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EPA Proposes Cibola County Site to Federal Cleanup Priorities List

Release Date: 3/8/2004
Contact Information: For more information contact the Office of External Affairs at (214) 665-2200.

      The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposes to add the Grants Chlorinated Solvents Plume site in Grants, New Mexico, to the federal Superfund National Priorities List (NPL), EPA and the New Mexico Environment Department (NMED) announced today.

      "Adding this site to the Superfund list makes federal dollars available, allowing EPA and the NMED to speed their cleanup and meet the agencies' commitment to protecting public health and our environment," EPA Regional Administrator Richard E. Greene said.

      NMED Secretary Ron Curry said, "New Mexico's ground water resources are precious and limited.  Addressing this problem will allow us to clean up and better protect water quality for future generations."  

      The site is located in a mixed commercial/residential area in the vicinity of First and Jefferson Street in Grants.  The area of the ground water plume is defined by ground water samples collected from monitoring wells in the upper shallow alluvial aquifer.  The precise extent of the ground water plume has not been defined, but currently covers an area of approximately 4.2 acres.

      High concentrations of volatile compounds have been detected in shallow ground water at 4 to 6 feet below the ground surface.  Ground water sampling has detected perchloroethene (PCE), trichloroethene (TCE) and dichloroethene (DCE) above federal drinking water standards in six monitoring wells.

      A source for the release of chlorinated solvents to ground water has not been positively identified.  Investigations by NMED identified several potential source areas including a current dry cleaning facility, a former dry cleaning facility, and a former telephone company maintenance facility.

      Public water supply wells for Grants, the Village of Milan and the Town of San Rafael produce water from the San Andres Limestone and Glorieta Sandstone Aquifer. These wells have not been impacted by chlorinated solvents from the site.

      The EPA Superfund program works closely with state agencies to clean and restore uncontrolled contaminated properties. Superfund cleans sites when the work required is beyond the resources of state and local agencies.

      EPA will seek public comments for 60 days on adding this site to the NPL. Those comments will be addressed before the agency makes the final decision about adding the site to the NPL. During this public comment period, the agency will continue to develop cleanup plans so that actual work may begin after NPL listing.

      Additional information about the site is available at