vega baja solid waste disposal

ROAD 674, KM 2

The Vega Baja Solid Waste Disposal Superfund Site (Site) contains approximately 72 acres and includes an unlined and uncapped solid waste disposal and open burning area. It is located in the Rio Abajo Ward of Vega Baja, Puerto Rico, approximately 1.2 miles south of the Vega Baja downtown area. The Site includes a 55-acre residential area currently known as Brisas del Rosario which contains an estimate of 213 dwellings and a 17-acre undeveloped, uninhabited area. The Site is situated on relatively flat terrain and it is surrounded by other residential areas to the north, east and west andis bordered to the south by conical limestone hills, known as mogotes. The Rio Abajo Head Start is the nearest school and is located next to a baseball park approximately 0.21 mile from the Site. According to the Puerto Rico Environmental Quality Board's (PREQB's) Expanded Site Investigation (ESI), the population within a four-mile radius of the Site is more than 40,000. The population within a one mile radius of the Site is approximately 6,871 and 2,280 within one-quarter mile. Between 1948 and 1979, the municipality of Vega Baja used the Site as an unlined solid waste disposal and open burning facility that received commercial, industrial, and domestic waste. It is estimated that more than 1.1 million cubic yards of waste were disposed of and/or burned at the facility. Based upon historical aerial photographs, disposal activities were largely concentrated in the southwestern portion of the now developed area, and in the northern portion of the undeveloped area of the site. At the time of disposal and burning activities, the Site was owned by the Puerto Rico Land Authority. Local residents began constructing homes on portions of the uncapped waste disposal area beginning in the late 1970s. Many houses at the Site are built on and around the landfill trash with some piles (mounds) having elevations of over eight feet. At that time the Puerto Rico Land Authority transferred the residential area to the Puerto Rico Housing Authority. Various environmental investigations have been conducted at the Site since 1994 under the direction of the EPA and the PREQB which identified mostly metal concentrations in soils above screening criteria. Site Responsibility: The Site was divided into two Operable Units (OU); OU-1 Groundwater and OU-2 Soils. The OU-1 remedial investigation for the Site was addressed through Federal actions. The OU-2 investigation and remediation for the Site is being addressed through Potentially Responsible Parties (PRP) actions. EPA identified as PRPs the following entities: Municipality of Vega Baja (operator), Puerto Rico Housing Department (owner), Puerto Rico Land Authority (owner), Motorola (generator), Pfizer (

Hazardous Ranking Score

50 / 100

A score of 28.5 or higher qualifies a site for the Superfund National Priority List.

Regional Contact

Region 2
Phone: (877) 251-4575

Contact Region



Site Inspection
Preliminary Assessment
Final Listing On NPL

Contaminants & Health Effects

      Endocrine Disrupter
      Reproductive Toxin
      Persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic


        African American
        American Indian and Alaska Native
        Native Hawaiian


        People living
        within a 1 mile radius


        Average Income


        Occupied homes

        Potentially Responsible Parties

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