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EPA proposes $3M cleanup of former recycling facility

Keywords: Tags  EPA, Toa Baja, superfund, soil contamination, Scorpio Recycling, lead, Rey Mashayekhi


NEW YORK — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is proposing a plan to handle contaminated soil at now-defunct Scorpio Recycling Inc.’s former site in Toa Baja, Puerto Rico.

The EPA designated the nine-acre site, where Scorpio operated metal recycling and battery crushing activities from 1972 to 2010, as a Superfund site on its National Priorities List after it found the soil was contaminated with lead and other harmful materials.

The EPA determined that groundwater contamination from the site is not a threat to public health or the environment, but it plans to implement a $3-million program to consolidate the contaminated soil in two separate areas. A "conservation area" will be covered by clean soil, while an "industrial area" will be covered by gravel, according to the EPA. The agency said it will monitor the site and conduct a review every five years to ensure the cleanup’s effectiveness.

While the Superfund program normally requires that polluters pay for the cost of cleanups, Scorpio Recycling’s dissolution meant that the EPA "was unable to identify a viable party" to cover the $3-million cost of the program.

The plan will now undergo a public comment process, which is expected to run through Sept. 6.


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