KERMIT – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed adding a contaminated groundwater plume in Winkler County to the Superfund program’s National Priorities List (NPL) of the nation’s most contaminated sites.
The site, near SH 18 west of Odessa, consists of a plume of groundwater contaminated with volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that released into the Santa Rosa Aquifer. Currently, seven of the city's nine wells contain either trichloroethene (TCE) or tetrachloroethene (PCE).
Because two of the wells contain PCE above health-based limits, the Kermit Public Water Supply system treats and blends water prior to distribution to ensure it meets drinking water standards. The source of contamination is not known.
Superfund cleanups benefit the health of those who live on or near the sites. Academic research has shown these cleanups reduce birth defects close to a site by as much as 25 percent. More than 850 Superfund sites nationwide have some type of actual or planned reuse underway.
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