Harris Sand Pits
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.
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.
The site is still in the operations and maintenance phase that requires continued groundwater monitoring and waste cell maintenance.