Moving Information into the Hands of the Community

On Saturday, November 4, 2006, UA SBRP Research Translation Coordinator, Monica Ramirez and US-Mexico Binational Center for Environmental Studies and Toxicology (Binational Center) Program Coordinator, Denise Moreno joined US EPA Community Involvement Coordinator, José Francisco Garcia at the Sunnyside Neighborhood Association’s 10th Annual Arts and Craft Fair. The fair took place at Wildcat Charter School for grades 6 through 12 in Tucson, Arizona.

The Sunnyside Neighborhood Association is an established partner and participant in the Tucson International Airport Area (TIAA) Superfund Site Unified Community Advisory Board meetings.  These meetings are a forum to discuss the short and long-term impacts of groundwater contamination from this Superfund site.  The TIAA site is geographically situated in the northern portion of the Tucson Basin in Pima County, Arizona, and includes the south side of the city of Tucson.  The Sunnyside Neighborhood Association is one of the areas affected by the main plume of groundwater contamination.

The primary Contaminant of Concern found at the TIAA site is Trichloroethylene (TCE), a volatile organic compound that has been widely used as an industrial solvent. Other contaminants found include tetrachloroethene (PCE), dichloroethylene (1,1-DCE), chloroform, benzene and chromium. In addition, there is an emerging contaminant in the area that was used to stabilize the TCE, called 1,4 dioxane.  A total of 11-city drinking water wells and a greater number of private household wells have been shut down to date as a result of groundwater contamination.

Together, the US EPA, the UA SBRP and the Binational Center provided information and answered the community’s questions regarding the site’s remediation strategies and TCE health effects. The following materials were distributed:

  • “What is TCE?”, a basic information/fact sheet, provided in English and Spanish
  • "Chlorinated Solvent Contaminants in Arizona Aquifers, Part I: Sources, Properties, Health Effects and Fate”, a quarterly research bulletin entitled, SciTransfer, dedicated to providing a comprehensive introduction to an environmental contaminant or issue currently confronting the state of Arizona and the entire nation, while highlighting current UA SBRP biomedical and environmental remediation research. A Spanish version will be available soon.

As a team, Ms. Monica Ramirez, Ms. Denise Moreno, and Mr. José Francisco Garcia are working to meet the needs of the community now and in future TIAA Superfund Site Unified Community Advisory Board meetings.