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ArChem Thames/Chelsea

No further Superfund environmental response actions are required at this former specialty chemical manufacturing facility in Houston, Harris County.

Site Background

The ArChem/Thames Chelsea site (the site) is located at 13103 Conklin Lane, at the intersection of Conklin Lane and Beltway 8, which is approximately a half mile northwest of the intersection of State Highway 3 and Interstate Highway 45 in southeast Houston, Harris County. The 10-acre site was formerly a specialty chemical manufacturing facility. The site has been inactive and abandoned since 1991. Contaminants of concern at the time of the HRS include : toluene, isophorone, antimony triacetate (S-21), bis (2 ethylhexyl) phthalate, furfural aldehyde, barium, chromium, and 1,1,2,2-tetrachloroethane. Removal actions by the TNRCC, its predecessor agency, the Texas Water Commission and the EPA, were performed between September 1992 and August 1995, and included removing from the site: 1) all drums of liquid/sludge and/or solid chemical wastes; 2) all surface reactor or storage vessels containing residual chemical wastes; 3) various size process piping containing residual chemical process wastes; and 4) all chemical waste-contaminated water and sludge from an on-site liquid separator. Completion of the remedial investigation indicated these chemicals of concern in concentrations that exceed the critical protective concentration levels in the soil at the site : antimony, lead, mercury, benzene, toluene, tetrahydroduran, 2- nitro aniline and furdural.

