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James Barr Facility

This former vacuum truck waste storage facility in Pearland, Brazoria County is being addressed under the State Superfund Program.

Site Background

The James Barr Facility site is located in the 3300 block of Industrial Drive in the southern part of Pearland in Brazoria County. The site occupies two acres, and is bounded on the west by businesses along Industrial Drive, to the south by industrial businesses, areas of sand mining and oil field production facilities, and on the east by at least four sand pits filled with water. The property on the east side also contains an adult care center. A residential subdivision is being established about a quarter mile to a half mile to the north of the site. The facility was used as a storage site for hazardous waste transported in by vacuum trucks and unloaded into various above ground storage tanks located on the property. The property was auctioned for unpaid taxes in 1995. The new owner contracted to have the metal above ground storage tanks cut up and hauled away for scrap. A hazardous spill occurred in 1997 when the contractor attempted to cut open a skid-mounted horizontal tank, allowing benzene and 1,2-dichloroethane to leak onto the ground.

Superfund Actions Taken to Date

  • September 20, 2001, a site perimeter fence was constructed to limit unauthorized access, and signs were posted warning of contamination.
  • September 20, 2001, a Superfund site discovery and assessment contractor conducted an immediate removal to limit dangers that contaminants may have posed to public health and safety or the environment. The 19 drums containing soil and sludge from the 1997 tank spill and 3 drums of tank cleanout sludge were transported offsite for disposal at an approved facility.
  • January 29, 2002, an affidavit of lien payable to the commission was filed in the Brazoria 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.
  • July 2, 2002, a hazard ranking system (HRS) document was prepared for the James
    Barr Facility site.
  • September 1, 2002, effective date of the name change from Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission (TNRCC) to Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ).
  • November 7, 2002, TCEQ began mailing out requests for good-faith offers from potentially responsible parties, asking them to enter into an agreed administrative order to perform a remedial investigation and feasibility study at the site.
  • November 8, 2002, a legal notice Exit TCEQ Site was published in the Texas Register (27 TexReg 10644-10645) describing the site, proposing the site for listing on the state Superfund registry, and proposing commercial/industrial land use designation for the site. The land use designation may be considered in any remedial action proposed for the site. A public meeting to receive citizen comments, was to be held at the Pearland City Hall council chambers on December 19, 2002.
  • November 15, 2002, an updated community relations plan was prepared for the James Barr Facility site.
  • December 19, 2002, a public meeting was held at the Pearland City Hall council chambers to receive community comments on the proposal to list the James Barr Facility on the Superfund registry and proposing commercial/industrial land use specifications for remediation of the site contamination.
  • January 2003, a work order was issued by TCEQ to the contractor to prepare a site survey and to conduct a deed lien search on the property.
  • March 5, 2003, with none of the identified potentially responsible parties responding to the requests for a response action, TCEQ initiated the field investigation at the site to determine the nature and extent of contamination, and to begin quarterly groundwater sampling.
  • May 29, 2003, a work order was issued to the contractor to prepare a data quality objectives document for the site.
  • January 2004, TCEQ reviewed, and provided comments on, the draft of the first tier of ecological exclusion criteria checklist. The contractor's approach to data quality objectives was also reviewed.
  • June 2004, a work order amendment was issued to the contractor to conduct the first phase of the remedial investigation.
  • July 2004, field work for the first phase of the remedial investigation began on the tenth of the month and was completed on July 29. A work order was issued to identify the contents of a horizontal aboveground storage tank.
  • August 2004, the data quality objectives document for the remainder of the remedial investigation was reviewed and approved.
  • October 2004, a work order was issued for a report on the results of the first phase remedial investigation, and for planning of the second phase remedial investigation. Another work order was issued to conduct a door-to-door well survey within a quarter mile radius of the site to identify potential groundwater receptors.
  • November 2004, the Tier I ecological risk assessment was approved, and the door-to-door well survey was completed.
  • January 2005, a survey was completed of the first phase of the remedial investigation sampling locations. The results were submitted to TCEQ and were approved.
