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Higgins Wood Preserving

No further Superfund environmental response actions are required at this former wood treatment facility in Lufkin, Angelina County.  The site was referred to the Voluntary Cleanup Program.

REFERRED TO Voluntary Cleanup Program (VCP ID 1397)

Site Background

The Higgins Wood Preserving site in Lufkin is bounded on the west side by N. Timberland Drive (U.S. 59), on the east side by Warren Street, and on the north by Paul Avenue. From as early as 1937, and until 1973, several wood creosoting activities were conducted on this site. All of the operations used creosote, and reportedly at least one used pentachlorophenol, to treat wood products. The land was sold as a shopping center site in 1976, and the former holding ponds were filled in and graded over. As much as 125,000 gallons of creosote residue was left on the bottom. In 1980, creosote leachate was detected in the drainage ditches on the site.

Superfund Actions Taken to Date

  • September 25, 1990, a legal notice was published in the Texas Register (15 TexReg 5623-5624) 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 Lufkin City Council Chambers on October 24, 1990.
  • October 1992, a TNRCC agreed order was signed by all potentially responsible parties to pay for a remedial investigation, and establishing rules, responsibilities and enforcement options for responsible party cleanup under monitoring supervision of the state.
  • November 12, 1992, remedial investigation under way.
  • 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.
  • September 7, 1994, Phase I remedial investigation under way.
  • April 17, 1996, Phase I report received and reviewed, Phase II remedial investigation under way.
  • October 10, 1996, Phase II report received and reviewed, Phase III remedial investigation under way.
  • March 19, 1999, feasibility study under way.
  • March 19, 1999, human health risk assessment completed.
  • May 26, 1999, a work plan was completed for asssessing the practicability of remediating the groundwater.
  • June–December 1999, access agreements were negotiated for investigation activities on private properties.
  • February 18, 2000, field work completed for technical impracticability demonstration.
  • January 30, 2001, TNRCC approved the final feasability study report.
  • March 28, 2001, notices were sent to PRPs informing them that the RI/FS administrative order has been completed and they have 30 days to advise the TNRCC of their intent to either enter the Voluntary Cleanup Program or proceed under Superfund.
  • April 16, 2001, the Higgins site committee sent a letter declaring intent to enter the
    Voluntary Cleanup Program. As a part of entering the VCP, the past oversight costs must be paid by the PRPs.
  • January 29, 2002, The TNRCC Voluntary Cleanup Program completed the review of the application and assigned a project number (VCP 1397). To continue tracking this site, review the VCP database (ZIP file. Help with Downloading Files.).
  • January 30, 2002, an updated copy of the community relations plan was prepared for the Higgins Wood Preserving site.
  • March 22, 2002, a legal notice Exit TCEQ Site was published in the Texas Register (27 TexReg 2323) proposing to delete the site from the state Superfund registry in accordance with 30 TAC §335.344(c) and inviting comment prior to, or at, a public meeting to be held April 25, 2002 at the TNRCC offices, 12100 Park 35 Circle Austin, TX 78753 512-239-2920, Building D, Room 264. Remediation of the site will be monitored by the Voluntary Cleanup Program.
  • April 25, 2002, a public meeting was held at the TNRCC offices, 12100 Park 35 Circle, Austin, TX 78753, Building D, Room 264, to receive comments on the proposal to delete Higgins Wood Preserving from the state Superfund registry. No comments were received challenging the deletion in accordance with 30 TAC §335.344(c). Remediation of the site will be monitored by the Voluntary Cleanup Program.
  • June 7, 2002, a legal notice Exit TCEQ Site was published in the Texas Register (27 TexReg 5014-5015) officially deleting Higgins Wood Preserving from the state Superfund registry in accordance with 30 TAC 335.344(b). Favorable comments regarding the proposed deletion were received at the public meeting. No further remedial action planned.
  • 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 : Lufkin, Angelina County
Type of Facility : Wood Treatment Facility
Category : Deleted from Registry
Media Affected : Groundwater, Sediments, Soil
Latitude : 31º20'27"N
Longitude : -94º42'51"W
Hazard Ranking Score (HRS) : 20.45
Contaminants at time of HRS : Creosote, Pentachlorophenol
TCEQ Region : Beaumont - 10
Funded by : Potentially Responsible Parties

Contact Information

Voluntary Cleanup Program Contact
Joanna Manning
Phone: 512-239-3737 or 1-800-633-9363

Superfund Program Contact
Jeffrey E. Patterson
Phone: 512-239-2489 or 1-800-633-9363

Records Repositories

TCEQ Central File Room
12100 Park 35 Circle Building E,
First Floor Room 103
Austin, TX 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.