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Hu-Mar Chemicals

This former pesticide/herbicide production facility in Palacios, Matagorda County is being addressed under the State Superfund Program.

Site Background

The Hu-Mar Chemicals, Inc. site is located at the north outskirts of Palacios, north of McGothlin Road, between the old Southern Pacific Railroad tracks and 12th Street. The approximate 20-acre property was used for the production of pesticides and herbicides, starting in 1976 and continuing until December 1979. During operations, the facility was the subject of numerous complaints. Production ceased and the site was closed in 1980 when the state refused to renew the permit and ordered the facility shut down and the site cleaned up. The state monitored removal actions by Hu-Mar Chemicals, Inc., that included disposal of 190 drums of chemicals at an approved site, demolition and removal of all contaminated structures. In 1985, on-site surface impoundments were filled in to grade and vegetated. The sludge from the pesticide manufacturing process, was not removed from the impoundments. Instead, it was mixed with available site soil, and used to bring the impoundments up to grade. A 1999 review of the remaining contaminants at the site documented hazardous substances that originated with the pesticide production, were in the groundwater and posed a potential endangerment to public health.

Superfund Actions Taken to Date

  • November 14, 1999, TNRCC submitted a work order to the state contractor to perform a search to identify possible potentially responsible parties for contamination at the site.
  • January 15, 2000, a community relations plan was prepared for the Hu-Mar Chemicals, Inc. site.
  • January 20, 2000, a site perimeter fence was constructed to limit unauthorized access and signs were posted warning of contamination.
  • January 26, 2000, a legal notice was published in the Palacios Beacon describing the site, proposing the site for listing on the state Superfund registry, and announcing a public meeting to receive citizen comments on the proposal and appropriate use of the land, would be held at the Palacios City Hall on March 2, 2000.
  • January 26, 2000, TNRCC began mailing out requests for good faith offers from
    potentially responsible parties, asking them to enter into an agreed order to perform a remedial investigation and feasibility study at the site.
  • January 28, 2000, a legal notice was published in the Texas Register (25 TexReg 622) describing the site, proposing the site for listing on the state Superfund registry, and proposing nonresidential land use specifications for remediation of the site contamination. The land use designation may be considered in any remedial action proposed for the site. A public meeting to receive citizen comments on the proposal and appropriate use of the land, was to be held at the Palacios City Hall on March 2, 2000.
  • March 2, 2000, a public meeting was held at the Palacios City Hall to receive community comments on the proposal to list Hu-Mar Chemicals, Inc. on the Superfund registry and appropriate land use specifications for remediation of the site contamination.
  • June 30, 2000, TNRCC issued a work order to determine the nature and extent of contamination (RI).
  • April 24, 2001, TNRCC identified additional potentially responsible parties. In a separate action, TNRCC closed out the RI work order with its contractor.
  • July 18, 2001, TNRCC mailed out a second round of good faith offer requests to additionally identified potentially responsible parties.
  • November 14, 2001, TNRCC received information identifying additional potentially
    responsible parties for the site.
  • November 20, 2001, TNRCC mailed out a third round of good faith offer requests to additionally identified potentially responsible parties.
  • June 10, 2002, with none of the identified potentially responsible parties responding to the requests for a response action, TNRCC initiated the field investigation at the site. The first phase of field work included mowing, geophysical survey, soil sampling, and groundwater sampling. The work was completed during June.
  • September 1, 2002, effective date of the name change from Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission (TNRCC) to Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ).
  • October 3, 2002, TCEQ approved the phase 1 technical memorandum report of the remedial investigation results.
  • November 2002, phase 2 of remedial investigation was underway.
  • January 7, 2003, TCEQ received and approved the phase 2A groundwater lassification report.
  • April 11, 2003, the second phase of field work was completed. It included surveying, mowing and groundwater sampling.
  • September 16, 2003, TCEQ approved the second phase technical memorandum of results to date of the remedial investigation.
  • November 2003, TCEQ issued a work order for a third phase of the remedial investigation.
  • February 2004, TCEQ approved the third phase sampling plan and the report on the screening for chemicals of concern. The third phase of the remedial investigation got under way, and TCEQ also approved the report of the first phase of the limited ecological risk assessment.
  • March 2004, TCEQ issued a work order amendment for a second tier screening level ecological risk assessment.
