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Federal Agency Seeks Community Input about San German Ground Water Contamination Site


For Immediate Release: August 4, 2008

ATLANTA—The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) is seeking community input for its evaluation of public health impacts at the San German Ground Water Contamination site in Puerto Rico.  The site, located in the Municipality of San German, consists of an area of subsurface groundwater contaminated with the solvents tetrachloroethylene (PCE), trichloroethylene (TCE) and cis-1,2 dichloroethylene (DCE).  The source and extent of the contamination have not yet been identified.  The contaminants are commonly associated with activities such as degreasing, industrial cleaning and dry cleaning.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) placed the San German Ground Water Contamination site on the Superfund National Priorities List (NPL) after the contaminants were found to be above standards in three wells of the municipal drinking water system.  The affected wells have been shut down since 2006 and are not supplying water to the community.

ATSDR is required by law to evaluate public health impacts of NPL sites through its public health assessment process.  A public health assessment evaluates contaminant levels, ways people come in contact with the contaminants, and community concerns, to determine how a site could affect public health. 

ATSDR has conducted a site visit to San German and is interested in hearing health concerns related to the site.  To provide information or to ask questions about the public health assessment, please contact Maria Teran-MacIver, Community Involvement Specialist, by email at or by calling 1-800-CDC-INFO. 

All concerns will be included and addressed in the public health assessment report.  The public health assessment will be completed in early 2009.  The public will be offered the opportunity to comment on the document before it is finalized.

ATSDR is a federal public health agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It was created by the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act of 1980 (also known as the Superfund legislation).  ATSDR’s mission is to serve the public by using the best science, taking responsive public health actions and providing trusted health information to prevent harmful exposures and disease related to toxic substances.


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

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Updated August 5, 2008
For more information, contact ATSDR at:
770-488-0700 or e-mail (news media)

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