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Houston Scrap

This former lead-acid battery recycling facility in Houston, Harris County is currently in the Operation and Maintenance phase of the Superfund Program.

Site Background

The Houston Scrap site is located at 3799 Jensen Drive, just south of Interstate 610 and west of U.S. 59 in Houston. There is a rendering plant located to the west of the site, another scrap metal operator on the south, the Houston Scrap offices to the north, and a railroad track right-of-way to the east. The 20-acre site had been a rendering facility until approximately 1976, when the lead-acid battery recycling began along with various other scrap metal recovery activities. It is estimated that the site contained about 7,500 cubic yards of used battery casings, scrap metal, used 55-gallon drums, household garbage and 1,000 used car and truck tires. After active business operations ceased, illegal dumping occurred, and scavengers apparently removed much of the hardware, wiring, and fixtures from the buildings. Lead contamination has been documented on and off the site. Sulfuric acid contamination had resulted in low-pH soil and surface water being documented in various areas of the site.

Superfund Actions Taken to Date

  • October 16, 1987, a legal notice was published in the Texas Register (12 TexReg 3858-3859) proposing the site to the state Superfund registry and announcing that a public meeting to receive citizen comments would be held at the Pasadena Convention Center on November 19, 1987.
  • January 22, 1988, a legal notice was published in the Texas Register (13 TexReg 427-428) listing the site on the state Superfund registry.
  • 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.
  • August 22, 1994, remedial investigation/feasibility study under way.
  • May 19, 1997, the final report was approved, marking completion of the remedial investigation/feasibility study phase.
  • June 13, 1997, a legal notice was published in the Texas Register (22 TexReg 5800 -5801) and the Houston Chronicle announcing a public meeting would be held August 12, 1997, at the Eva Allice McCrane Library, Kashmere Gardens Branch, to present to the community the best choice among cleanup remedies and to receive citizen comments to be considered in the final recommended remedy.
  • August 12, 1997, a public meeting was held at the Kashmere Gardens Branch Library in Houston to receive comments on the proposed cleanup alternative, which was excavation, on-site consolidation of the piles in an engineered containment cell and covered by a cap.
  • August 18, 1997, a work order was issued for design of the selected remedy.
  • December 11, 1997, an administrative order was issued directing the potentially responsible party to perform or fund the remedial design and remedial action for the cleanup. The order set cleanup levels, selected the remedy for cleanup, and established rules, responsibilities, and enforcement options for remedial design/remedial action under state Superfund process.
  • December 21, 1997, a final administrative order was issued, setting cleanup levels, selecting the remedy for cleanup, and establishing rules, responsibilities, and enforcement options for remedial design/remedial action.
  • February 15, 1998, a community relations plan was prepared for the Houston Scrap site.
  • May 11, 1998, remedial design of the selected site remedy was completed.
  • May 20, 1998, remedial action under way.
  • June 3, 1999, engineer reported groundcover over capped area satisfactory.
  • August 9, 1999, remedial action completed.
  • October 15, 1999, the operation and maintenance work was contracted to a Houston company. The O & M work includes a quarterly visit to the site to maintain the containment cell cap, the fence around the cap and mowing of the grass. The seven monitor wells are to be sampled and the samples are to be analyzed every six months. The groundwater is analyzed for total antimony, arsenic, beryllium, and lead.
  • February 9, 2000, an affidavit of lien payable to the commission was filed in the Harris County real property records by the TNRCC. The lien was filed pursuant to the Texas Solid Waste Disposal Act, Texas Health and Safety Code §361.194, to recover the state's remediation expenses.
  • February 25, 2000, a legal notice was published in the Texas Register (25 TexReg 1808) and the Houston Chronicle proposing to delete the site from the state Superfund registry in accordance with 30 TAC §335.344(c) and inviting public comment on the determination that the site no longer presented an imminent and substantial threat to public health and safety or the environment. Future use of the site is considered appropriate for commercial/industrial use. No further remedial action is planned. A public meeting was scheduled for March 28, 2000, at the Eva Allice McCrane Kashmere Gardens Branch Library.
  • March 28, 2000, six citizens from the residential neighborhoods near the Houston Scrap site attended the community meeting at the Eva Alice McCrane Kashmere Gardens Library. Also attending was a representative of the City of Houston Department of Environmental Health. There were no technical challenges to the announced intent to delete the Houston Scrap site from the state Superfund registry. Those attending appeared more interested in the reliability of long-term monitoring of the on-site contamination cell. TNRCC has awarded a contract for operations and maintenance of the cell and the fence surrounding the cell, and will continue to monitor the integrity of the cell and the cap.
