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Griggs & Walnut Site in Las Cruces Added to Superfund Priorities List

Release Date: 6/14/2001
Contact Information: For more information contact the Office of External Affairs at (214) 665-2200.

     The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) added the Griggs & Walnut  groundwater plume site to the federal Superfund National Priorities List (NPL) today. Because of the listing, EPA can now begin to clean up the site.

     "Listing this site is an important first step in ensuring that public health and the  environment will be protected. The EPA and the New Mexico Environment Department are committed to work together to clean up this site quickly and efficiently," EPA Regional Administrator Gregg Cooke said.

     The solvent perchloroethylene (PCE) has been detected above health-based maximum contaminant levels in groundwater monitoring wells in the Santa Fe Group aquifer, which is the primary source of drinking, agricultural and industrial water for the city of Las Cruces.

     PCE is a man-made substance widely used for dry cleaning fabrics and textiles and for  metal degreasing operations. It is also used as a starting material (building block) for the production of other man-made chemicals. The source of the PCE contamination underlying Las Cruces has not been established.

     The city's water treatment system is able to remove the solvent from the water it supplies  to its customers for consumption. The Las Cruces water supply system is in compliance with the New Mexico water supply regulations. Las Cruces uses 28 municipal supply wells to provide drinking water to approximately 83,000 individuals.

     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.

     Additional information about this site is available on the EPA web site at