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Harris Sand Pits

Former commercial sand and clay pits used for waste disposal in Von Ormy, Bexar County, are in the operation and maintenance phase of the state Superfund program.

Site Summary
The Harris Sand Pits are approximately 10.5 miles south of San Antonio, at 23340 Highway 16, Von Ormy. The site first operated as a commercial sand and clay quarry, but from 1965 to 1975, two of the sand pits were used as disposal sites for sulfuric acid tar sludge, a petroleum refining waste.

In 1976, the site owner agreed to a Bexar County District Court order to stop using the site for waste disposal. The owner was also ordered to cover the pits with three feet of compacted clay and plant grass seed to prevent erosion. In 1984, Texas Water Commission inspectors noted that the pits were no longer capped and that sulfuric acid tar wastes were surfacing and beginning to flow away from the pits.

Superfund Registry and Investigation
In 1987, the TCEQ proposed the site to the State Superfund Registry, and the site was listed on the registry in 1988. In 1990, the TCEQ issued an administrative order to the potentially responsible parties to conduct the remedial investigation and a feasibility study.

Remedial Action
The remedy for the site was proposed in 1997 and on February 27, 1998, an administrative order was issued to agreeing respondents to conduct the remedial design and action. The remedy consisted of excavating contaminated soil and waste, consolidating it in an on-site cell, and capping it with clean soil and grass; groundwater monitoring; and deed restrictions to prevent human exposure to contaminated groundwater.

The remedy was completed in 1999 and the site moved into the operations and maintenance phase.

Current Status
The site is still in the operations and maintenance phase that requires continued groundwater monitoring and waste cell maintenance.

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Site Specific Information

Type of Facility: waste pits
Location: Von Ormy, Bexar County
Latitude: 29.180944°
Longitude: -98.576489°
Site Phase: operations and maintenance
Type of Facility
: Commercial sand and clay pit
State Superfund Registry Status: Listed on registry
Media Affected: soil and groundwater
TCEQ Region: San Antonio - 13
Funded by: Potentially responsible parties

Contact Information
Superfund Project Manager
Mary Simpson
512-239-4848 or 1-800-633-9363

Superfund Community Relations Liaison
Crystal Taylor
512-239-3844 or 1-800-633-9363

Records Repositories
San Antonio Public Library
600 Soledad Street
San Antonio, Texas 78205

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

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.