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EPA Places Contaminated Scorpio Recycling, Inc. Site in Toa Baja on the Superfund National Priorities List

Release Date: 02/03/2000
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(#00022) SAN JUAN, P.R. -- The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has placed a nine-acre scrapyard in Candelaria Ward, Toa Baja on the final National Priorities List (NPL) of the nation's most serious hazardous waste sites, making it eligible for a long-term cleanup financed under the Superfund Trust Fund. The property, called the Scorpio Recycling, Inc. site (SRI), is currently operated by a metal recycling company that buys, accumulates and processes various types of scrap metal for resale to foundries in the United States and Brazil.

Last April, EPA inspected the site and found car batteries buried more than 12 feet underground and excessively high levels of heavy metals in the soils. As a result, EPA will begin a comprehensive evaluation at the site, including a study of the groundwater, which is used for drinking water. To date, there is no indication that this drinking water supply has been impacted.

"Our first priority is to protect the Candelaria community from any potential threats posed by the contamination at the site," said Jeanne M. Fox, EPA Regional Administrator. "We are bringing all of our Superfund resources to bear on this site. In addition to officially adding Scorpio Recycling to the Superfund National Priorities List, ensuring that a long-term, permanent cleanup will be done, we are also using our Superfund emergency response team to address any potential, short-term threats to the community and the environment."

There are now ten federal NPL sites in Puerto Rico.

The NPL rule listing the site is being published on February 4, 2000 in the Federal Register. For members of the public interested in obtaining an updated NPL list or site description, please contact the RCRA/Superfund Hotline at 1-800-424-9346 or 703-412-9810. Further information on the

Superfund program can also be obtained from EPA's homepage: