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ATSDR Press Room

ATSDR Releases Draft Findings on San Germán Ground Water Contamination


San Germán, Puerto Rico

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

View page in Spanish (Español)

Past exposures to volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in municipal water are not expected to harm public health, says the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) in its draft public health assessment for the San Germán Ground Water Contamination site in San Germán, PR. Low levels of VOCs were detected in three municipal drinking water supply wells from 1999-2006. In 2006, VOC levels exceeded drinking water standards and the wells were shut down. No exposures are occurring today because the affected wells are shut down.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), working with the Puerto Rico Environmental Quality Board (EQB), has not yet identified the source or extent of the groundwater contamination. ATSDR needs more information:

  • to assess potential risks from exposure near source areas and use of private well water, and
  • to determine whether vapors from the groundwater could be building up in homes in the area.

ATSDR recommends that EPA and/or EQB

  • continue efforts to identify the source of the VOC contamination,
  • characterize the extent of the contamination, and
  • take actions to address and prevent further groundwater contamination.

The ATSDR report is available for review at http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/HAC/PHA/HCPHA.asp?State=PR. A copy of the report has also been placed at the Biblioteca Pública, Calle Padres Agustinos, #11, in San Germán.

ATSDR welcomes public comments on the San Germán Ground Water Contamination Public Health Assessment through April 16, 2012.

Comments received during the public comment period (without the names of who submitted them) and ATSDR's responses to these comments will appear in an appendix to the final public health assessment. If requested under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the names of those who submit comments may be releasable under FOIA rules.

Send comments to: ATSDRRecordsCenter@cdc.gov, or mail to:

Attention: Rolanda Morrison
RE: San Germán Ground Water Contamination NPL Site, San Germán, PR
ATSDR Records Center
1600 Clifton Road, NE (MS F-09)
Atlanta, GA 30333

For more information, call 1-800-CDC-INFO.

Members of the news media can request an interview with ATSDR staff by calling the NCEH/ATSDR Office of Communication at 770-488-0700.


4770 Buford Highway NE, Atlanta, GA 30341-3717
Media inquiries: 770-488-0700
ATSDR Web site: www.atsdr.cdc.gov

ATSDR, a federal public health agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, evaluates the potential for adverse human health effects due to exposure to hazardous substances in the environment.

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Related PHA & HC For this Press Release


San Germán Ground Water Contamination NPL Site
-Exposure to Chlorinated VOCs in Municipal Drinking Water System
Document Date: 8/3/2012 - PHA  [PDF - 1204 KB]

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Related News Releases For San Germán, Puerto Rico, USA

 

ATSDR Releases Findings on San Germán Ground Water Contamination
Release Date: Friday, August 03, 2012
Past exposures to volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in municipal water are not expected to harm public health, says the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) in its final public health assessment for the San Germán Ground Water Contamination site in San Germán, PR.

ATSDR publica hallazgos sobre la contaminación del agua subterránea en San Germán
Release Date: Friday, August 03, 2012
Las exposiciones del pasado a compuestos orgánicos volátiles (COV) en el agua municipal no se prevé que tengan efectos nocivos en la salud pública, de acuerdo con la evaluación preliminar de salud pública que realizó la Agencia para Sustancias Tóxicas y el Registro de Enfermedades (ATSDR) en el sitio de contaminación de agua subterránea de San Germán, Puerto Rico.

ATSDR publica hallazgos provisionales sobre la contaminación del agua subterránea en San Germán
Release Date: Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Las exposiciones del pasado a compuestos orgánicos volátiles (COV) en el agua municipal no se prevé que tengan efectos nocivos en la salud pública, de acuerdo con la evaluación preliminar de salud pública que realizó la Agencia para Sustancias Tóxicas y el Registro de Enfermedades (ATSDR) en el sitio de contaminación de agua subterránea de San Germán, Puerto Rico.

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