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AGENCY Texas Commission on Environmental Quality
ISSUE 01/26/2001
ACTION Miscellaneous

Public Notice

The Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission (TNRCC or commission) is required under the Texas Solid Waste Disposal Act, Texas Health and Safety Code, Chapter 361, as amended (the Act), to annually publish a state registry that identifies facilities that may constitute an imminent and substantial endangerment to public health and safety or the environment due to a release or threatened release of hazardous substances into the environment. The most recent registry listing of these facilities was published in the November 24, 2000 issue of the Texas Register (25 TexReg 11756).

Pursuant to §361.184(a), the commission must publish a notice of intent to list a facility on the state registry of state Superfund sites in the Texas Register and in a newspaper of general circulation in the county in which the facility is located. With this publication, the TNRCC hereby gives notice of a facility or area that the executive director has determined eligible for listing, and which the executive director proposes to list on the state registry. By this publication, the TNRCC also gives notice pursuant to the Act, §361.1855, that it proposes a land use other than residential as appropriate for the area identified below. The TNRCC proposes a commercial/industrial land use designation. Determination of future land use will impact the remedial investigation and remedial action for the site.

This publication also specifies the general nature of the potential endangerment to public health and safety or the environment as determined by information currently available to the executive director. This notice of intent to list this facility will be published on January 26, 2001 in the San Marcos Daily Record.

The facility proposed for listing is the State Highway 123 PCE Plume, previously known as the San Marcos PCE Plume. Other names for PCE include perchloroethylene, tetrachloroethene, and tetrachloroethylene. PCE is a manufactured chemical that is widely used for dry cleaning of fabrics and for metal degreasing.

The State Highway 123 PCE Plume is a contaminated groundwater plume from an unknown source near the intersection of State Highway 123 and Interstate Highway 35 (IH-35) in San Marcos, Hays County, Texas. The ground water plume has been documented to extend from the intersection of State Highway 123 and the IH-35 access road toward Willow Springs Creek. The groundwater emerges through springs that flow into Willow Springs Creek, which is a tributary of the San Marcos River. The creek flows into the river east of IH-35. The springs are located on privately-owned land, currently used for grazing cattle. The access to the springs is fenced and locked. The surrounding land use includes agricultural, recreational, residential and commercial.

During 1993, the Texas Water Commission, predecessor agency of the TNRCC, conducted a groundwater investigation in conjunction with the installation of a new 36-inch wastewater main by the City of San Marcos in the vicinity of IH-35 and Highway 123. The results of the sampling event documented the presence of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) including chlorinated solvents.

In 1997, a United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Screening Site Inspection was conducted by the TNRCC during which groundwater and sediment samples were taken. The analytical results showed the presence of 1,2-dichloroethene and tetrachloroethene. The EPA Region 6 Office issued a Superfund Site Strategy Recommendation of "No Further Remedial Action Planned" due to the lack of drinking water targets in the area and referred the site to the TNRCC.

During May 2000, additional sampling was conducted by the TNRCC. The analytical results from two surface water samples taken near the springs showed detectable levels of cis-1,2 dichloroethene, tetrachloroethene, and trichloroethene.

The closest surface water intake provides water for the A.E. Wood Fish Hatchery, a Texas Parks and Wildlife facility located approximately 0.5 mile from the entry point of Willow Springs Creek into the San Marcos River.

A public meeting will be held on February 27, 2001, at 6:30 p.m. at San Marcos Public Library, 625 East Hopkins, San Marcos, Texas. The purpose of this meeting is to obtain additional information regarding the site relative to its eligibility for listing on the state registry, identify potentially responsible parties, and obtain public input and information regarding the appropriate use of land on which the subject of this notice is located. The public meeting will be legislative in nature and not a contested case hearing under the Texas Administrative Procedure Act (Texas Government Code, Chapter 2001).

Written comments may also be submitted to the attention of Ms. Luda Voskov, Superfund Cleanup Section, Remediation Division, MC-143, P. O. Box 13087, Austin, Texas 78711-3087, (512) 239-6368. All comments must be received by the commission on or before the close of the public meeting on February 27, 2001.

The executive director of the TNRCC prepared a brief summary of the commission's records regarding this site. This summary and a portion of the records for this site, including documents pertinent to the executive director's determination of eligibility, are available for review at the San Marcos Public Library, 625 East Hopkins, San Marcos, Texas, during the library's regular business hours.

Copies of the complete public record file may be obtained during regular business hours at the TNRCC Records Management Center, Building D, Room 190, 12100 Park 35 Circle, Austin, Texas 78753; telephone numbers (800) 633-9363 or (512) 239-2920. Photocopying of file information is subject to payment of a fee.

Handicapped parking is available on the east side of Building D, convenient to access ramps that are between Buildings D and E.


Margaret Hoffman

Director, Environmental Law Division

Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission

Filed: January 17, 2001

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