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Butler Ranch

No further Superfund environmental response actions are required on these two abandoned uranium mining pits containing drums of hazardous substances in Falls City, Karnes County. This site was referred to the Texas Railroad Commission.

Site Background

The Butler Ranch site (also known as the J.M. Hackney site in Texas Railroad Commission records) is located 11.8 miles southwest of Falls City, Karnes county, Texas, off Farm Road 791. This site consists of two abandoned uranium mining pits, about 0.7 mile apart, that were used for the disposal of industrial solid waste in the early to mid-1970s. Pit No. 1 is approximately five acres in size and approximately 30 feet deep. Pit No. 2 is approximately one acre in size and averages 20 feet in depth. TNRCC records indicated that hazardous substances, including styrene tars and spent catalyst were illegally shipped to the Butler Ranch in September 1974, for disposal. Investigative reports showed that Pit No. 1 received between nine and twenty-six 5,500 gallon bulk loads of styrene tars, chlorinated hydrocarbons, and vinyl chloride tars and between 300 and 400 55-gallon drums of spent metal catalyst. Pit No. 2 received 200 to 300 55-gallon drums of spent metal catalyst.

Superfund Actions Taken to Date

  • January 16, 1987, a legal notice was published in the Texas Register (12 TexReg 205-206) describing the site, proposing the site to the state Superfund registry, and announcing that a public meeting to receive citizen comments would be held at the City Auditorium in Karnes City on February 11, 1987.
  • January 22, 1988, a legal notice was published in the Texas Register (13 TexReg 427-428) listing the site on the state Superfund registry.
  • 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.
  • November 20, 1994, remedial investigation/feasibility study started.
  • April 15, 1995, the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission (TNRCC)
    removed 276 55-gallon drums. More than 800 yards of waste contaminated with styrene tar contained in drums and soils was also removed. The wastes were found to include naturally occurring radioactive materials (NORM), and were subsequently disposed of in a landfill permitted for NORM wastes in Clive, Utah.
  • June 15, 1999, TNRCC project manager reported the state Superfund remedial action was substantially complete.
  • February 4, 2000, TNRCC deferred jurisdiction of the Butler Ranch site to the Texas Railroad Commission for consideration for mine reclamation using monies from the Abandoned Mine Reclamation Fund. The Texas Railroad Commission will track the two former uranium pits as the J.M. Hackney site in Karnes County.
  • March 10, 2000, a legal notice was published in the Texas Register (25 TexReg 2209-2210) proposing to delete the site from the state Superfund registry in accordance with 30 Texas Administrative Code (TAC) § 335.344(c)(6), announcing a public meeting would be held April 13, 2000, at the City Hall in Falls City, and inviting public comment on the determination that the site no longer presented an imminent and substantial endangerment to public health and safety or the environment. TNRCC does not plan any further remedial action.
  • June 9, 2000, a legal notice was published in the Texas Register (25 TexReg 5742-5743) officially deleting the site from the state Superfund registry in accordance with 30 Texas Administrative Code (TAC) § 335.344(c). No challenges or comments were received on the determination that the site no longer presented an imminent and substantial endangerment to public health and safety or the environment. In accordance with Texas Health and Safety Code §361.188(d), a notice was to be filed in the real property records of Karnes County, stating that the site has been deleted from the state registry.
  • September 1, 2002, effective date of the name change from Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission (TNRCC) to Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ).

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Site Specific Information

EPA ID : None
Location : Falls City, Karnes County
Site Status : REFERRED TO TEXAS RAILROAD COMMISSION -NO FURTHER SUPERFUND ENVIRONMENTAL RESPONSE ACTIONS ARE REQUIRED
Type of Facility : 2 Abandoned Uranium Mining Pits Containing Drums of Hazardous Substances
Category : Deleted from Registry
Media Affected : Soil, Water
Latitude : 28º51'08"N
Longitude : -98º09'29"W
Hazard Ranking Score (HRS) : 13.9
Contaminants at time of HRS : Cadmium, Chlorinated Hydrocarbons, Chromium, Copper, Lead, Styrene Tars, Vinyl Chloride Tars
TCEQ Region : San Antonio - 13
Funded by : Hazardous & Solid Waste Remediation Fee Account

Contact Information

Superfund Program Contact
Jeffrey E. Patterson
Phone: 512-239-2489 or 1-800-633-9363
E-mail: superfnd@tceq.texas.gov

Records Repositories

TCEQ Central File Room
12100 Park 35 Circle Building E,
First Floor Room 103
Austin, TX 78753
512-239-2900
512-239-1850 (fax)
cfrreq@tceq.texas.gov