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EPA Proposes Cidra Ground Water Contamination Site for the Superfund National Priorities List

Release Date: 03/08/2004
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(#04034) NEW YORK, N.Y. -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today proposed the Cidra Ground Water Contamination site in Cidra, Puerto Rico, for addition to the National Priorities List (NPL), of the most contaminated hazardous waste sites. Sites placed on the NPL are eligible for federal cleanup funds. The addition of this site to the NPL would increase the total number of federal Superfund sites in Puerto Rico to ten.

"It is important for the health and safety of Cidra residents that we get this site cleaned up," said EPA Regional Administrator Jane M. Kenny. "Listing this site on the NPL will allow EPA to further investigate public drinking water wells in the area and begin addressing ground water contamination."

The Agency's focus at Cidra is the Pre-Robles Volcanic Rock aquifer under the municipality. It is the source of municipal drinking water. The Puerto Rico Department of Health closed four of 19 wells due to contamination in the late 1990s, and the remaining 15 are potentially threatened. These 15 wells serve almost 9,000 people. Samples from the closed wells indicated the presence of several volatile organic compounds, primarily tetrachloroethylene and 1,1-dichloroethylene. The source of the contamination has not been determined. Once the site is listed on the NPL, EPA will take additional samples throughout the area to fully characterize the nature and extent of the contamination.

Notice of the proposal to list the Cidra Ground Water Contamination site on the NPL was published in the Federal Register today. The public can obtain a copy of the notice and a detailed site description by contacting the RCRA/Superfund Hotline at 1-800-424-9346 or 703-412-9810.