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Superfund: Site Discovery and Assessment

Programs that assess abandoned or inactive facilities for potential cleanup as Superfund sites.

Superfund Site Discovery and Assessment Program

This program evaluates facilities for potential remediation under the state Superfund program. Immediate response actions may be taken during the evaluation process to protect human health and the environment, if warranted.

For a facility to be eligible for state Superfund, the TCEQ considers the following criteria:

  • documented presence or historical use of hazardous substances on the site;
  • the site is abandoned or inactive; and
  • the enforcement process has been exhausted or deemed an inappropriate route of remedy such that funds from a liable person, independent third party, or the federal government are not available or sufficient for a cleanup.

If a facility is eligible for consideration for Superfund, it is assigned a score using the Hazard Ranking System, and if warranted, it is then referred to either the federal or state Superfund program.

Preliminary Assessment and Site Inspection Program

This program is administered by TCEQ employees under a 100% federally-funded grant from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), under EPA oversight. The program evaluates sites to potentially be included on the National Priorities List.

The program develops and conducts:

  • screening assessments
  • preliminary assessments
  • site inspections
  • Hazard Ranking System documentation records

TCEQ employees generally prepare the deliverables and conduct the field work in this program.
This program also identifies sites that may warrant an immediate response action.

Superfund Cleanup

The Hazard Ranking System is used to score facilities that are eligible for either the state or federal Superfund programs. A site scoring 5.0 or above is eligible for the state Superfund program, and a site scoring 28.5 or above is eligible for the National Priorities List under the federal Superfund program.

Program Collaboration

The TCEQ and EPA coordinate assessments and cleanups to determine which program is the most appropriate for a particular site. If the need for an immediate response action is identified during the discovery and assessment process, the TCEQ and EPA work closely to address those immediate concerns.


Required use of SW-846 Method 5035

New Information

Beginning January 1, 2016, the TCEQ Remediation Division will require the use of United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) SW846 Method 5035A, Purge-and-Trap and Extraction for Volatile Organics in Soil and Waste Samples, as amended, for the collection and preparation of solid samples for volatile organic compound (VOC) analysis using purge-and-trap technology.

The TCEQ Remediation Division guidance on Method 5035 has been updated and is available.