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ArChem Thames/Chelsea

The TCEQ has deleted the ArChem Thames/Chelsea Chemical Company site from the state Superfund Registry. No further Superfund environmental response actions are required at this former specialty chemical manufacturing and toll processing plant in Houston, Harris County.

Site Summary

The ArChem Thames/Chelsea site encompasses approximately 10 acres at 13103 Conklin Lane near the intersection of Interstate 45 and Beltway 8 in southeast Houston, Harris County. A wide range of organic chemicals and catalysts were used in manufacturing and processing operations from 1961 until the site was abandoned in 1991.

When it was abandoned, spill and surface contamination were widespread throughout. There was evidence of contamination in the surface impoundments and drainage ditches. Approximately two-thousand 55-gallon drums of waste in various stages of deterioration were on-site.

Structures left at the site after it was abandoned included an office and warehouse buildings, concrete foundations in the former process areas, a sludge drying bed, two land farm areas, and containment areas associated with former aboveground tanks. There were two surface impoundments associated with wastewater from the former operations in the north-eastern portion of the facility.

Beginning Cleanup

Some of the potentially responsible parties (PRPs), the United States Environmental Protection Agency, and the TCEQ conducted separate waste removal actions from the site between 1992 and 1995 to address the containerized waste and surface water contamination.

Superfund Registry and Investigation

The TCEQ proposed the site to the state Superfund registry in 2001 and selected commercial/industrial as the appropriate future land use for the site. The TCEQ conducted the remedial investigation (RI) of the soils, sediments, surface water and groundwater between April 2002 and July 2005.

The TCEQ didn’t detect any chemicals of concern above the protective concentration levels (PCLs) in the groundwater or surface water. Levels of antimony, lead, mercury, benzene, toluene, tetrahydrofuran, 2-nitroaniline and furfural exceeded the PCLs in the soil and the land farm areas, necessitating the development of a remedial action for the site.

Remedial Action

On July 15, 2009, the TCEQ issued an administrative order (AO) which selected excavation and off-site disposal of the contaminated soils and sediments from the impoundments as the remedial action for the site. We ordered the named responsible parties to perform the remedial action, but they were unwilling or unable to begin the selected remedial action within the timeframe specified in the AO. Therefore the TCEQ performed the remedy beginning in August 2009. The remedy was considered complete in July 2011 when the final closure report was approved.

The TCEQ deleted the site from the state Superfund registry in July 2013.

Current Status

Cleanup is complete. The site needs no additional state Superfund environmental response actions.

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