EPA responds to Gulfco contamination
Release date: 4/30/2003
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) added the contamination at Gulfco Marine Maintenance site in Freeport, Texas, to the federal Superfund National Priorities List (NPL), said the EPA and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). The EPA also proposed to add the Conroe Creosoting Company site in Conroe, Texas, and the Jones Road Groundwater Plume, northwest of Houston, to the National Priorities List.
"Listing a site is an important first step in ensuring that public health and the environment will be protected. The EPA and the TCEQ are committed to work together to clean up these sites quickly and efficiently," EPA Regional Administrator Richard E. Greene said.
TCEQ Chairman Robert J. Huston said, "The Commission stands ready to assist the EPA in addressing problem sites such as these. Continued cooperation between our agencies is essential to clean up all contaminated properties throughout our state and to maximize our respective resources."
The 40-acre Gulfco Marine facility was used as a barge-cleaning and servicing facility from 1971 through 1979. The site is being added to the National Priorities List based on evidence that hazardous substances (including semivolatile organic compounds, lead, zinc, and pesticides) have migrated from the facility to the Intracoastal Waterway. These substances pose a threat to nearby drinking water supplies and may impact fisheries downstream of the facility.
Conroe Creosoting Company was a wood treating facility that operated from 1946 to 1997. The facility treated lumber, railroad cross-ties, poles, and fence posts. Three wood-preserving processes (pentachlorophenol (PCP) process, creosote process, and copper chromated arsenate (CCA) process) were used at the facility.
The Conroe site is being considered for the NPL because elevated levels of pentachlorophenol (PCP), dioxins, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and metals have been found in on-site soils, surface water, waste drums and surface impoundments, threatening nearby residents, wetlands, and rivers. These substances are hazardous to human health and the environment. The EPA believes some PAHs are human carcinogens.
The Jones Road Ground Water Plume site is located approximately one-half mile north of the intersection of Jones Road and FM 1960 in a mixed residential, urban/light industry area outside the city limits of northwest Houston, in Harris County, Texas. The site is being considered for the NPL based upon the presence of hazardous substances -- including cis-1,2-dichloroethene (DCE), tetrachloroethene (PCE), and tricholorethene (TCE) -- in drinking water wells. For example, PCE concentrations that are above the EPA's maximum contaminant level have been detected in drinking-water wells. The EPA lists PCE as a human carcinogen.
The EPA Superfund program works closely with state agencies to clean and restore uncontrolled contaminated properties. Superfund cleans sites when the work required is beyond the resources of state and local agencies.
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EPA Gulfco Site History Get the EPA's background on Gulfco Site History
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