Puma Energy Caribe, LLC has agreed to clean up the former Caribbean Petroleum Refining facility in Bayamón, and address environmental conditions at 147 gas stations throughout Puerto Rico under two agreements proposed Monday by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Puma recently picked up the former Capeco facility for $82 million through a court-ordered bankruptcy sale that culminated a Chapter 11 petition filed in August 2010. The facility formerly owned by Gulf Corp. experienced a historic explosion on Oct. 23, 2009, that caused tremendous damage to the facility and significant environmental impact. The fire burned for three days.
“The environmental work that will be conducted by Puma Energy Caribe under one of the proposed agreements with EPA will make substantial progress on the ongoing cleanup of the Capeco facility,” said EPA Regional Administrator Judith Enck. “Cleanups and improvements at the gas stations are additional actions that will provide public health and environmental benefits to people throughout Puerto Rico.”
Under the first agreement, Puma will perform cleanup work at the Capeco facility under the federal Superfund law, which governs cleanups of closed or abandoned hazardous waste sites. The work includes asbestos abatement, removing and disposing of hazardous and ignitable material and cleaning up acidic water that has leaked onto the ground in one section of the facility. Puma has also agreed to pay EPA’s costs in overseeing the cleanup work.
Under the second agreement, Puma has agreed to assume responsibility for compliance with federally-approved local regulations governing the underground petroleum storage tank systems at 147 of the gas stations that are currently owned or leased by Caribbean Petroleum Corporation.
In addition, Puma has agreed to operate the gas stations in accordance with those laws and make certain EPA-recommended improvements to leak detection and overfill protection systems at the gas stations go beyond what is required by the regulations.