An official website of the United States government.

We've made some changes to EPA.gov. If the information you are looking for is not here, you may be able to find it on the EPA Web Archive or the January 19, 2017 Web Snapshot.

News Releases

News Releases from Region 02

EPA Proposes Cleanup for Pesticides Storage Facility in Manati, Puerto Rico

07/18/2019
Contact Information: 
Brenda Reyes (reyes.brenda@epa.gov)
787-977-5869

Manati, Puerto Rico – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing a cleanup plan to address contaminated groundwater in Manati, Puerto Rico, at the Pesticide Warehouse III Superfund Site. Historical pesticide operations at the site contaminated the soil and groundwater with pesticides. Under the proposal, EPA will require, among other steps, the continued operation, maintenance, and monitoring of existing treatment systems that clean the groundwater using a variety of technologies such as carbon filtration, the use of chlorine and ultraviolet light, depending on the well location.

"EPA previously issued a plan to address contaminated soil at this site. Now we are proposing actions to address the groundwater contamination to protect people’s health,” said EPA Regional Administrator Pete Lopez. “This plan reflects EPA’s commitment to prioritize the Superfund program and ensure that these sites are cleaned up as quickly and safely as possible.”

EPA is also proposing the periodic collection and analysis of groundwater samples to verify that the level and extent of contaminants are declining. Throughout the cleanup, monitoring, testing, and further studies will be conducted to ensure the effectiveness of the remedy. Data will also be collected to assess if natural processes are effectively reducing the levels of contaminants before issuing a final cleanup plan for the groundwater. The plan requires restrictions on the use of groundwater in the area. EPA will conduct a review of the cleanup every 5 years to ensure its effectiveness. Under the plan, the estimated cost of the cleanup is $3 million.

The EPA will hold a public meeting to explain the proposed plan on August 1, 2019 at 5 p.m. at Manati Municipal Library, Paseo de Las Atenas y Calle Mackinley. Written comments will be accepted until August 12, 2019.

Written comments on the EPA's proposed plan may be mailed or emailed to: Luis E. Santos, Remedial Project Manager, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, City View Plaza II - Suite 7000, 48 RD, 165 Km. 1.2, Guaynabo, PR, 00968-8069, telephone: 787-977-5824, email: santos.luis@epa.gov.

Background

The Pesticide Warehouse III site is a 2-acre former pesticides facility located in Manati, Puerto Rico. The Puerto Rico Land Authority owned and operated the site from 1954 to 1996 to handle pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers. Residents of Manati are currently connected to safe sources of drinking water from other municipal water supplies in the region. The cleanup of the site has been divided into two phases. The first phase, which is being designed, focused on addressing the most heavily contaminated soil using a technology that heats the material so that contaminants can be pulled out and captured. The second phase deals with contamination of groundwater throughout the site and is the subject of the present proposed plan.

The cleanup proposal is available at www.epa.gov/superfund/pesticide-warehouse-3. An original copy of the cleanup proposal can also be requested and reviewed at the Municipality of Manati’s Municipal Library Francisco Alvarez Marrero, located at Paseo de Las Atenas. 

The Superfund program is a top priority for EPA and the agency is making strides in accelerating sites through remediation and back to productive use by implementing the Superfund Task Force Recommendations. For more information about EPA’s Superfund Task Force: 

https://www.epa.gov/superfund/superfund-task-force

Follow EPA Region 2 on Twitter at www.twitter.com/eparegion2 and visit our Facebook page, www.facebook.com/eparegion2

19-061