News Releases from Region 02
EPA Determines that No Further Cleanup is Needed at the Hormigas Groundwater Superfund Site in Puerto Rico
(New York, N.Y. – Sept. 29, 2016) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has finalized its determination that no further cleanup is needed at the Hormigas Groundwater Superfund site in Caguas and Aguas Buenas, Puerto Rico. The site was added to the federal Superfund list because solvents were found in a public drinking water supply well, which is no longer in use. The community’s current drinking water supply from the Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority (PRASA) is monitored regularly to ensure the water quality meets drinking water standards and is safe to consume.
“We are pleased to announce that based on the data collected and our evaluation of the data, the EPA has made a final determination that no further cleanup action is needed at the site,” said EPA’s Caribbean Environmental Protection Division’s Director Carmen R. Guerrero Pérez.
The former Hormigas public water system has two wells - Eufracia and Hormigas - and provided drinking water to over 5,000 people in Caguas and Aguas Buenas, Puerto Rico. In 2006, the Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority (PRASA) detected a contaminant known as Tetrachloroethylene (also called Perchlorethylene or PCE) in one of the two wells (Eufracia well) above the federal drinking water standards. PRASA closed the Hormigas water system in 2009, and connected people to a different public water supply. The EPA collected more samples from the Eufracia well in 2009, and the results confirmed the presence of PCE. Two additional contaminants (Trichloroethylene and cis-1,2-dichloroethylene) were also detected in the Eufracia well.
Since the site was added to the Superfund list in 2011, the EPA conducted further assessments. The EPA has not identified any areas of soil or groundwater contamination that would pose a risk to human health or the environment. Originally affected homes have been connected to a different and safe water distribution system.
The EPA held a public meeting in the Hormigas Sector, Cañaboncito Ward in Caguas on August 3, 2106 to explain its decision. The EPA accepted public comments for 30 days and considered public input before finalizing the plan. The EPA spent approximately $1.5 million on a study of the nature and extent of the contamination.
To read the EPA’s final decision, outlined in a Record of Decision, visit:
For a direct link to the Record of Decision, visit: https://semspub.epa.gov/src/document/02/393187