EPA Proposes Plan to Address Contaminated Groundwater at the Dorado Superfund Site in Puerto Rico
NEW YORK – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed a plan to address contamination that is impacting wells previously used to supply drinking water to the local communities. The public is not currently drinking water from these closed wells, but EPA is taking action to address contamination from the site over the long-term. EPA is taking public comment on its plan and will host a public meeting on August 5, 2021.
“This proposed plan calls for the long-term monitoring and measures for preventing exposure to contaminated groundwater until concentrations are below drinking water standards and safe to consume,” said acting Regional Administrator Walter Mugdan. “EPA is committed to working with the Maguayo and Dorado communities and believes this plan fully protects their health and the environment.”
The Maguayo and Dorado Urbano public water systems have drinking water wells that serve approximately 67,000 people. Groundwater samples collected by the Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority (PRASA) found tetrachloroethylene and trichloroethylene, solvents commonly used in industrial processes, in part of the system. Those impacted wells were closed in the 1990s and are no longer in service. EPA performed a thorough investigation of the area surrounding the wells but did not identify a source of the groundwater contamination.
To address the site, EPA is proposing to restrict the use of the impacted groundwater so that it will not be used for drinking water while it is monitored in the long-term to ensure that the levels of contamination in the groundwater decline naturally. The proposed plan is based on the fact that no active source of contamination can be found, and levels of contamination are very low and are expected to naturally decline according to sampling data collected and analyzed by EPA.
EPA will monitor progress and conduct a review of the cleanup at least every 5 years to ensure its effectiveness.
The EPA will hold a public meeting on August 5, 2021 at Teatro Juan Boria, Mendez Vigo St. Dorado, Puerto Rico from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm to explain the proposed plan.
Written comments on the proposed plan, postmarked no later than close of business August 18, 2021, may be mailed or emailed to Luis 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, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For site background and more information on EPA’s proposed plan, visit: https://www.epa.gov/superfund/dorado-ground-water-contamination