The EmChem site is located at 4308 Rice Dryer Road, Pearland, Brazoria County, Texas. The site was operated as a glycol distillation facility that began operations in 1969. Features include a warehouse building, aboveground storage tanks, distillation columns, a landfill, a container storage area, and a drying area for polymer sludge.
In January 1972, there was a spill of 300 to 400 gallons of naptha solvent waste into the storm water ditch adjacent to the facility. In 1996, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality performed an emergency response action at the site which included the packing of drums into larger, structurally stable outer containers.
Also, in 1996, the Texas Office of the Attorney General obtained a Temporary Injunction which gave the TCEQ (formerly the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission or TNRCC) access to collect samples and conduct remedial actions, prohibited the site owner from interfering with TCEQ’s activities at the site, and prohibited the owner from removing, handling or manipulating any drums, tanks, containers, and chemicals at the site until the TCEQ completed work there. In December 2010, the site was referred to and accepted into the Superfund program.
In 2011, approximately 2,500 gallons of triethylene glycol waste material were released into the environment due to tank equipment failure. The City of Pearland placed several loads of soil in the drainage ditch at the front of the site to prevent the triethylene glycol waste from entering the drainage ditch.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA or EPA), in responding to the incident, noted that several of the aboveground storage tanks appeared structurally unstable and removed and disposed of approximately 26,000 gallons of triethylene glycol waste material from those storage tanks. Since the release did not reach the drainage ditch, the City of Pearland subsequently removed the soil it had placed in the drainage ditch.
Currently, there are no operations being conducted at the site. The site is secured by fencing.
- December 11, 2013, a notice of intent to list this site on the state Superfund registry was published in the Pearland Reporter News.
- December 13, 2013, a notice of intent to list this site on the state Superfund registry was published in the Texas Register (38TexReg9090).
- January 16, 2014, a public meeting was held at 7:00 p.m., at the Pearland City Hall, Council Chambers, 3519 Liberty Drive, Pearland, Texas. The purpose of the meeting was to obtain information about the site relative to its eligibility for listing on the state Superfund registry, to identify any potentially responsible parties, and to obtain public input and information about the appropriate use of the land on which the site is located.