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EPA Adds Pesticide Warehouse III Site in Manati to the Superfund National Priorities List

Release Date: 04/30/2003
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(#03049) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced today it has added the Pesticide Warehouse III in Manati, Puerto Rico, to the National Priorities List (NPL) of the nation’s worst hazardous waste sites.

“It is important for the health and safety of site employees and area residents that we get this site cleaned up,” said EPA Regional Administrator Jane M. Kenny. “Past owners have created a potentially threatening situation here by improperly storing and handling chemicals, and EPA will explore ways to clean up the site and remove the threat.”

The Pesticide Warehouse III site is a 2-acre, active facility at 3.7 km, Road No. 670. It consists of three buildings and an on-site well. Pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers were prepared on the site from 1954 to 1996. Soil on the site, as well as a drainage ditch and nearby pit, is contaminated with chemicals. Additional areas of environmental concern at the site include a pit at the bottom of a former truck scale, a cistern below the main warehouse building, and materials in a small warehouse suspected of containing asbestos.

Ground water, which serves as drinking water for approximately 119,000 people, is also potentially threatened by the site. The nearest potable well, serving about 1,260 people, is located about 700 feet west of the site. Public water supplies are regularly monitored as required by federal regulation, and if health-based protective levels are exceeded, the problem will be addressed.

The Agency periodically proposes sites to the NPL and designates proposed sites as final. Sites that are designated as final are eligible for funds to plan and conduct long-terr cleanups. Proposed sites are investigated further to determine the extent of the risks they may pose to human health and the environment. The addition of this site brings the total number of federal Superfund sites in Puerto Rico to 13.

The notice of the final listing on the NPL of the Pesticide Warehouse III site was published in the Federal Register today. For members of the public interested in obtaining copies of the notice or a detailed site description, please contact the RCRA/Superfund Hotline at 1-800-424-9346 or 703-412-9810.