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Dona Park Neighborhood Assessment

Multiple investigations and soil removal actions have been conducted in the Dona Park and Manchester Place neighborhoods (Dona Park Neighborhood) since 1994; however, there remain concerns in the community about potential remnant contamination of residential soils. With community input, the TCEQ is reviewing the case file of past assessments and cleanups conducted in the neighborhood and completed a Pilot Study sampling event of 59 residential yards. The TCEQ’s objective is to address the community’s remaining concerns and is committed to involving the community in future activities.

Site Location

The Dona Park Neighborhood is immediately south of the former ASARCO/Encycle facility (“Facility”). The neighborhood includes 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 is located approximately 950 feet northwest of the Dona Park Neighborhood and was a potential source of zinc, cadmium, and lead contamination Exit TCEQ from the Facility via wind dispersion in the residential area.

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

Assessment

As part of the assessment of the Dona Park neighborhood, TCEQ proposed a Pilot Study sampling event at residences identified by community members as being of concern. A Pilot Study Field Sampling Plan (FSP) was prepared with input from community members.

The TCEQ implemented Phase I of the Pilot Study in October 2010. TCEQ provided advance notification of this work via the Hillcrest Community Environmental Investigation (HCEI) website and by phone using the community "calling tree" to notify those in the community without internet access. The TCEQ implemented Phase II of the Pilot Study in November and December 2010.

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 have been reviewed by an independent third party and have been deemed usable for the project objectives.

The Pilot Study Report was completed to evaluate the use of field x-ray fluorescence (XRF) as a screening tool to determine if metals concentrations in Dona Park neighborhood soils exceed cleanup levels.

The Expanded Assessment (EA) of neighborhood lots not sampled during the Pilot Study is currently underway. The EA includes collecting composite soil samples from front and back yards and analyzing them using a field portable x-ray fluorescence spectrometer (XRF) in conjunction with confirmation laboratory analysis to determine the concentrations of Target Chemicals of Concern (COCs) in residential soils. An EA FSP was prepared by TCEQ with input from community members and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The Expanded Assessment of the Dona Park neighborhood has been completed. Every residential property where access could be obtained has been tested. This map depicts the areas where exceedences of PCLs were observed for the chemicals of concern. TCEQ completed the cleanup of these yards August, 2011. The Expanded Assessment Final Report has been completed. Homeowners and residents of homes that were tested will be mailed their results.

The Texas Department of State Health Services has prepared a revised Health Consultation for the Dona Park Neighborhood. This Health Consultation is based on a review of the TCEQ’s Expanded Assessment data from the Dona Park Neighborhood Assessment.

Removal Actions

As part of the Dona Park Neighborhood Assessment, all properties where access was granted were assessed for chemicals of concern. Of the nearly 500 yards that were tested, five exhibited concentrations above the Protective Concentration Limit and required cleanup. Historical information indicates these five yards had never been cleaned in the past. The TCEQ performed residential soil removal actions at these residential yards in July and August 2011. The Removal Action Report is available. 

 

Vacant Lot Subsurface Investigation

In response to concerns from some community residents about possible wastes in the subsurface, TCEQ directed a geophysical survey be performed at a vacant lot on Manchester Avenue. A non-intrusive ground-penetrating radar and electromagnetic survey of the subsurface was performed in October 2010, revealing several anomalous areas that warrant further investigation.

The exploratory phase of the vacant lot subsurface investigation is scheduled for July 6-7, 2011.

Air Monitoring

Data generated by the TCEQ's ambient air monitoring program Exit TCEQ is available.

TCEQ is conducting air monitoring and sampling in the Dona Park community throughout demolition and active remediation activities at Encycle under an Ambient Air Monitoring Program.

ASARCO/Encycle-Organic Compound Screening

The TCEQ and EPA collaborated on a sampling and analyses effort to screen soils, sediments, groundwater, and wastes for the presence of hazardous organic substances within the former 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 substances 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 substances in areas adjacent to the former ASARCO/Encycle had been posted.

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

Community Meetings

An Availability Session & Community Meeting (agenda) was held on Thursday, August 19, 2010, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., at the St. Theresa Catholic Church, Parish Center, located at 1302 Lantana Street, Corpus Christi, Texas. During the meeting, TCEQ provided the community with an update of the Remediation Division’s comprehensive case file review of past assessments and cleanups conducted in the Dona Park Neighborhood. In addition, TCEQ solicited community input regarding  future assessment activities.

A community meeting was held on Thursday, December 9th, 2010, from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30p.m., at the St. Theresa Catholic Church, Parish Center, located at 1302 Lantana Street, Corpus Christi, Texas. During the meeting, TCEQ updated the community on the status of the Pilot Study in the Dona Park Neighborhood and provided an update of the planned demolition of the Encycle facility.

TCEQ hosted a community meeting on March 3, 2011, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30p.m., at the St. Theresa Catholic Church, Parish Center, located at 1302 Lantana Street, Corpus Christi, Texas. TCEQ discussed the results of the Pilot Study and solicited input from the community on the next steps of the DPNA.

The TCEQ and EPA hosted an availability session and community meeting on Thursday November 10, 2011 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., at the St. Theresa Catholic Church, Parish Center, located at 1302 Lantana Street, Corpus Christi, Texas. Both agencies discussed the environmental work performed in the community to date and the overall results of the Dona Park Neighborhood Assessment.

TCEQ Responses to Public Input

Comments were received during and after the August 19, 2010 community meeting.

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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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