Federally funded urban developments in Puerto Rico are incorporating new mitigation measures as part of their grant requirements. Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) are typically encountered at the sub-soil of old gasoline stations, dry cleaners and automotive repair shops. When new federally funded development studies report high VOC’s levels, regulatory agencies, such as the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), require the implementation of mitigation systems to reduce vapor intrusion within the new building and eliminate the potential health risks.
Long-term exposure to airborne building contaminants may contribute to a condition known as Sick Building Syndrome. VOC’s at the subsoil can easily become vapors under new buildings that flows through the soil particles into the atmosphere. This situation can lead to long-term health effects on building users. Proper testing and construction methods become crucial for a successful vapor intrusion mitigation.
Two federal funded residential projects are under construction in Puerto Rico; Las Gladiolas in Hato Rey and Puerta de Tierra in San Juan. Their sites reported high levels of organic concentrations, and CMA is currently providing supervision and testing services at both. Currently VOC’s mitigation is underway with two different types of sub-slab depressurization systems: traditional Vapor Intrusion Mitigation System (Gravel with perforated pipes) and Aerated floors Vapor Intrusion Mitigation System. These mitigation measures will provide a safe environment to the future occupants of these sought after urban developments.
For more information, visit www.epa.gov and contact us at www.cmapr.com.
Engineer Jose Carro is the recipient of the Professional Distinguished Transportation award 2019 awarded by ITE