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AGENCY Texas Commission on Environmental Quality
ISSUE 11/08/2002
ACTION Miscellaneous

Notice of Public Meeting to Propose the James Barr Facility for Listing on the Texas Superfund Registry and to Determine Appropriate Land Use

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ 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 May 24, 2002 issue of the Texas Register (27 TexReg 4633).

In accordance with the Act, §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 commission hereby gives notice of a facility 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 commission also gives notice in accordance with the Act, §361.1855, that it proposes a land use other than residential as appropriate for the facility. The TCEQ is proposing a land use designation of commercial/industrial based on the existing land use of the property, as in accordance with 30 Texas Administrative Code (TAC) §350.53. Determination of appropriate land use may 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 was also published on November 6, 2002, in the Pearland Journal and Pearland Reporter News.

The facility proposed for listing is the James Barr Facility (JBF), located in the 3300 block of Industrial Drive, in the southern part of the corporate boundary of the City of Pearland, Brazoria County, Texas. The site is located on a two-acre tract and is owned by James Barr. The site is bound on the north by undeveloped land; on the east by the Kneeland Construction Company and several sand pits filled with water; on the west by businesses along Industrial Drive; and to the south by industrial businesses, areas of sand mining and oil field production facilities.

The geographic coordinates of the site are 29 degrees 31' 48.43" North Latitude and 95 degrees 15' 41.85" West Longitude. The description of the site is based on information available at the time the site was evaluated with the Hazard Ranking System (HRS). The HRS is the principal screening guide used by the commission to evaluate potential, relative risk to public health and the environment from releases or threatened releases of hazardous substances. The description may change as additional information is gathered on the sources and extent of contamination.

Presently, the site consists of contaminated soil and two surface impoundments. The contaminated soil originated from a spill from a skid-mounted horizontal tank located at the site. Both of the surface impoundments were observed containing liquids with a slightly oily sheen and black liquid/sludge type wastes. During the site screening inspection, conducted in May 1999, inorganic and organic hazardous substances were reported in sediment samples collected from the two surface impoundments. Additionally, there are three unusable above ground storage tanks (ASTs) and the remains of two additional ASTs on the JBF. All the wastes stored in the ASTs were removed in August 2001 by the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission (TNRCC), predecessor agency of the TCEQ.

Mr. Barr operated the JBF site as a storage facility for hazardous waste transported by vacuum trucks and unloaded into the various ASTs located on the property. Additionally, wash water generated from the transport vehicles was reportedly stored in two on-site surface impoundments. The time span of the storage operation is presently unknown.

On December 5, 1995, Brazoria County auctioned the property due to unpaid taxes. Ms. Janice Walker purchased the property from Brazoria County. According to Mr. Samuel Gage, a welding contractor, he was authorized by Ms. Walker to cut open the ASTs and salvage the steel. Mr. Gage apparently salvaged several ASTs adjacent to Industrial Drive. On April 11, 1997, a spill of oily material onto the ground occurred while Mr. Gage began salvage operations on a skid-mounted horizontal tank. The spilled material was hazardous based on samples collected from the spill site. On May 6, 1997, Ms. Walker and Mr. Barr signed a notarized redemption agreement that returned the property back to Mr. Barr.

In July 1997, Ms. Walker hired a contractor to clean-up the spilled material. The spilled material was put back into the horizontal tank and the tank secured. The contaminated soil was excavated and placed into 55-gallon metal drums on pallet support. Microbes were reportedly used during the clean-up actions for treating the contaminated soil. No confirmation samples were collected following remediation of the spill. The 19 55-gallon drums containing the contaminated soil from the April 1997 spill were left on-site. In August 2001, the drums were removed from the property by the TNRCC.

A public meeting will be held Thursday, December 19, 2002 at 7:00 p.m. in Council Chambers of Pearland City Hall, 3519 Liberty Drive, Pearland, Texas. The purpose of this meeting is to obtain additional information regarding the site relative to its eligibility for listing in the state registry, identify additional potentially responsible parties, and obtain public input and information regarding the appropriate use of land on which the facility that is 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.

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., December 19, 2002, and should be sent in writing to Ms. Carol Boucher, Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Superfund Clean-up Section, Remediation Division, MC-143, P.O. Box 13087, Austin, Texas 78711-3087 or by facsimile at (512) 239-2450. The public comment period for this action will end at the close of the public meeting on December 19, 2002.

A portion of the record for this site, including documents pertinent to the executive director's determination of eligibility, is available for review at the Pearland Library, 3522 Liberty Drive, Pearland, Texas 77581, telephone (281) 485-4876, during regular business hours. Copies of the complete public record file may be obtained during regular business hours at the commission's Records Management Center, Building E, First Floor, 12100 Park 35 Circle, Austin, Texas, or by telephone at (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.

Information regarding the state Superfund program is also available at the commission's website located at www.tceq.state.tx.us/permitting/remed/superfund/index.html.

For further information about this site or the public meeting, please call Mr. Bruce McAnally, TCEQ Community Relations, at (800)-633-9363, extension 2141.


Paul C. Sarahan

Director, Litigation Division

Texas Commission on Environmental Quality

Filed: October 29, 2002

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