Hazardous Waste Cleanup: Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, LLC in Barceloneta, Puerto Rico
On this page:
- Cleanup Status
- Site Description
- Contaminants at this Facility
- Site Responsibility
Between 1991 and 2006, multiple RCRA Facility Investigation (RFI) phases were conducted within Solid Waste Management Unit (SWMU) #11 which included: 33 soil test borings (over 100 samples); 26 soil vapor well installations with subsequent rounds of vapor sampling (over 1,000 samples); six groundwater monitoring wells installed with subsequent rounds of groundwater sampling; and, a risk assessment. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) subsequently requested additional vapor monitoring for benzene and additional groundwater sampling for chlorobenzene. A long-term soil vapor extraction (SVE) system was proposed to remove or diminish the source of benzene and chlorobenzene.
EPA is working on the issuance of a Final Remedy Decision, No Further Action (NFA) in the summer of 2021.
Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, LLC (Pfizer) Barceloneta facility is located at Route PR-2, Km 58.2 in Barceloneta, Puerto Rico (the Facility), approximately 3.75 miles south of the Atlantic Ocean coast. The land use on adjacent properties is primarily commercial and/or industrial with vacant, forested land to the north and west of the Facility. Commercial and industrial properties border the Facility directly to the east, and Route PR-2 borders the Facility directly to the south. The nearest residential area is located west of the investigated area.
The Facility encompasses approximately 90 acres, which is owned and operated by Pfizer as a pharmaceutical manufacturing facility, including operational buildings, administrative offices, parking lots, and former hazardous waste storage, treatment and disposal areas. Currently, the former Tank Farm – Underground Storage Tank Area (SWMU #11) is a concrete, covered and lined area with no occupied buildings or current exposure pathways.
Contaminants at this Facility
The different RFI phases conducted have found benzene and chlorobenzene as the main contaminants of concern (COCs) at the Site. These chemical constituents in subsurface soils and groundwater concentrations, remaining in and around SWMU #11, are not anticipated to pose an unacceptable risk to human health or the environment with the current and likely future industrial/commercial use of the area.
Site Responsibility at this Facility
Cleanup at this site is being addressed by Pfizer with oversight by EPA, under authority of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). The Puerto Rico Department of Natural and Environmental Resources (DNER) also participates with EPA in the investigation and cleanup decision-making and oversight.
Pfizer submitted a revised RCRA permit application on September 15, 1989. In May 1990, EPA issued a RCRA permit, which included a requirement to conduct a Corrective Action at SWMU #11. The RCRA Permit would be terminated once the Final NFA for SWMU #11 is issued.