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AGENCY Texas Commission on Environmental Quality
ISSUE 12/17/2004
ACTION Miscellaneous

Notice of a Public Meeting to Obtain Public Input and Information on the Proposed Remedy for the State Highway 123 PCE Plume Proposed State Superfund Site

The executive director of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ or commission) is issuing this public notice of a proposed selection of remedy for the State Highway 123 PCE Plume proposed state Superfund site (the site). In accordance with 30 TAC §335.349(a), concerning requirements for the remedial action, and Texas Health and Safety Code (THSC), §361.187, concerning the proposed remedial action, a public meeting will be held regarding the commission's selection of a proposed remedy for the site. The statute requires that the commission publish a notice of the meeting in the Texas Register and in a newspaper of general circulation in the county in which the facility is located at least 30 days before the date of the public meeting. This notice was also published in the San Marcos Daily Record on December 17, 2004.

The public meeting is scheduled for Thursday, January 20, 2005, from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at the City of San Marcos Activity Center, 501 East Hopkins, San Marcos, Texas. The public meeting will be legislative in nature and is not a contested case hearing under Texas Government Code, Chapter 2001.

The site was proposed for listing on the state registry of Superfund sites in the January 26, 2001 edition of the Texas Register (26 TexReg 1033). The site is located in San Marcos, Hays County, Texas.

The site is the location of a contaminated groundwater plume from an unknown source. The groundwater plume is a volume of shallow groundwater contaminated with perchloroethylene (PCE) (also known as tetrachloroethylene) and PCE-related chemicals. PCE is a chemical used for dry cleaning and metal degreasing. The groundwater plume has been documented to extend from Willow Springs Creek southwest toward State Highway 123 and then southwest toward Parker Street. The shallow groundwater emerges through seeps (springs) that flow into Willow Springs Creek, which is a tributary of the San Marcos River.

On January 26, 2001, legal notices were published in the Texas Register and the San Marcos Daily Record, describing the site and proposing the site for listing on the state Superfund registry. On February 27, 2001, a public meeting was held in San Marcos to receive community comments on the proposal of the site to be listed on the Superfund registry. On October 31, 2001, the TCEQ issued a work order to initiate the first phase of the field investigation. On April 22, 2002, the TCEQ presented the investigation results at an availability session for interested citizens in San Marcos. The TCEQ has conducted several phases of investigations of soil, groundwater, springs, creek surface water and sediments, and fish tissue from fish in Willow Springs Creek. The findings of the completed investigation activities are presented in the Remedial Investigation Report, dated August 2004.

The TCEQ has determined that the only unacceptable risk associated with the site is potential exposure to the contaminated groundwater. The potential for exposure to this unacceptable risk is very low for the general public since no one currently uses the groundwater. The TCEQ has not found conclusive evidence to identify the original source of the contamination in the groundwater.

The TCEQ has prepared a proposed remedial action document which identifies a long-term plan for mitigating potential risk of exposure to the contaminated groundwater and provides an explanation of how this remedy complies with the relevant clean-up standards and remedy selection criteria. The proposed remedy includes monitored natural attenuation and the placement of a deed notice in the Hays County real property records on each property overlying the groundwater contamination plume. Monitored natural attenuation provides a cost-effective long-term reduction in contamination concentrations while ensuring that the plume does not move to an area of unanticipated exposure. A deed notice warns and advises current and future property owners against installing wells or creating other pathways of exposure to the contamination. This remedy complies with Remedy Standard B established by the Texas Risk Reduction Program rules (30 TAC Chapter 350) and complies with the statutory requirement that the commission select the lowest cost remedy that is protective of public health and the environment.

All persons desiring to make comments may do so prior to or at the public meeting. All comments submitted prior to the public meeting must be received by 5:00 p.m., January 19, 2005, and should be sent in writing to Ms. Luda Voskov, Project Manager, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Remediation Division, MC 143, P.O. Box 13087, Austin, Texas 78711-3087, or facsimile at (512) 239-2450. The public comment period for this action will end at the close of the public meeting on January 20, 2005.

A portion of the record for this site, including documents pertinent to the proposed remedy, is available for review during regular business hours at the San Marcos Public Library, 625 East Hopkins, (512) 393-8200. Copies of the complete public record file may be obtained during business hours at the commission's Records Management Center, Records Customer Service, Building E, First Floor, MC 199, 12100 Park 35 Circle, Austin, Texas 78753, (800) 633-9363 or (512) 239-2920. Photocopying of file information is subject to payment of a fee. Parking for persons with disabilities is available on the east side of Building D, convenient to access ramps that are between Buildings D and E.

Information about the site is also available on the Web site at www.tnrcc.state.tx.us/permitting/remed/superfund/statehwy123.html and general information about the state Superfund program is available at www.tnrcc.state.tx.us/permitting/remed/superfund/.

Persons with disabilities who have special communication or other accommodation needs who are planning to attend the meeting should contact the agency at (800) 633-9363 or (512) 239-5674. Requests should be made as far in advance as possible.

For further information about this site or the public meeting, please call John Flores, TCEQ Community Relations, at (800) 633-9363, extension 5674.


Paul C. Sarahan

Director, Litigation Division

Texas Commission on Environmental Quality

Filed: December 7, 2004

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