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EPA Grants Waiver for Carolina Wastewater Treatment Plant

Release Date: 04/29/2002
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(#02028) San Juan, Puerto Rico – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency(EPA) today announced a waiver to the Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority (PRASA) from secondary wastewater treatment for its Carolina wastewater treatment plant. EPA’s approval requires the Carolina plant to continue providing enhanced primary treatment. The final approval finalizes the Agency’s proposal last March.

“After examining all of PRASA’s monitoring data, collecting our own data using EPA’s ocean research ship, and carefully reviewing comments received on our proposal, we are granting this waiver,”said Jane Kenny, EPA Regional Administrator. “I am confident that the current enhanced primary treatment at the Carolina Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant is protecting the environment and public health.” PRASA has achieved reliable, continuing compliance at its Carolina facility. The Carolina Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant serves the municipalities of Carolina, Loíza, Canóvanas and Río Grande. The plant has the design capacity to treat 45 million gallon per day (MGD) as a daily average and 90 MGD as a daily maximum. The plant discharges through an outfall which conveys the treated effluent a distance of 6234 feet from the coast at a depth of 90 feet.

In addition to granting a final waiver to PRASA for the Carolina plant, EPA has granted waivers to the Puerto Nuevo and Bayamon plants, which share an outfall. Waiver requests for the Mayaguez and Barceloneta plants were previously denied and waiver requests for the Fajardo, Humacao, Guayama, Guayanilla and Dorado wastewater treatment plants were previously withdrawn by PRASA. EPA still has pending final decisions for the Arecibo and Aguadilla waiver applications and a proposed decision on the Ponce wastewater treatment plant.