water from wells within two miles of the site. Although no existing wells are contaminated, two water supply wells were removed from service in 1989 due to PCE contamination.

Current Site Status and Cleanup Actions to Date

  • In September 2001, EPA decided to cleanup the groundwater through solvent flushing (PDF) (77 K, 2 pp) to remove the PCE from the groundwater and biological treatment (PDF) (1.5M, 2 pp) (already in place) to remove dissolved PCE from the groundwater. In 2003, EPA completed the cleanup design. The cleanup will restore the contaminated groundwater to levels within the federal drinking water standard.
  • EPA and the New Mexico Environment Department have participated in numerous open houses with the community and the pueblo throughout the Superfund process. A Technical Assistance Grant (TAG) of $50,000 was awarded to the El Rio Arriba Health Association in July 2000.
  • EPA also provided funds to the Santa Clara Pueblo for their participation the project site team and to evaluate potential impacts to cultural resources from the contamination.
  • EPA continues to monitor the site to ensure that there is no immediate threat to human health or the environment pending the start of long-term cleanup work.

Current Funding Status

  • To date, EPA has spent approximately $2,000,000 for investigation and design work at this site.
  • $3.5 million for the remedial action was awarded to the New Mexico Environment Department from the FY 2004 budget.

For more information on the projects at this site, please read the North Railroad Avenue Plume (PDF) (76 K, 5 pp) on the Region 6 Superfund Web site.

Key Accomplishments

  • Selected and designed a remedy comprised of flushing and biological treatment.
  • Participated in numerous community open houses to discuss site issues.
  • Evaluated the potential impacts of the contamination to the community's cultural resources.
  • To date, EPA has spent approximately $2,000,000 for investigation and design work at this site.


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