Superfund Actions Taken to Date

  • November 17, 1992, a notice of a lien against the property was recorded in Harris County, seeking to recover the state's portion of costs associated with site activities to date.
  • August 15, 1993, a hazard ranking system document (HRS) was prepared for the ArChem/Thames Chelsea site.
  • September 1, 1993, effective date of the creation of the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission from the joining of the Texas Water Commission and the Texas Air Control Board and a portion of the Texas Department of Health.
  • May 4, 2001, a legal notice Exit TCEQ Site was published in the Houston Chronicle, and the Texas Register, (26 TexReg 3413) describing the site, proposing the site for listing on the state Superfund registry, and also proposing commercial/industrial land use specifications for remediation of the site contamination. The non-residential use of the land may be considered in any remedial action proposed for the site. A public meeting to receive citizen comments was to be held at the Dobie High School, 11111 Beamer Road in Houston on June 12, 2001.
  • June 12, 2001, a public meeting was held at the Dobie High School to receive community comments on the proposal of the ArChem/Thames Chelsea site for listing on the Superfund registry and use of commercial/industrial land specifications for remediation of site contamination.
  • December 15, 2001, a community relations plan was prepared for the ArChem/Thames Chelsea site. The complete community relations plan is available as part of official repository records at the Bracewell Branch Library and at the TCEQ Records Management Center.
  • April 2, 2002, the first phase of the remedial investigation field work began at the site. Five piezometers were installed to determine the direction of flow of groundwater. Onsite construction debris was consolidated and the site survey was completed. A title search was also conducted.
  • August 26, 2002, the second phase of remedial investigation began. Four monitor wells have been installed. Soil and groundwater were sampled and analyzed.
  • September 1, 2002, effective date of the name change from Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission (TNRCC) to Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ).
  • October 2002, TCEQ received the draft report of the remedial investigation phase 2 from the state consultant. The TCEQ project manager visited the site to identify additional sampling locations to be included in the field sampling plan for phase 3.
  • November 1, 2002, a work order was issued to replace the gate and repair the fence.
  • December 15, 2002, work was completed on replacement of the front and back gates, repair of the fence and posting of warning signs around the fence.
  • January 15, 2003, a work order was issued for completion of the writing of the third phase of the field sampling plan. During the field events, an electro-magnetic survey will be conducted to locate all buried metallic wastes.
  • February 15, 2003, received and approved the completed third phase field sampling plan.
  • April 15, 2003, the third phase of the remedial investigation was completed.
  • May 15, 2003, a fifth monitor well was installed on the northeast corner of the site. All monitor wells were sampled.
  • July 7, 2003, a work order was issued for the fourth phase of the remedial investigation. The fourth phase included characterizing the waste at two land farm areas, and characterizing the waste within the water and the sediment in the impoundment.
  • August 2003, field activities for the fourth phase of the remedial investigation were completed. An application was submitted to the TCEQ Industrial Wastewater Permit Division for authorization to discharge the water from two on-site impoundments.
  • September 2003, the technical memorandum on the fourth phase of the remedial investigation was approved by TCEQ. The TCEQ water quality division has issued effluent limitations to discharge water from two impoundments at the site.
  • December 2003, TCEQ issued a work order to begin the fifth phase of the remedial investigation.
  • January 2004, TCEQ's contractor conducted field work at the site, which included sampling ground water and the water and sediment in the impoundments. Samples were also collected from the catch basin, the land farm areas inside the metal buildings and from the northeast corner of the site.
  • March 2004, TCEQ approved the fifth phase technical memorandum that reported the results of the investigation of the ground water and the sediment in the impoundments. The data usability summary was also approved.
  • May 2004, TCEQ issued a work order to its contractor to summerize the five phases of the remedial investigation and identify any data gaps.
  • June 2004, TCEQ issued a work order to sample and analyze five monitor wells. The wells were sampled on June 16.
  • September 2004, TCEQ issued a work order to the contractor to sample the five monitor wells in October 2004 and January 2005.
  • October 2004, the field work was completed on sampling of the five monitor wells.
  • November 2004, TCEQ reviewed the result of the October sampling and it showed no impact of contamination in the ground water.
  • December 2004, a work order was issued to the contractor to conduct the feasibility study. The January 2005 monitor well sampling is still scheduled.
  • January 2005, sampling was completed on the five monitor wells at the site. Also, a work order was issued to amend the existing field sampling plan with additional criteria to delineate the contaminated areas at the site.
  • April 2005, the contractor conducted the field sampling to delineate the remaining impacted areas.
  • July 2005, Remedial Investigation is completed. Chemicals of concern in concentrations that exceed the critical protective concentration levels in soil include : antimony, lead, mercury, benzene, toluene, tetrahydroduran, 2-nitroaniline and furfuryl.
  • June 9, 2006, a legal notice Exit TCEQ Site was published in the Texas Register (31 TexReg 4777–4778) proposing a selection of remedy for the site. TCEQ will excavate some 5,000 cubic yards of contaminated soils, and will transport the soil offsite for disposal. Wastewater from the surface impoundments will be discharged after it has been determined that contaminant levels are safe. A public meeting to receive citizen comments is to be held Thursday, July 20, 2006, at the new Dobie High School, 10220 Blackhawk Blvd., Houston.
  • July 20, 2006, about a dozen interested citizens attended the public meeting to hear the presentation on the proposal to excavate about 5,000 cubic yards of contaminated soils and transport it to an authorized disposal site.
  • October 18, 2006, letters were sent to potentially responsible parties asking them to participate in funding the site remedy. The deadline for response was set at January 8, 2007.
  • August 17, 2007, the PRP records search contractor completed the review of the PRP files, printed out the information and organized the printouts by company names. Fifteen boxes of printouts were delivered to the TCEQ.
  • July 8, 2009, the TCEQ Commissioners approved the Administrative order for the site which proposed the listing of the site on the State Registry of Superfund Sites;  approved  the selected remedial action and determined the responsible parties.
  • August 7, 2009, the TCEQ selected an Engineer to conduct the Remedial Design for the ArChem/Thames Chelsea site.
  • August 26, 2009, Remedial Design kick-off meeting was conducted between the project team and the Engineer at the TCEQ office in Austin to start the Remedial Design.
  • May 6, 2010, One hundred percent Remedial Design was completed. The TCEQ Contract Section is working on the procurement of a Remedial Action Contractor.
  • September 2, 2010, TCEQ, Engineer URS Corporation and the Contractor WRSCompas conducted Remedial Action (RA) kick-off meeting.
  • September 9, 2010, TCEQ, URS and WRSCompas conducted pre-Remedial Action site visit.
  • December 2010, A newsletter was sent out to residents and home owners.
  • February 2011, Remedial Action is ongoing.
  • April 15, 2011, Remedial Action field activities completed.
  • July 15, 2011, the TCEQ received the Final Closure report.
  • June 29, 2012, a legal notice was published in the June 29, 2012 issue of the Texas Register (37 TexReg 4987) and in the June 29, 2012 edition of the Houston Chronicle newspaper, proposing an intent to take no further action and to delete the Site from the state Superfund registry in accordance with 30 Texas Administrative Code (TAC) Section 335.344(c) and inviting public comment on the determination that the Site no longer presents an imminent and substantial endangerment to public health and safety or the environment due to a release or threatened release of hazardous substances into the environment.  The public meeting was scheduled for August 2, 2012, 7:00pm, at the San Jacinto College – South Campus 13735 Beamer Road, Room S-12,101 (Kaleidoscope Room) Houston, Texas.
  • August 2, 2012, a public meeting was held at the San Jacinto College-South Campous, 13735 Beamer Road, Houston. No comments on the Remedial Action were received from the public.
  • July 12, 2013, the Archem/Thames Chelsea Superfund site was delisted  from Texas Superfund Registry.

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Site Specific Information

EPA ID : TXD042544270
Location : Houston, Harris County
Site Status : Cleanup Complete
Type of Facility : Specialty Chemical Manufacturing
Category : Listed on the Superfund Registry
Media Affected : Soil
Latitude : 29º36´46"N 
Longitude : -95º11´55"W
Hazard Ranking Score (HRS) : 39.79
Contaminants at time of HRS : Antimony triacetate (S-21), Barium, Bis (2 ethylhexyl) phthalate, Chromium, Furfuryl aldehyde, Isophorone, Toluene, 1,1,2,2-tetrachloroethane
TCEQ Region : Houston - 12
Funded by : Hazardous & Solid Waste Remediation Fee Account

Contact Information

Superfund Project Manager
Subhash Pal, P.E.
512-239-4513 or 1-800-633-9363

Superfund Community Relations Liaison
John Flores
512-239-5674 or 1-800-633-9363

Records Repositories

Bracewell Neighborhood Library
9002 Kingspoint Drive
Houston TX 77089

TCEQ Central File Room
12100 Park 35 Circle
Building E, First Floor
Room 103
Austin TX 78753
512-239-1850 (fax)