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McBay Oil and Gas

This former oil refinery and oil reclamation plant in Grapeland, Houston County is being addressed under the State Superfund Program.

Site Background

The McBay Oil & Gas Company site (the site) is located approximately three miles northwest of Grapeland, on Farm Road 1272. From 1941 to 1959, the site was the location of an oil refinery. It then became a waste oil reclamation plant until all operations ceased in 1987. At that time, site facilities included approximately 30 above-ground tanks, six earthen disposal pits, three concrete pits, and one saltwater injection well. More than 30 drums were scattered across the site.

Superfund Actions Taken to Date

  • July 25, 1986, a legal notice was published in the Texas Register (11 TexReg 3421-3422) announcing a series of public meetings across the state to collect information and receive comments on constituting the initial state Superfund registry and announcing that a public hearing would be held at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Tyler on August 19, 1986, and a second hearing would be held at the Stephen F. Austin Building in Austin on August 28, 1986.
  • January 16, 1987, McBay Oil & Gas Company became 1 of 10 sites on the first Texas Superfund registry (12 TexReg 205).
  • November 25, 1988, the Texas Water Commission published a legal notice in the Texas Register (13 TexReg 5939) inviting independent third parties to participate voluntarily in remedial action at the site. Third parties could then seek cost recovery under the Solid Waste Disposal Act , Article 4477-7, §11(b) from those liable parties not participating in the voluntary cleanup. The state disclaimed any liability for reimbursement of the costs of the work.
  • May 21, 1990, the Texas Water Commission entered into an administrative order with one potentially responsible party directing the remediation of several earthen and concrete pits and tanks. The contaminated soil was allowed to be treated on site on a land treatment area, or an area where remediation occurs using landfarming. The majority of the contaminated soil and sludges has been removed from the source and is being treated on the land treatment area.
  • 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.
  • December 11, 1997, TNRCC issued an administrative order, directing the potentially responsible parties to perform or fund the removal action for the cleanup.
  • December 23, 1997, effective date of a TNRCC administrative order with 22 PRPs to conduct a removal action.
  • March 17, 1998, removal action under way.
  • January 21, 1999, removal action completed.
  • March 10, 1999, four PRPs submitted good-faith offers to determine the nature and
    extent of contamination (remedial investigation / feasibility study).
  • June 30, 1999, legal notices were published in the Grapeland Messenger and the Houston County Courier 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 was to be held at Grapeland City Hall on August 12, 1999.
  • July 2, 1999, a legal notice was published in the Texas Register (24 TexReg 5069) 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 was to be held at Grapeland City Hall on August 12, 1999.
  • August 12, 1999, a public meeting was held at the Grapeland City Hall to receive community comments on the proposal to use commercial/ industrial land use specifications for remediation of the site contamination. The nonresidential use of the land may be considered in any remedial action proposed for the site.
  • July 15, 2000, the Texas Railroad Commission signed the remedial investigation / feasibility study order with TNRCC and the PRPs.
  • January 30, 2001, remedial investigation, Phase I, report approved by TNRCC.
  • March 15, 2001, Phase II groundwater investigation started.
  • June 27, 2001, TNRCC approved the phase 2 remedial investigation report and the phase 3 work plan to complete the groundwater investigation.
  • August 22, 2001, the phase 3 field work was initiated. This included installing and sampling five monitor wells on the adjacent, downgradient properties.
  • September 15, 2001, installation and sampling of the five new monitor wells were completed on the adjacent, downgradient properties.
  • December 18, 2001, the potentially responsible parties resampled the existing monitor wells at the site to confirm the groundwater contamination.
  • January 30, 2002, a community relations plan was prepared for the McBay Oil & Gas Company site.
  • April 24, 2002, the phase 4 field work was completed. This included two new monitor wells on property adjacent to the site, and six soil borings to expedite the completion of the remedial investigation at the site.
  • June 17-18, 2002, the two new wells on the adjacent property were sampled. The preliminary results of the sampling indicate that the groundwater investigation was complete.
  • July 12, 2002, the potentially responsible party completed resampling of all of the groundwater monitor wells to finalize the groundwater investigation field work.
  • September 1, 2002, effective date of the name change from Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission (TNRCC) to Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ).
  • December 16, 2002, TCEQ received a report of groundwater sampling results for the period July through November 2002. It was determined that the potentially responsible party has not yet defined the extent of groundwater contamination; further investigation was needed.
  • January 18, 2003, TCEQ directed the potentially responsible party to prepare a workplan for further investigation to determine the full extent of groundwater contamination.
  • March 14, 2003, TCEQ received the workplan for further groundwater investigation.
  • May 6, 2003, TCEQ and the potentially responsible party held a teleconference and resolved details of the scope of further groundwater investigation.
  • May 9, 2003, the Texas Attorney General published a legal notice Exit TCEQ Site in the Texas Register (28 TexReg 3857) proposing resolution of an environmental lawsuit against a potentially responsible party in accordance with §7.110 of the Texas Health and Safety Code, and inviting public written comment on the determination that the potentially responsible party has satisfied the terms and condition of the administrative order as to his divisible share of the waste, and providing for a release from the administrative order.
  • June 11, 2003, the potentially responsible party completed installation of additional monitor wells to determine the extent of groundwater contamination.
  • September 2004, TCEQ approved the remedial investigation report submitted the group of potentially responsible parties.
  • April 2005, the final feasibility study report was received from the performing parties.
  • May 2005, TCEQ approved the feasibility study submitted by the group of potentially responsible parties, and issued a letter of completion. The feasibility study complied with the former risk reduction rules as spelled out in the administrative order.
  • August 2005, TCEQ received and approved a preliminary report indicating the Texas Risk Reduction Program feasibility study will provide a more cost-effective remedial alternative for the site.
  • June 10, 2009, TCEQ conducted a site visit to assess the site condition.
  • June 2011, groundwater monitoring was conducted.
  • August 2011, investigation derived waste was removed and disposed properly off-site.
  • February 2013, groundwater monitoring field work conducted by TCEQ contractor.

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Site Specific Information

EPA ID : None
Location : Grapeland, Houston County
Site Status : Cleanup Under Way
Type of Facility : Oil Refinery and Oil Reclamation Plant
Category : Listed on Registry
Media Affected : Groundwater, Soil
Latitude : 31º30'00"N
Longitude : -95º32'02"W
Hazard Ranking Score (HRS) : 16.8
Contaminants at time of HRS : Arsenic, Barium, Benzene, Chromium, Ethylbenzene, Hydrocarbons, Lead, Napthalene, Xylene
TCEQ Region : Beaumont - 10
Funded by : Potentially Responsible Parties

Contact Information

Superfund Project Manager
Jeff Beckage
512-239-3582 or 1-800-633-9363

Superfund Community Relations Liaison
John Flores
512-239-5674 or 1-800-633-9363

Records Repositories

J.H. Wootters-Crockett Public Library
708 E. Goliad Avenue
Crockett  TX 75835

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.