Toxic Chemicals Removed From Abandoned Warehouse in Puerto Rico

Removing a significant threat to public health and safety, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 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 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.

Analysis

When I hear politicians, who want to be president, say that "the EPA should be shut down because it's a job killer;" a little piece of my hope for humanity dies. The largest mystery I've encountered in my extensive analytical career is the behavior of humans. It is the most difficult to make any rhyme or reason. How could anyone who says that they're Christian care so little for their neighbors?


Flickr Creative Commons Contributor: Jeremy Brooks