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Two More Toxic Texas Sites Added to Superfund Sites

Texas Business reports: DALLAS—The Environmental Protection Agency announced, with support from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, that two sites in Texas have been added to the National Priorities List (NPL) of Superfund sites.

Added to the NPL are the US Oil Recovery site in Pasadena and the Circle Court Ground Water Plume in Willow Park.

The US Oil Recovery site is an inactive used oil processor and wastewater treatment facility on two separate parcels located in Pasadena, Harris County, Texas.

Hazardous wastes remaining onsite include a variety of volatile organics, metals and mercury. Releases of arsenic, barium, cobalt, manganese, mercury, silver and vanadium have been documented in both surface water and sediment within Vince Bayou. This contamination threatens a nearby fishery and wetlands.

The Circle Court Ground Water Plume site is located in Willow Park, Parker County. In 2006, routine sampling of a well in the city’s water system showed concentrations of trichloroethene (TCE) to be above safe levels. Subsequent tests showed that public water supply and five private wells all had elevated TCE levels. These water sources are all within a one-mile radius of the site, which extends for a half-mile along Russell Road. The city of Willow Park shut down the wells and installed a carbon filter to provide safe drinking water for affected residents. The source of the contamination has not been identified.

“Adding these sites to the National Priorities List is an important step in ensuring public health and the environment will be protected,” said Acting Regional Administrator Sam Coleman. “Cleaning up hazardous waste in our communities and returning properties to environmental and economic vitality are EPA priorities.”

Superfund is the federal program that investigates and cleans up the most complex, uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous waste sites in the country.

The NPL is the list of hazardous sites in the United States eligible for long-term cleanup action financed under the federal Superfund program. The EPA works to identify companies or people responsible for the contamination at a site and requires them to conduct or pay for the cleanup. For newly listed sites without viable potentially responsible parties, the EPA will investigate the full extent of the contamination before starting significant cleanup at the site. It may take several years before cleanup funding is available for these sites.