Old US Highway 90 On The E Bank Of The San Jacinto River
EPA Updates: https://semspub.epa.gov/work/06/500023581.pdf
Status: Remedy is complete and protective of human health and the environment in the short term. Operation and maintenance activities are ongoing. Five-year reviews are being conducted along with periodic well monitoring by the TCEQ.
Background: From approximately 1961 until 1967, the Site was operated as an illegal open dump. As a result, a wide variety of wastes, including drums and bulk wastes, were disposed of on-site. The wastes were primarily chemical wastes, such as benzene, phenols, olefinic compounds, and other organic solvents, that most likely originated from petrochemical companies operating in the surrounding area. Approximately 2,000, 55-gallon drums of waste and an indeterminable number of bulk loads were discovered to have been disposed at the Site. The drums were dumped along the sides of roads and bulldozed into pits and low mounds, while the bulk loads were dumped and/or pumped into pits and low-lying areas. Hydrocarbon odors from the Site became such a nuisance that local residents at the time complained to both President Lyndon Johnson and Congress. Much of the wastes were deposited into what was known as the main waste pit, which was surrounded by a dike. This dike was breached by flooding, which resulted in the transporting of wastes across a large low-lying area east of the main waste pit known as the overflow area.
Risks: Risks and pathways addressed by the cleanup. The greatest health risk to people was through exposure to residual waste at the site. The greatest health risk to people is through drinking contaminated groundwater. In the short term, exposure pathways that could result in unacceptable risks are being controlled.
Cleanup Activities: A June 1983 removal action resulted in the removal of approximately 440 cubic yards of buried phenolic tars. A Record of Decision (ROD) for the site was issued on September 18, 1986, to address the threats posed by the site. The remedy selected in the ROD included excavation of contaminated soil and sludge, onsite incineration of excavated soil and sludge, onsite disposal of residue ash from incineration, backfilling of pits and excavated areas, treatment of contaminated surface water, institutional controls to prevent used of contaminated groundwater, and monitoring of the upper and lower aquifers. The site’s long-term remedy included excavation of contaminated soil and sludge, on-site incineration of excavated soil and sludge, on-site disposal of residue ash from incineration, backfilling of pits and excavated areas, treatment of contaminated surface water, institutional controls to prevent used of contaminated groundwater, and monitoring of the upper and lower aquifers. Construction of the remedy finished in 1995. Operation and maintenance activities are ongoing.
Redevelopment: Both Jackson Bayou and the San Jacinto River have designated beneficial uses for contact recreation and high aquatic life. An off-roading park (Down South Offroad Park) is located within the Site on the north end. The only features remaining that are related to the remedy include groundwater monitoring wells and access roads. Individual security fencing with a locked gate secures each monitoring well. Since completion of the remedy, vegetation has become reestablished and the majority of the Site is vacant, except for the Love Marina at the western side of the Site.