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All Cleanup Measures in Place at Janssen Ortho LLC in Gurabo
Release Date: 05/18/2000
|(#00102) SAN JUAN, P.R.--- All systems are ‘GO’ for the long-term cleanup of chemical contamination in soil and local groundwater at the Janssen Ortho LLC pharmaceutical and chemical manufacturing facility in Gurabo, Puerto Rico, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). In 1989, Janssen voluntarily notified EPA and the Puerto Rico Environmental Quality Board (EQB) of a release of chloroform onto soils at the facility, which contaminated local groundwater. After the spill, Janssen began an investigation of the release and undertook actions, including pumping a well used for industrial purposes on the facility, to limit the spread of the contamination in the groundwater.
EPA Regional Director of Superfund, Mr. Richard Caspe, who inspected the site today, said, "We are pleased that through the federal Superfund and the efforts of Janssen the cleanup of the groundwater is well underway here in Gurabo. Local groundwater quality will continue to improve thanks to the aggressive treatment system now operating at the site."
On March 28, 1991, EPA issued an Administrative Order on Consent that required Janssen to conduct a comprehensive investigation of the contamination at the site and to identify the most appropriate long-term cleanup plan for the problem. The order also required Janssen to take further actions to prevent additional leaching of contaminants of concern into the groundwater and to prevent further migration of the groundwater plume.
In March 1993, the company began operating a soil vapor extraction system, with oversight from EPA’s Superfund program, to reduce the source of the contamination and later installed extraction wells and a conventional air stripper to treat the contaminated groundwater.- The treated water is used by the company and any excess water is discharged to the Gurabo Pump Station. The groundwater treatment was subsequently upgraded to a steam air stripper to increase the effectiveness of the remedy.
The completion of the construction of all the necessary cleanup systems at the site is documented in EPA’s preliminary close-out report. The report concludes that the work was conducted in accordance with EPA-approved designs and specifications, and the remedy continues to be protective of human health and the environment. The report and a fact sheet are available for public review at information repositories established for the site at: the Office of the Mayor, Municipal Building in Gurabo and U.S. EPA, Centro Europa Building, 1492 Ponce de Leon Avenue, Suite 417 in Santurce.