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Col-Tex Refinery

This Former Oil Refinery in Colorado City, Mitchell County, is in the Operation and Maintenance Phase.

Site Summary

The Col-Tex Refinery operated from 1924 to 1969 on 175 acres straddling Business Interstate 20 (U.S. 80) immediately west of the Colorado River in Colorado City. Refinery products included gasoline, aviation and diesel fuels, and asphalt.

During the 1970s, the refinery was dismantled, except for one active aboveground storage tank (AST) on the bluff, and three (ASTs) adjacent to the Colorado River. These three tanks were believed to be a source of contamination found in the river.

Remedial Investigation and Superfund Registry

In 1992, the TCEQ issued an administrative order (AO) requiring the potentially responsible parties (PRPs) to install a perimeter fence, maintain netting to prevent migratory birds from landing in the contaminated pools, and block all releases of hazardous substances to the Colorado River.

In 1993, under another TCEQ AO, the PRPs started the remedial investigation (RI) to determine the nature and extent of contamination, and the TCEQ dismantled and disposed of the storage tanks adjacent to the Colorado River. In January 1994, the TCEQ listed the site on the state Superfund registry.


Since 1993, PRPs have conducted extensive soil, surface water, groundwater, and sediment sampling. All storage tanks and other structures have been removed and all contaminated soil has been excavated, treated, and placed in an on-site containment cell. More than 7,000 tons of nonhazardous material was recycled into asphalt stabilized road base that was donated to Mitchell County to resurface seven miles of county roads. Under an agreement with state and federal natural resource trustees, the PRPs have constructed and maintained a wildlife preservation area adjacent to the site on the Colorado River.

Current Status

In August 2018, the TCEQ issued an administrative order that selected the remedial action (RA) for the site. The RA for soil consists of the site containment cell and institutional controls (ICs).  The RA for groundwater consists of multiple technologies and strategies, including a plume management zone with monitored attenuation to control and prevent the use of and exposure to the groundwater; active groundwater pumping; a hydrocarbon abatement system; and hydraulic barriers to control groundwater. Implementation of ICs is currently in progress. The site is currently in the operation and maintenance (O&M) phase with continued groundwater monitoring, sampling, and treatment.

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