  • June 2004, TCEQ approved the survey of the monitoring wells and sent it on to the remedial investigation contractor to incorporate into the final third phase remedial investigation technical memorandum report.
  • July 9, 2004, TCEQ approved the data usability study from the May 2004 groundwater sampling. Quarterly groundwater monitoring was conducted the week of July 26.
  • August 2004, TCEQ approved the data usability study from the July 2004 groundwater sampling.
  • October 2004, TCEQ reviewed and approved the August 2004 groundwater monitoring report. A work order was issued for continued quarterly groundwater monitoring and installation of an additional monitoring well.
  • November 2004, the additional monitoring well was installed, and the quarterly groundwater monitoring was performed.
  • December 2004, a work order was issued to the contractor to prepare a scope of work to initiate the feasibility study.
  • January 2005, the November 2004 quarterly groundwater monitoring report was approved. The third phase of the remedial investigation report also was approved.
  • February 2005, the contractor performed the quarterly groundwater monitoring event at the site.
  • April 8, 2005, TCEQ reviewed and approved the February 2005 groundwater monitoring report.
  • August 2, 2005, the May 2005 quarterly groundwater monitoring report was reviewed and approved.
  • October 19, 2005, the contractor was authorized to continue quarterly groundwater monitoring.
  • November, 2005, quarterly groundwater monitoring was conducted for the 18 monitor wells at the site.
  • January 2006, quarterly groundwater monitoring was conducted for the 18 monitor wells at the site.
  • April 2006, quarterly groundwater monitoring was conducted for the 18 monitor wells at the site.
  • July 2006, a quarterly groundwater sampling event was conducted for the 18 site monitor wells.
  • September 5, 2006, based on results of groundwater sampling analysis, approval was granted to change the frequency of groundwater testing from once every three months to once every six months.
  • September 14, 2006, the Protective Concentration Level document was approved. The purpose of this document is to identify the cleanup goals for the contaminated soil and groundwater at the site.
  • April 2007, semi-annual groundwater monitoring performed.
  • August 2007, semi-annual groundwater monitoring performed.
  • September 2008, the site was inspected after Hurricane Ike. No immediate damage was identified.
  • Febuary 2009, TCEQ approved the revised Protective Concentration Limits Document.  This document was revised to incorporate additional site-specific analytical data.  The purpose of this document is to identify the cleanup goals for the contaminated soil and groundwater at the site.
  • February 2009, quarterly groundwater monitoring was performed at the site.
  • March 9, 2009, the TCEQ approved the Treatability Study Work Plan (TSWP).  The purpose of the Treatability Study is to evaluate treatment alternatives for cleaning up the site soil and groundwater.
  • March 18,2009, the TCEQ approved the Alternatives Development and Screening Technical Memorandum; the first submittal comprising the Feasibility Study for the site.
  • April 14, 2009, the TCEQ issued a work order authorizing the contractor to initiate the treatability study for the site soil and groundwater.
  • April 24, 2009, the TCEQ issued a work order authorizing the contractor to install additional offsite groundwater monitor wells.  Additional monitor wells are necessary to continue the delineation of the contaminated groundwater plume due to a revision in the cleanup standard for a chemical of concern at the site.
  • October 14, 2009, the Field Activities Report was approved.
  • October 26, 2009, the Bench Scale Treatability Study Report was approved.
  • February 1, 2011, the Pilot Scale Treatability Work Plan was approved.
  • July 2011, the Pilot-Scale Treatability Study for Soil and Groundwater was conducted.
  • April 2011, semi-annual groundwater monitoring was performed.
  • September 9, 2011, the Pilot-Scale Treatability Study Rep0rt was approved.
  • January 3, 2012, the Phase II Pilot-Scale Treatability Study Work Plan was approved.
  • January 2012, semi-annual groundwater monitoring was performed.
  • January 2012, the Phase II Pilot-Scale Treatability Study was performed.
  • June 18, 2012, the Phase II Pilot-Scale Treatability Study Report was approved.
  • July 2012, semi-annual groundwater monitoring was performed.

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Site Specific Information

EPA ID : TXD093978708
Location : Palacios, Matagorda County
Site Status : Evaluation Under Way
Type of Facility : Pesticide/Herbicide Production
Category : Proposed to Registry
Media Affected : Groundwater
Latitude : 28º43'45"N
Longitude : -96º13'15"W
Hazard Ranking Score (HRS) : 15.67
Contaminants at time of HRS : Metals, Organic Pesticides
TCEQ Region : Houston - 12
Funded by : Hazardous & Solid Waste Remediation Fee Account

Contact Information

Superfund Project Manager
Lam Tran
713-767-3559 or 1-800-633-9363
E-mailsuperfnd@tceq.texas.gov

Superfund Community Relations Liaison
Crystal Taylor
512-239-3844 or 1-800-633-9363
E-mail: superfnd@tceq.texas.gov

Records Repositories

Palacios Library, Inc.
326 Main Street
Palacios TX 77465
361/972-3234

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