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EPA WILL TEST PRIVATE WELLS AT TUCSON SUPERFUND SITE

 EPA WILL TEST PRIVATE WELLS AT TUCSON SUPERFUND SITE
 SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 26 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) today announced plans to test private wells in use at the Tucson International Airport Area Superfund site, Pima County, Ariz.
 The Pima County Department of Environmental Quality (PDEQ) and U.S. EPA recently learned that a private well that was being used for drinking water purposes is contaminated with the solvent, trichloroethylene (TCE). U.S. EPA classifies TCE as a probable human carcinogen and sets the federal drinking water standard for the maximum contamination level at 5 parts per billion. The contaminated private well was discovered to have a level of 130 parts per billion. PDEQ and Tucson Water quickly responded to provide the well user with an alternative water supply.
 At U.S. EPA's direction, Tucson Water will collect and analyze water samples to ensure that other private wells in use are not contaminated with TCE and other similar chemicals. U.S. EPA and PDEQ encourage Tucson residents who are using their own wells within the area bounded by the Santa Cruz River to the west, Ajo Way to the north, Country Club Road to the east, and the Hughes Access Road south of Air Force Plant no. 44 to the south, to call Dan Opalski of U.S. EPA at 415-744-2359 or toll-free at 800-231-3075, or PDEQ at 602-740-3339 to have their private wells tested. There is no charge for this testing.
 U.S. EPA, PDEQ and the city of Tucson will work together to ensure that an alternative water supply is available for anyone whose private well water is found to exceed federal drinking water standards for TCE or other similar chemicals. Since 1981, the city of Tucson has been removing from its system wells that exceed these drinking water standards.
 The Tucson International Airport Area is located in Pima County in southeastern Arizona. The site encompasses sections of southwest Tucson, as well as adjoining lands south of the city. It includes industrial, commercial, residential and undeveloped property. The groundwater was contaminated by volatile organic compounds (VOCs) as result of certain waste disposal practices at and around the airport.
 A groundwater extraction and treatment plant, expected to be completed by mid-1994, will remove VOCs such as TCE from the groundwater and clean the water to reduce the amount of TCE to 1.5 micrograms per liter or less, a level even more stringent than the federal drinking water standard of five micrograms per liter.
 The site was placed on the U.S. EPA National Priorities List (NPL) in 1983. The NPL is U.S. EPA's list of hazardous waste sites potentially posing the greatest long-term threat to public health and the environment. U.S. EPA identifies and ranks NPL sites according to threats to nearby populations through actual or potential contamination of groundwater, surface water or air.
 -0- 10/26/92
 /CONTACT: Paula Bruin of the U.S. EPA, 415-744-1587/ CO: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ST: Arizona IN: UTI SU:


TM -- SF011 -- 5056 10/26/92 17:23 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 26, 1992
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