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Encycle Facility, Cleanup and Closure

The history and final closure of the Encycle facility in Corpus Christi, TX.

Site Background

Encycle (the site), is approximately 108 acres, bordered by the Corpus Christi Ship Channel to the north, McBride Lane and Valero Refining to the east, and Up River Road and Dona Drive on the south. The facility originally produced high-grade zinc for American Smelting and Refining Company (ASARCO) from 1941 to 1985.  Between 1988 and 2002, Encycle managed a commercial waste-management facility at the site, treating primarily inorganic hazardous and non-hazardous materials for recycling, reclamation, and volume reduction. The facility remained a wholly owned subsidiary of ASARCO.

In October 1999, ASARCO and Encycle entered into a consent decree with the United States and the State of Texas to resolve violations at the ASARCO Encycle facility. Under the consent decree, Encycle agreed to operate the facility in compliance with TCEQ regulations, renew its permit, and clean up contamination by closing permitted and unpermitted solid-waste-management units.

Encycle ceased operations in 2003 and began facility-closure activities continuing until 2005, when Encycle filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy and vacated the property. Activities included closure of the waste-management units listed in the October 1999 consent decree, except for four deferred wastewater-treatment units.  Trustee Mike Boudloche was appointed by the federal bankruptcy court to oversee the Encycle estate and was allotted approximately $9.9 million to remediate (clean up) the site. The TCEQ obtained financial assurance funds to oversee corrective measures at the former Encycle facility.

Current Activities—Corrective Action

Further corrective action for the site will include waste removal and decontamination of any existing solid waste management units and eventual excavation of shallow soils that contain elevated concentrations of metals. The shallow soils will be excavated and disposed of at an authorized off-site landfill, as detailed in a corrective-measures study and work plan approved by the TCEQ on December 16, 2005.  Prior to the soil remediation, other corrective actions must be implemented, such as the asbestos abatement and demolition of on-site structures that could complicate the removal and disposal of soils.

A series of workplans developed by the asbestos abatement contractor and demolition contractor are under review by TCEQ and EPA.  Workplans and final correspondence will be made available to the public for online viewing as they are submitted or sent. Some workplans may be in draft form when initially posted on the webpage, however, these plans will be updated with the final version as soon as it becomes available to the TCEQ. The contractor mobilized onsite the week of March 7, 2011 to prepare the site for asbestos abatement and demolition activities.The Encycle trustee informed the TCEQ that the required notification to the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) was provided and the intent is to begin asbestos abatement and demolition related activities as early as April 13, 2011.  A tentative demolition schedule is available for online viewing; However, the schedule is subject to change as the project progresses.  As with the workplans, the most updated version of the schedule will be posted online as it soon as it is made available to the TCEQ. In addition to the workplans, Encycle demolition status reports and other data, such as air monitoring data, is available. The contaminated soil will be removed and disposed off-site after the completion of the building demolition. After remediation of the site is complete, the Encycle trustee plans to sell the property.

On December 9th, 2010, the TCEQ provided the community with an update of the planned demolition activites at the former Encycle/ Texas, Inc. facility.  This was part of the Community Meeting for the Dona Park/ Manchester Place Neighborhood that was held on Thursday, December 9th, 2010, from 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm, at the St. Theresa Catholic Church, Parish Center, located at 1302 Lantana Street, Corpus Christi, Texas.

Starting in April 2011, 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. Documents related to this sampling effort can be located on the TCEQ/EPA Sampling at Former Encycle Facility.

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Contact Information

For more information, please contact Merrie Smith or Patrick Kainer, in the Remediation Division's Corrective Action Section at 1-800-633-9363, or by e-mail at remsites@tceq.texas.gov.

Your feedback regarding the Encycle cleanup is welcome and will be considered.  Please direct any feedback for TCEQ consideration via email to remsites@tceq.texas.gov or via standard U.S.mail to:

Remeditaion Division/Corrective Action Section, MC-126
Texas Commission on Environmental Quality
12100 Park 35 Circle, Building D
Austin, TX 78753

When sending letters via standard U.S. mail delivery, please ensure that the Encycle Solid Waste Registry (SWR) No. 30003 is referenced in the letter heading.

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