EPA and Municipality of Guaynabo Removing 1,500 Toxic Drums and Containers from Abandoned Warehouse

Press Release

Removing a significant threat to public health and safety, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the municipality of Guaynabo, Puerto Rico are proceeding with an emergency cleanup of improperly stored hazardous materials at a storage facility in Barrio Vietnam, Guaynabo. EPA is working closely with Guaynabo fire, police and hazardous materials personnel on the removal of over 1,500 drums and other containers of various chemical compounds to prevent a potential chemical release or explosion. The site is a residential area about seven miles south of San Juan that is not zoned for this type of commercial business.  

“EPA is working hand in hand with government officials in Guaynabo to prevent a release, fire or explosion of hazardous substances that could endanger the health of people living near the facility,” said Judith A. Enck, EPA Regional Administrator. “EPA has taken quick action to protect the local community and the environment to ensure that hazardous materials from the facility are disposed of properly. EPA thanks the municipality of Guaynabo for their cooperation.”

EPA personnel responded on Sept. 27 after receiving information about an abandoned chemical warehouse in the area. The site contains over 1,500 drums, chemical totes, bags and other containers of chemicals, many of which are not labeled. One warehouse is partially collapsed and the chemicals are exposed to wind and rain. Found in varying states of disrepair and neglect, many of the drums are leaking their contents onto the ground. The containers are haphazardly stored, and in some instances have collapsed onto other containers. The former owner and operator of the business is deceased.
Chemical substances including acids, solvents, discontinued commercial chemicals and caustic chemicals are being secured or prepared for proper disposal at an off-site licensed facility. EPA will be sending hundreds of containers determined safe to transport back to the original manufacturer.

Upon arriving at the site, EPA conducted an initial assessment. Once the site was secured to prevent trespassing, the agency proceeded with its initial investigation. The air has been monitored throughout the project. EPA has developed a contingency plan to ensure that the removal of the abandoned chemicals is done safely. Fire department and hazardous materials response teams have been closely consulted and are prepared to respond immediately to the site if necessary. Throughout the cleanup, the local community is being kept informed and EPA is working closely with the municipal government.

Source: For more information about EPA emergency removal actions visit:  http://www.epa.gov/region02/superfund/removal.htm

Written by greenlivingguy

The Green Living Guy, Seth Leitman is a green living expert, celebrity and Editor of the McGraw-Hill, TAB Green Guru Guides. Seth is also an Author, Radio Host, Reporter, Writer and a Environmental Consultant on green living. The Green Living Guy writes about green living, green lighting, the green guru guides and more. Seth's books range from: # Build Your Own Electric Vehicle by Bob Brant and Seth Leitman (2nd and 3rd editions) # Build Your Own Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle by Seth Leitman # Build Your Own Electric Motorcycle by Carl Vogel # Green Lighting by Seth Leitman, Brian Clark Howard and Bill Brinsky # Solar Power For Your Home by David Findley # Renewable Energies For Your Home by Russel Gehrke # Do-it-Yourself Home Energy Audits by David Findley # Build Your Own Small Wind Power System by Brian Clark Howard and Kevin Shea # and more green living books to follow.