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AGENCY Texas Commission on Environmental Quality
ISSUE 05/04/2001
ACTION Miscellaneous

Notice of Proposal to Registry and Land Use Meeting

The Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission (TNRCC or commission) is required under the Texas Solid Waste Disposal Act, 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 facility 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 was also published on May 4, 2001, in the Houston Chronicle.

The facility proposed for listing is the ArChem Company/Thames Chelsea Chemical Company USA Site (ArChem Site), located at 13103 Conklin Lane, Houston, Harris County, Texas. The geographic coordinates of the site are 29°, 36 minutes, 47 seconds North Latitude and 95°, 11 minutes, 56 seconds West Longitude. The description of the site (release) is based on information available at the time the site was evaluated with the Hazard Ranking System (HRS) and subsequent information provided by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The description may change as additional information is gathered on the sources and extent of contamination. The HRS is the principal screening guide used by the TNRCC to evaluate potential, relative risk to public health and the environment from releases or threatened releases of hazardous substances. According to the HRS report, contaminants detected in surface water at the facility or downhill from it include toluene, isophorone, antimony triacetate (S-21), bis-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, and furfural aldehyde, which constitute only a few of the many chemicals of concern which have been identified for the ArChem Site. Contaminants detected in the groundwater at the facility include barium, chromium, bis-(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, and 1,1,2,2-tetrachloroethane, which constitute only a few of the many chemicals of concern which have been identified for the ArChem Site. Removal actions by the TNRCC, its predecessor agency, the Texas Water Commission (TWC), and the EPA were performed between September 1992 and August 1995, and included removing from the site: 1) all drums of liquid/sludge and/or solid chemical wastes; 2) all surface reactor or storage vessels containing residual chemical wastes; 3) various size process piping containing residual chemical process wastes; and 4) all chemical-waste-contaminated water and sludge from an on-site liquid separator. All of these wastes appeared to have originated from the historic specialty chemical manufacturing operations conducted at the site.

The ArChem site is located at the intersection of Conklin Lane and Beltway 8, which is approximately 1/2 mile northwest of the intersection of State Highway 3 and Interstate 45 in Southeast Houston, Harris County, Texas. The ten-acre site which was formerly a specialty chemical manufacturing facility is currently abandoned and fenced with posted warning signs. The site has been inactive since 1991.

A public meeting will be held Tuesday, June 12, 2001, at 7:00 p.m. at Dobie High School, 11111 Beamer Road in Houston. The purpose of this meeting is to obtain additional information regarding the site relative to its eligibility for listing on the state registry, identify additional potentially responsible parties, and obtain public input and information regarding the appropriate use of land on which the facility 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 Rob Conti, Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission, Superfund Cleanup Section, Remediation Division, MC-143, P. O. Box 13087, Austin, Texas 78711-3087 or faxed to (512) 239-2449. All comments must be received by the commission by 5:00 p.m., June 12, 2001. For further information, please contact Rob Conti at (800) 633-9363 or (512) 239-2495.

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 Houston Public Library, Bracewell Branch, 10115 Kleckley, Houston, Texas 77075, (713)-948-9052, during 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 number (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: April 25, 2001

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