  • February 2005, removal of an on-site aboveground storage tank was completed.
  • March 2005, a work order amendment was issued for groundwater sampling and sampling of sludge found beneath the aboveground storage tank.
  • April 2005, the contractor completed the groundwater and sludge sampling events.
  • June 2005, the second phase field sampling plan for remedial investigation was approved by TCEQ. Also approved was the report of the April sampling results that was submitted by the contractor.
  • July 2005, a work order was issued to conduct a detailed engineering cost analysis on the closure of the surface impoundment on site and conduct field work for the second phase of the remedial investigation.
  • August 1-10, 2005, the contractor performed the second phase remedial investigation work.
  • August 2005, the removal action letter report related to the removal of the above ground storage tank was reviewed and approved.
  • October 2005, work orders were issued for surveying the second phase remedial investigation sampling points, and a data validation and data usability study for the second phase of the remedial investigation.
  • November 2005, work orders were issued for both the Tier 2 protective concentration levels and quarterly groundwater monitoring.
  • December 2005, quarterly groundwater monitoring occurred.
  • January 2006, TCEQ reviewed and approved the data usability summary associated with the second phase of the remedial investigation.
  • February 2006, TCEQ approved the final Tier 2 protective contaminant level document.
  • March 2006, quarterly groundwater monitoring was conducted.
  • June 2006, a quarterly groundwater monitoring event was conducted. The data usability summary from the March 2006 event was approved. The groundwater monitoring report from March 2006 was approved.
  • August 2006, the June 2006 monitoring report was approved.
  • June 25-26, 2007, a groundwater monitoring event for on-site and off-site monitoring wells occurred.
  • September 11, 2007, the data usability summary for the June groundwater monitoring event was approved by TCEQ.
  • September 13, 2007, the June 2007 groundwater monitoring report was approved by TCEQ.
  • October 5, 2007 the TCEQ approved the second phase remedial investigation technical memorandum.
  • September 2008, the site was inspected after Hurricane Ike. No immediate damage was identified.
  • February 16, 2010, A site inspection was conducted by TCEQ.
  • February/March 2011, remedial investigation field activities were conducted at the site.
  • June 3, 2011, a legal notice was published in the Texas Register regarding the proposed removal action at the site.
  • June 29, 2011, the Removal Action Workplan was approved.
  • July 25, 2011, the Field Sampling Plan for the removal action activities was approved.
  • August/September 2011, the Removal Action activities were conducted at the site. The Removal Action field activities were completed on September 6, 2011.
  • April 3, 2012, the TCEQ began mailing out requests for good-faith offers from potentially responsible parties, asking them to enter into an agreed administrative order with the TCEQ to fully fund or conduct a remedial action at the site.
  • April 11, 2012, a legal notice was published in the Pearland Reporter News newspaper concerning the proposed remedial action for the James Barr Facility state Superfund site.
  • April 13, 2012, a legal notice (page 14) was published in the April 13, 2012 issue of the Texas Register, concerning the proposed remedial action for the James Barr Facility state Superfund site.
  • May 17, 2012, a public meeting was held in the Council Chambers of Pearland City Hall, 3519 Liberty Drive, Pearland, Texas.  The purpose of the meeting was to explain the proposed remedy selection. The proposed remedy is a plume management zone for the shallow groundwater beneath the site. Exposure to the groundwater will be controlled and prevented by recording institutional controls in the real property records. Institutional controls will be placed on the area of the site property which overlies the groundwater that is contaminated above the cleanup levels. There were no objections voiced to the proposed remedy at the public meeting.

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Site Specific Information

EPA ID : TXSFN0605176
Location : Pearland, Brazoria County
Site Status : Evaluation Under Way
Type of Facility : Vacuum Truck Waste Storage
Category : Proposed to Registry
Media Affected : Groundwater, Surface water
Latitude : 29º31'48"N
Longitude : -95º15'42"W
Hazard Ranking Score (HRS) : 25.35
Contaminants at time of HRS : Benzene, 1,2-dichloroethane, Metals, Organics
TCEQ Region : Houston - 12
Funded by : Hazardous & Solid Waste Remediation Fee Account

Contact Information

Superfund Project Manager
Kandice Spera
512-239-2263 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-mailsuperfnd@tceq.texas.gov

Records Repositories

Pearland Library
3522 Liberty Drive
Pearland TX 77581
281/485-4876

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