The Col-Tex Refinery operated from 1924 to 1969 on 175 acres straddling Business Interstate 20 (U.S. 80) immediately west of the Colorado River in Colorado City. Refinery products included gasoline, aviation and diesel fuels, and asphalt.
During the 1970s, the refinery was dismantled, except for one active above-ground storage tank on the bluff, and three above-ground storage tanks adjacent to the Colorado River. These three tanks were believed to be a source of contamination found in the river. Remedial Investigation and Superfund Registry
In 1992, the TCEQ issued an administrative order requiring the potentially responsible parties to install a perimeter fence, maintain netting to prevent migratory birds from landing in the contaminated pools, and block all releases of hazardous substances to the Colorado River.
In 1993, under another TCEQ administrative order, the potentially responsible parties started the remedial investigation to determine the nature and extent of contamination, and the TCEQ dismantled and disposed of the storage tanks adjacent to the Colorado River. In January 1994, the TCEQ listed the site on the state Superfund registry.
Since 1993, potentially responsible parties have conducted extensive soil, surface water, groundwater, and sediment sampling. All storage tanks and other structures have been removed and all contaminated soil has been excavated, treated, and placed in an on-site landfill. More than 7,000 tons of nonhazardous material was recycled into asphalt stabilized road base that was donated to Mitchell County to resurface seven miles of county roads. Under an agreement with state and federal natural resource trustees, the potentially responsible parties have constructed and maintained a wildlife preservation area adjacent to the site on the Colorado River.
The site remains on the state Superfund registry. Groundwater monitoring, sampling, and treatment continue with other site maintenance activities.