The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced Tuesday it has finalized a plan to address contaminated soil and groundwater at the San Germán groundwater contamination Superfund Site in the southern town.
The site includes the Retiro Industrial Park, which is occupied by many businesses, the agency said.
“Sampling at the site showed that public water supply wells, soil and groundwater were contaminated with volatile organic compounds, including tetrachloroethene or PCE, a widely used solvent in industrial processes,” the agency said. “Exposure to PCE can have health impacts, including liver damage and increased risk of cancer.”
After discovering the contamination, the Puerto Rico Department of Health ordered the wells closed in 2006. The EPA held a public meeting to explain $7.3 million cleanup plan in August 2015.
The cleanup will be conducted in two phases, the EPA said. The first phase addresses contaminated soil and shallow groundwater because they act as an ongoing source of contamination for a broader area of groundwater. The second phase of the cleanup will address contamination of groundwater throughout the site.