  • May 5, 2000, a legal notice was published in the Texas Register (25 TexReg 4238-4239) officially deleting Houston Scrap from the state Superfund registry in accordance with 30 TAC 335.344(c). No challenges or comments were received on the determination that the site no longer posed an imminent and substantial endangerment to public health and safety or the environment.
  • February 2001, the site activity co-ordinator collected groundwater samples from seven monitor wells.
  • February 1, 2001, contractor performed operation and maintenance inspections.
  • April 1, 2001, contractor performed operation and maintenance inspections.
  • June 1, 2001, contractor performed operation and maintenance inspections.
  • October 1, 2001, TNRCC issued a work order to continue operation and maintenance, which includes semiannual sampling events, at the Houston Scrap site. Ongoing operation and maintenance consists of semiannual groundwater monitoring and bimonthly inspections of the containment cell cap, the fence, and warning signs.
  • August 2002, routine operation and maintenance activities continued with semiannual groundwater monitoring and bimonthly inspections of the containment cell cap, the fence and the warning signs.
  • September 1, 2002, effective date of the name change from Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission (TNRCC) to Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ).
  • September 2002-August 2003, TCEQ continued with operation and maintenance at the site, which consists of semiannual groundwater monitoring and bimonthly inspection of the containment cell cap, fence and warning signs.
  • January 11, 2004, TCEQ's contractor took water-level measurements and sampled all of the monitoring wells.
  • February 2004, the contractor mowed the grass and cleared brush to prepare for the installation of four additional monitor wells.
  • March 2004, four additional monitoring wells were installed by the contractor to gather more information on the shallow groundwater in the area.
  • April 2004, contractor performed a site inspection and surveyed the new monitoring wells.
  • May 2004, TCEQ received and approved the results of the groundwater samples from the four new monitoring wells. The results showed lead in the water was below the drinking water standard.
  • September 13, 2004, the groundwater monitoring report for the July 2004 sampling was received and accepted by TCEQ.
  • October 2004, TCEQ approved the data usability study for the July 2004 sampling event.
  • January 2005, grass at the site was mowed, and the semiannual groundwater monitor wells sampling event was conducted.
  • February 2005, TCEQ received and approved the data usability study for the January 2005 sampling event.
  • June 2005, the TCEQ project manager contacted the Houston Environmental Pollution Department for help in curbing illegal dumping taking place at the site. Received cost proposal from consultant for placing concrete barricades across a former road into the site to block the illegal dumpers. Letters were drafted to property owners to request permission to place barricades on the former road. Researched property owners on the Harris County tax rolls.
  • July 2005, the scheduled groundwater sampling was completed.
  • August 2005, the groundwater sampling data was received and approved.
  • January 2006, a work order was issued for groundwater monitoring.
  • March 2006, the operations and maintenance report was reviewed and approved.
  • April 2006, the project manager and the consultant visited the site. It was noted that the site gate had been rammed by a tall vehicle in an unsuccessful attempt to open the gate. A concrete barricade has been placed across the former road into the site, impeding access to illegal dumpers.
  • May 2006, a consultant of an adjacent property owner contacted TCEQ stating that the lien placed on the Houston Scrap site incorrectly includes a portion of the adjacent property in the boundary description.
  • June 2006, the Superfund project manager researched the site liens and provided the information to the TCEQ site attorney.
  • May 2007, the TCEQ placed a deed notice, which serves as an institutional control describing the remedy at the site, in the Harris County real property records.
  • August 2007, the draft groundwater monitoring report was received. The failure plausibility report was received and reviewed.
  • November 2007, the groundwater was sampled.
  • September 2008, the site was inspected after Hurricane Ike. No immediate damage was identified.
  • July 2009, Groundwater from the on-site monitoring wells was sampled.
  • March 1, 2011, Operations and Maintenance groundwater sampling was conducted.
  • August 10-11, 2012, the TCEQ mowed and applied fire ant control at the site.
  • August 15, 2012, the August 2012 Grounds Maintenance report was finalized.
  • February 2013, groundwater monitoring activities were conducted at the site.

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Site Specific Information

EPA ID : TXD005928130
Location : Houston, Harris County
Site Status : Cleanup Complete O & M
Type of Facility : Lead-Acid Battery Recycling
Category : Deleted from Registry
Media Affected : Soil
Latitude : 29º48'07"N
Longitude : -95º20'36"W
Hazard Ranking Score (HRS) : 31.46
Contaminants at time of HRS : Lead, Metals
TCEQ Region : Houston - 12
Funded by : Hazardous & Solid Waste Remediation Fee Account

Contact Information

Superfund Project Manager
Sherell Heidt
713-767-3500 or 1-800-633-9363
E-mail: superfnd@tceq.texas.gov

Superfund Community Relations Liaison
John Flores
512-239-5674 or 1-800-633-9363
E-mailsuperfnd@tceq.texas.gov

Records Repositories

Eva Alice McCrane
Kashmere Gardens Branch Library

5411 Pardee Street
Houston TX 77026
713/674-8461

TCEQ Central File Room
12100 Park 35 Circle Building E,
First Floor Room 103
Austin, TX 78753
512-239-2900
512-239-1850 (fax)
cfrreq@tceq.texas.gov