THE BATTERY RECYCLING COMPANY
On this page:
- What Has Been Done to Clean Up the Site?
- What Is the Current Site Status?
- Emergency Response and Removal
On related pages:
The Battery Recycling Company, Inc., site is located in the Cambalache Ward of Arecibo, Puerto Rico. The former battery processing facility occupies a property of approximately 16 acres and is bounded on three sides by agricultural or undeveloped land and the fourth side is bounded by state road PR-2. There is a small residential neighborhood north of the property, as well as a hardware and lumber retailer on the opposite side of road PR-2.
The Battery Recycling Company, Inc. began operations at the Arecibo location in 1994. Initially, the company performed small scale lead-acid battery breaking and lead smelting, but between 2004-2005, the facility increased operations and became a large-scale secondary smelter. Operations at the facility included breaking and sorting lead-acid batteries and refining the lead to be resold.
EPA has determined that the company processed more than 47 million pounds of lead and 605,000 pounds of antimony from 2006 to 2008. The operations at the facility have generated large quantities of battery acid and lead-contaminated waste. Improper handling of the hazardous materials and hazardous wastes by the company has led to high levels of lead contamination at and near the facility. In addition, workers at the facility carried lead dust on their clothes and personal equipment into their cars and homes, putting their families and others at risk.
In 2010 and 2011, the EPA conducted a series of inspections of the facility to determine its compliance with federal laws and regulations. EPA also assessed homes and vehicles of former company employees that had become contaminated with lead dust from the facility. EPA evaluated 202 homes and 282 vehicles, and the company then cleaned up 149 residential properties and 145 vehicles under the administrative order issued in June 2011 with EPA oversight.
What Has Been Done to Clean Up the Site?
Following the shutdown of the facility in 2014, EPA took over and performed removal actions to stabilize lead slag piles and contaminated waste water to minimize the most immediate releases at the site.
Following immediate actions to protect human health and the environment, site investigations and long-term cleanup activities are ongoing. The site was added to the Superfund National Priorities List of the country’s most hazardous sites in the summer of 2017. Site Investigations are ongoing to determine the nature and extent of the contamination.
What Is the Current Site Status?
The site is being addressed in two stages: immediate actions and a long-term remedial phase, Redial Investigation/Feasibility Study, focused on assesing and the cleanup of the entire site.
Immediation actions are ongoing and have been implemented to mitigate the releases and address potential releases of hazardous substances from the site.
In 2019, EPA began implementing long-time remedial phase activities to further assess site conditions, including environemtnal media, to bdefine the extent of the contamination caused by the releases of hazardous substances from the site. Remedial Investigation/FeasibilityStudy be it expected to be completed by 2021.
Emergency Response and Removal
EPA continues to perform Time Critical Removal Action for activities necessary to mitigate the release, and threat of
a release, of hazardous substances posed by the Site.