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Niagara Chemical

No further Superfund environmental response actions are required at this former pesticide formulation facility in Harlingen, Cameron County.

Site Background

The Niagara Chemical site (the site) is located west of the intersection of Commerce Street and Adams Avenue, within a quarter of a mile of downtown Harlingen. Niagara Chemical used the two acres from 1946 until 1962 as a site to formulate dry and liquid pesticides. In 1962, Niagara Chemical ceased pesticide formulation and removed the liquid formulation equipment,but continued to use the facility until 1968 to blend and store dry fertilizer. In 1968, all equipment was removed from the site. In 1970, the buildings were razed, leaving the concrete slab foundations. Three 10,000-gallon underground storage tanks were removed prior to the remedial investigation of 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 meeting would be held at the Coastal Bend Council of Governments Conference Room in Corpus Christi on August 26, 1986, and a second meeting would be held at the Stephen F. Austin Building in Austin on August 28, 1986.
  • August 26, 1986, a public meeting was held at the Coastal Bend Council of Governments in Corpus Christi, to receive comments on the proposal of Niagara Chemical to the first Superfund registry.
  • August 28, 1986, a public meeting was held in Austin at the Stephen F. Austin Building to receive comments on the proposal of Niagara Chemical to the first state Superfund registry.
  • December 1986, a site perimeter fence was constructed to limit unauthorized access and signs were posted warning of contamination following a September 6, EPA order.
  • January 16, 1987, Niagara Chemical became 1 of 10 sites listed on the first Texas Superfund registry (12 TexReg 205).
  • May 1988, remedial investigation/feasibility study underway.
  • 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.
  • April 16, 1996, a public meeting was held at Zavala Elementary School in Harlingen to receive citizen comments to be considered in the final recommended cleanup alternative,which was a clay cap and/or off-site transport/disposal.
  • December 3, 1996, a final administrative order was issued. The selected final remedy was excavation, removal and off-site disposal of contaminated soils and materials with ten years of groundwater monitoring to confirm natural attenuation. The administrative order was recorded in Cameron County.
  • December 13, 1996, effective date of the final administrative order.
  • August 4, 1997, remedial action underway.
  • April 20, 1998, remedial action completed.
  • June 5, 1998, first quarterly groundwater samples collected by PRP as part of 10-year ongoing groundwater monitoring.
  • August 26, 1998, second quarterly groundwater samples collected by PRP as part of 10-year ongoing groundwater monitoring.
  • December 1, 1998, third quarterly groundwater samples collected by PRP as part of 10-year ongoing groundwater monitoring.
  • March 3, 1999, fourth quarterly groundwater samples collected by PRP as part of 10-year ongoing groundwater monitoring.
  • September 1, 1999, groundwater samples collected by PRP as 10-year ongoing groundwater monitoring moves to twice yearly phase.
  • March 6, 2000, second semi-annual groundwater samples collected by PRP as part of 10-year ongoing groundwater monitoring.
  • January 13, 2001, PRP submitted year 2000 O&M progress report to TNRCC.
  • March 6, 2001, TNRCC project manager monitored PRP's semi-annual groundwater sampling as part of 10-year ongoing groundwater monitoring.
  • April 2001-August 2002, the PRP continued the ongoing 10-year operation and maintenance activities which currently consist of semi-annual groundwater monitoring to ensure that the contaminants are attenuating in the concentrations through a natural process.
  • 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, the potentially responsible party continued ongoing operation and maintenance activities, consisting of semi-annual groundwater monitoring to ensure that the contaminants are attenuating their concentrations through natural processes.
  • February 2004, TCEQ responded to the request of the potentially responsible parties to modify the operation and maintenance sampling plan. TCEQ approved the request to schedule the next sampling event for September 2004 instead of March 2004.
  • September 2003-August 2004, the responsible party continued semi-annual groundwater monitoring to ensure that the contaminants are attenuating their concentration through natural processes.
  • January 2005, the annual operations and maintenance monitoring report for 2004 was received and accepted.
  • February 21, 2006, the annual operations and maintenance progress report for 2005 was received and accepted.
  • April 13, 2007, the annual progress report for 2006 was received and accepted.
  • April 4, 2008, the annual progress report for 2007 was received and accepted.
  • April 21, 2009, the groundwater monitoring report was completed, received & accepted as part of the 2008 annual progress report.
  • June 22, 2009, TCEQ received the 10-year Post-Closure Evaluation Report and responded with a comment letter to potentially responsible parties.
  • February 2, 2010, TCEQ received a proposal to conduct an additional sampling event at the site from potentially responsible parties.
  • February 18, 2010, TCEQ approved the proposed additional sampling event at the site.
  • March 2010, Additional groundwater monitoring completed.
  • July 2010, TCEQ approved a proposal to conduct an additional sampling event at the source well location during Fall 2010.
  • October 2010, Additional groundwater sampling completed.
  • July 19, 2013, legal notices were published in the Texas Register Texas Registerand Valley Morning Star, announcing a public meeting to be held Thursday, August 22, 2013 at 7:00 p.m., at the Harlingen City Hall, Town Hall Room, 2nd Floor, 118 East Tyler Avenue, Harlingen, Cameron County, Texas.  The purpose of the meeting is to obtain public input and information about the agency's intent to delete the site from the state Superfund registry.
  • August 22, 2013, a public meeting to receive citizen comments on the agency's intent to delete the site from the state Superfund registry, was held at the Harlingen City Hall, Town Hall Room, 2nd Floor, 118 East Tyler Avenue, Harlingen.  No comments were received.
  • September 20, 2013, a legal notice was published in the Texas Register, (38 TexReg 6304), officially deleting the site from the state Superfund registry in accordance with 30 TAC §335.344 (b)(c).  No further action is necessary at the site.

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Site Specific Information

EPA ID : TXD980697130
Location : Harlingen, Cameron County
Site Status : Deleted from Registry
Type of Facility : Pesticide Formulation
Category : Listed on Registry
Media Affected : Groundwater, Soil
Latitude : 26º11'45"N
Longitude : -97º42'05"W
Hazard Ranking Score (HRS) : 18.03
Contaminants at time of HRS : Arsenic, Lead, Pesticides
TCEQ Region : Harlingen - 15
Funded by : Potentially Responsible Parties

Contact Information

Superfund Project Manager
Michael Cave
512-239-4772 or 1-800-633-9363
E-mail: superfnd@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

Harlingen Public Library
410 '76 Drive
Harlingen TX  78550
956-430-6630

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