pesticide warehouse i

ROAD # 2 KM 59.7

Pesticide Warehouse I (PWI) is an active pesticide storage warehouse located in a rural/industrial area of Arecibo, Puerto Rico. PWI occupies approximately one acre and consists of a main warehouse, a smaller secondary warehouse in the rear of the property, and a small storage shed. It is bounded to the south by State Road No. 2 and to the east, north, and west by wooded areas. Historically, PWI was owned by the Puerto Rico Land Authority (PRLA). PWI has been operating at this location since 1953 and supplies pesticides for pineapple crops in the surrounding area. PWI is used for the storage and preparation of insecticides, herbicides, and fertilizers (hereafter collectively referred to as pesticides). PRLA used the Site to store and/or dilute pesticides and fertilizers for agricultural application in pineapple farming. Pesticides were diluted in the pineapple field prior to their application, operations include mixing pesticides with water in tanker trucks. Leftover and excess pesticides have been disposed on the ground adjacent to the main warehouse. Beginning on October 1, 1999, the Property was leased to Respondent Agrocampos, Inc., which also used the Site to store and/or dilute pesticides and fertilizers for agricultural application in pineapple farming. In a March 1996 investigation, EPA observed numerous indications of poor housekeeping practices at PWI including: broken bags of pesticides and 25 drums in the main warehouse without secondary containment measures; pesticide bottles scattered throughout the property; a 20-foot by 20-foot excavation in the northwest corner of the property that contained empty pesticide bottles, Malathion labels, and bags of Vydate, Gramoxone and magnesium sulfate; visible pesticide residue at several locations throughout the property; and a white residue along what appeared to be the surface runoff pathway that began at the mixing platform in front of the main warehouse. The white residue was visible for approximately 100 feet to the fence line where it entered a culvert. The residue was observed to continue from the culvert approximately 1,500 feet along a drainage ditch paralleling State Road No. 2, passing the property well and entering a vegetated area. In May 1996, EPA conducted a Site Inspection ("SI") sampling event at the Site, collecting 15 surface soil samples throughout the property and two ground water samples from the property well. Analytical results of surface soil samples indicated the presence of several pesticides, including aldrin, endrin, endrin aldehyde, gamma-chlordane, toxaphene, diazinon, and diuron. Analyses of the groundwater samples indicated the presence of heptachlor epoxide, dieldrin, 4,4'-DDE, and endrin. In December 2001, EPA conducted a follow up reconnaissance investigation during which EPA observed the mixing of pesticides with water in tanker trucks, an absence of vegetation at the Site, and the presence of stressed and blackened vegetation along the surface runoff pathway adjacent to the Property access road. Poor housekeeping was once again observed including the scattering of empty pesticide bottles throughout the Property. The topography surrounding the Site is characterized by numerous karst features including sink holes and limestone hills. Available background information indicates that the upper aquifer is unconfined and is hydraulically connected to the overlying surficial deposits, which were found to contain elevated levels of several pesticides in certain areas. Information obtained from the Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewer Authority indicates that approximately 48,600 people are served by public supply wells within 4 miles of the Site. Soil contamination in the area also poses a potential threat to workers at Property. Pursuant to Section 105(a) of CERCLA, 42 U.S.C. §9605(a), EPA placed the Site on the National Priorities List, set forth at 40 C.F.R. Part 300, Appendix B, by publication in the Federal Register on September 26, 2006, 71 Fed. Reg. 56399.

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
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        People living
        within a 1 mile radius


        Average Income


        Occupied homes

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