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Dona Park Neighborhood Assessment

In 2010-2011, the TCEQ conducted an assessment of the Dona Park and Manchester Place neighborhoods to address community concerns regarding soils contaminated with metals. Soil concentrations of lead, cadmium, or both, exceeded residential protective concentration levels at five of the nearly 500 yards assessed. The TCEQ conducted soil removal of those five yards by excavating and disposing of the contaminated soil at an approved landfill and refilling the excavations with clean fill. The assessment was completed in October 2011.

Site Location

The neighborhoods are located immediately south of the former ASARCO/Encycle facility. The neighborhoods include residences north of Interstate 37 and south of Up River Road along Golla Drive, Manchester Avenue, Dona Drive, Vernon Drive, Linda Street, and Gale Street.

Site History

From 1941 to 1985, American Smelting and Refining Company (“ASARCO”) operated a smelter that produced high-grade zinc at the facility. The facility was inactive from 1986 until 1988. Between 1988 and 2002, Encycle conducted a waste-management business at the facility.

ASARCO employed an air discharge smokestack as part of its zinc smelter operations. The stack was located approximately 950 feet northwest of the neighborhoods and was a potential source of zinc, cadmium, and lead contamination from the facility via wind dispersion into the residential area.

In 1994, the TCEQ began sampling soil in the neighborhoods. From 1994 to 1998, ASARCO performed investigative and remedial activities to address contamination in residential soils; and in 2003 and 2004, Encycle, on behalf of ASARCO, conducted additional investigations and removal of soils.

Assessment

As part of the 2010-2011 assessment, the TCEQ conducted a two-phase pilot study to evaluate the use of field X-ray fluorescence (XRF) as a screening tool to determine if metals concentrations in soils exceeded cleanup levels. Community members provided input on the selection of residential properties for the pilot study and associated Field Sampling Plan

The TCEQ implemented phase I of the pilot study in October 2010 after providing advance notification of the work via the existing Hillcrest Community Environmental Investigation website and by phone using the community "calling tree." The TCEQ implemented phase II of the pilot study in November and December 2010.

The final laboratory data reports for phases I and II of the pilot study were reviewed by an independent third party and were deemed usable for the project objectives. The Pilot Study Report concluded that field XRF was an acceptable screening tool to determine if metals concentrations in soils exceed cleanup levels.

In May 2011, the TCEQ expanded the assessment to include all residential properties in the neighborhoods not assessed during the pilot study, and where access was granted. The expanded assessment included collecting composite soil samples from front and back yards and analyzing them using a field XRF in conjunction with confirmation laboratory analysis to determine the concentrations of target chemicals of concern in residential soils. A field sampling plan for the expanded assessment was prepared by the TCEQ with input from community members and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The expanded assessment was completed in July 2011. Based on the results of the pilot study and expanded assessment, five of the properties assessed had soil concentrations of chemicals of concern (lead, cadmium, or both) exceeding protective concentration levels (PCLs). The Expanded Assessment Report was completed in October 2011. Copies of soil sample results were mailed to homeowners and residents of properties that were assessed.

On April 11, 2013, The Texas Department of State Health Services issued a revised Health Consultation. This Health Consultation was based on a review of the data from the TCEQ’s expanded assessment.

Removal Actions

The five properties where soil concentrations of lead, cadmium , or both, exceeded protective concentration levels were remediated (or cleaned up) in July and August 2011. Historical information indicates these five yards had not been cleaned up in the past. The Removal Action Report provides additional details on these removal actions.

Vacant Lot Subsurface Investigation

In response to concerns from some community residents about possible buried wastes at a vacant lot at 1278 Manchester Avenue, the TCEQ performed a non-intrusive ground-penetrating radar and electromagnetic survey of the subsurface in October 2010. The survey revealed several anomalous areas that warranted further investigation. However, subsequent soil trenching, excavation, and sampling in July 2011 did not detect any evidence of buried hazardous wastes or drums.

Air Monitoring

The TCEQ conducts air monitoring and sampling in the neighborhoods throughout demolition and active remediation activities at the ASARCO/Encycle facility under an Ambient Air Monitoring Program. Data is available in our TCEQ Air Laboratory Data PDF document.

ASARCO/Encycle Facility - Organic Compound Screening

The TCEQ and the EPA collaborated on a sampling and analyses effort to screen soils, sediments, groundwater, and wastes for the presence of hazardous organic compounds within the ASARCO/Encycle facility. The documents, including the complete data set generated, are available on the TCEQ/EPA Sampling At Former Encycle Facility web page.

EPA and TCEQ performed a sampling and analyses screening of soils for organic compounds in areas adjacent to the former ASARCO/Encycle facility the week of July 25, 2011. The draft Field Sampling Plan was made available for public input.

Data from the July 2011 screening of soils and sediments for organic compounds in areas adjacent to the former ASARCO/Encycle.

The final Soil/Sediment Sampling Report dated September 30, 2011 for screening soils and sediments for organic compounds in areas adjacent to the former ASARCO/Encycle facility, is available.

Community Meetings

The TCEQ hosted community meetings and/or availability sessions throughout the assessment. Meetings were held at the St. Theresa Catholic Church, Parish Center, located at 1302 Lantana Street, Corpus Christi, Texas, on the following dates:

  • August 19, 2010. The TCEQ provided the community with an update of the Remediation Division’s comprehensive case file review of past assessments and cleanups conducted in the neighborhoods. In addition, the TCEQ solicited community input regarding future assessment activities.
  • December 9, 2010. The TCEQ updated the community on the status of the pilot study and provided an update of the planned demolition of the facility.
  • March 3, 2011. The TCEQ discussed the results of the pilot study and solicited input from the community on the next steps of the assessment.
  • November 10, 2011. The TCEQ, together with the EPA, discussed the environmental work performed in the community to date and the overall results of the assessment.

The Texas Department of State Health Services hosted a community meeting on July 25, 2013, at the St. Theresa Catholic Church, Parish Center, to discuss the results of their April 11, 2013, health consultation report. The TCEQ also presented a summary of their completed assessment and removal actions and answered remaining questions.

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Contact Information

For more information, please contact Mr. Craig Watts, Remediation Division  Project Manager for the Dona Park Environmental Investigation at 1-800-633-9363, or by e-mail at remsites@tceq.texas.gov.

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