Contact Us


All News Releases By Date


EPA Places Lead-Contaminated Yards In Brisas Del Rosario On The Final Superfund National Priorities List

Release Date: 07/27/1999
Contact Information: Carl Soderberg (718) 729-6951 /

(#99121) SAN JUAN, P.R.-- The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has placed the Vega Baja Solid Waste Disposal site in the Rio Abajo Ward inVega Baja on the final National Priorities List (NPL). EPA proposed the site for inclusion on the NPL on April 23, 1999. The site includes residential properties in the Brisas del Rosario community with soils contaminated by heavy metals, primarily lead. Federal and local health agencies are continuing to evaluate the potential health threat posed to the residents of Brisas del Rosario by the contamination. Pre-school children in particular can experience long-term health effects when they are exposed, over a long period of time, to small amounts of lead above certain levels.

"This final listing is significant because it makes the site eligible for Superfund money, if needed, to provide long-term protection for the children in this community," said EPA Regional Administrator Jeanne M. Fox.

EPA periodically proposes sites to the NPL and designates proposed sites as final. Sites that are placed on the final NPL are eligible for cleanups financed under the Superfund Trust Fund. Sites on the list are investigated further to determine the best approach to limit the extent of the risks they may pose to human health and the environment.

Since 1996, Commonwealth and federal agencies have been working together to evaluate the level of contamination and potential health risks in the Brisas del Rosario community. Results from extensive sampling done in the community show that drinking water meets federal standards and homegrown fruits and vegetables are safe to eat after washing.

However, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) has concluded, based on test results, that long-term exposure to soils with elevated lead levels should be prevented to eliminate a public health risk to children.

There are now ten federal NPL sites in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. The Naval Security Group Activity Superfund site in the Village of Sabana Seca and the Frontera Creek Superfund site in Humacao were deleted from the NPL in the past year based on the completion of all federal cleanup activities at both sites.

Site Background

The site is an inactive, unlined, uncapped, 19-acre disposal area, which was used as a landfill from 1948 to 1979. Commercial, industrial, and domestic wastes were dumped and/or open burned at the site.

The NPL rule, which finalizes the site listing, was published in the Federal Register on July 22, 1999. For members of the public interested in obtaining copies of the notice, an updated NPL list or site description, please contact the RCRA/Superfund Hotline at 1-800-424-9346 or 703-412-9810. Further information about the site and the Superfund program can also be obtained from EPA's homepage:

For more information contact:
Carl Soderberg
EPA Caribbean Environmental Protection Division
1492 Ponce De Leon Avenue
Santurce, PR 00909
Voice: 787-729-6951 FAX: 787-729-7747 E-Mail: