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Federated Metals

This former magnesium dross/sludge disposal landfill in Houston, Harris County is being addressed under the State Superfund Program.

Site Background

The Federated Metals Superfund site is located at 9200 Market Street, at the intersection of Market Street and Interstate 610 in Houston. The Union Pacific Railroad divides the property into the Northern Parcel (also called the Production Area) and the Southern Parcel (also called the Landfill). The inactive site is bound on the north by Market Street, on the west by Interstate 610, and on the south by a large property used for the disposal of materials dredged from the Houston Ship Channel. The Landfill was used as a disposal facility from the 1940s to 1979 for magnesium dross and sludge; refractory brick from recovery activities of nonferrous metal alloys; breakout material from electrolytic chlorine cells such as graphite anodes, asbestos material, and contaminated concrete; gasket rubber rings; and other waste materials.

Superfund Actions Taken to Date

  • July 25, 1986, a legal notice was published in the Texas Register (11 TexReg 3421) announcing a series of public meetings across the state to collect information and receive comments on constituting the initial state Superfund registry and announcing a hearing would be held at the Houston-Galveston Area Council of Governments on August 21, 1986, and a second hearing would be held at the Stephen F. Austin Building in Austin on August 28, 1986.
  • January 16, 1987, Federated Metals became 1 of 10 sites on the first state Superfund registry (12 TexReg 205).
  • November 21, 1990, the remedial investigation work plan was submitted to the Texas Water Commission by potentially responsible parties (PRPs) for review.
  • June 30, 1993, effective date of a Texas Water Commission agreed order that was signed by PRPs to conduct the remedial investigation to determine the nature and extent of contaminants.
  • September 1, 1993, effective date of the creation of the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission (TNRCC) from the joining of the Texas Water Commission and the Texas Air Control Board and a portion of the Texas Department of Health.
  • May 31, 1994, remedial investigation under way.
  • February 15, 1995, a community relations plan was prepared for the Federated Metals site.
  • January 23, 1996, TNRCC approved the remedial investigation Phase I report and addendum reports.
  • August 28, 1996, TNRCC approved the Phase II remedial investigation work plan.
  • April 1, 1997, TNRCC received a Phase II remedial investigation report for work that had been completed to that date. The report included conclusions from the data collected and recommendations for further work.
  • October 14, 1998, TNRCC negotiated right-of-entry and sampling agreement with the Union Pacific Railroad.
  • November 4, 1998, excavation under way to verify buried waste piles identified by a geophysical survey. Wet weather forced delay of excavation activities through February 1999.
  • January 15, 1999, TNRCC approved interim report of the geophysical survey.
  • March 19, 1999, excavation resumed to locate buried waste.
  • May 20, 1999, Phase II remedial investigation under way.
  • August 5, 1999, TNRCC approved the July 1999 sampling and analysis plan.
  • June 12, 2000, additional trenching under way to locate buried waste.
  • September 12, 2000, PRPs submitted a revised report on the characterization of materials.
  • November 10, 2000, TNRCC specialists met with consultants representing the PRPs and discussed the September 12, 2000, revised report on the characterization of materials.
  • September 1, 2002, effective date of the name change from Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission (TNRCC) to Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ).
  • January 10, 2003, the TCEQ requested development of a work plan to address the inorganic constituents (metals).
  • August 2004, the TCEQ requested the PRPs to proceed with the construction of a security fence at the site.
  • November 2004, construction of the security fence was completed.
  • January 2005, the PRPs began preparing a work plan to identify the additional level of effort required to characterize the material at the site to support a feasibility study and remediation of the waste.
  • May 19, 2005, the site perimeter fence was inspected and on-site monitoring wells were sampled.
  • November 9, 2005, on-site monitoring wells were sampled.
  • January 19, 2006, the annual groundwater sampling report was received. Noted were elevated levels of trichloroethene (TCE) in monitor well No. 1 and radionuclides in monitor well No. 2.
  • August 11, 2006, the respondent received approval from federal bankruptcy court for a loan of up to $120,000 to perform investigation work at the Federated Metals site.
  • March 2007, the TCEQ approved various work plans for site activities including the final statement of work for site clearing, the field sampling plan, and the quality assurance project plan for groundwater sampling and analysis.
  • March 23, 2007, on-site monitoring wells were sampled.
  • June 1, 2007, on-site monitoring wells were sampled.
  • July 2007, cloudy water was found seeping at the I-610 and stormwater investigation was conducted by ASARCO Master, Inc., adjacent to the I-610 off-ramp to Market Street. Pumping and control of stormwater was initiated by ASARCO Master, Inc., through Garner Environmental Services.
  • September 2007, a work plan to initiate waste removal was received, reviewed and approved by the TCEQ. The work plan was submitted by EnergySolutions, LLC, on behalf of ASARCO Master, Inc.
  • October 2, 2007, a public meeting was held to inform interested parties of the upcoming waste removal action.
  • December 2007, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) completed its investigation of the seepage and concluded that the seep water exhibited an elevated pH as a result of groundwater seepage through concrete stabilized backfill supporting a roadside retention wall.  TxDOT’s investigation also concluded that the seepage was not a threat to human health.
  • May 2008, soil and groundwater investigations were conducted in the production area to determine the site's hydro-geology and the extent of contamination.
  • July 2008, additional investigative reports were received by the TCEQ.  More extensive investigation was required.
  • August 28, 2008, pursuant to an Agreed Administrative Order, Environmental Liability Transfer, Inc., and EnergySolutions, LLC, took over remediation of the facility, thereby assuming ASARCO Master, Inc.’s environmental obligations at the property.
  • February 2009, read the text of the site update.
  • July 2009, TxDOT and its contractor installed a trench drain to control the seepage in the area adjacent to the I-610 off-ramp to Market Street.
  • July 2010, the TCEQ received and reviewed components of the remedial investigation report submitted by the performing parties.  Renovation along the property and I-610 to divert groundwater from the retention wall was completed by TxDOT.
  • September 2010, excavation in the southern parcel was completed. The remedial investigation report for the southern parcel was approved by the TCEQ.
  • December 2010, the TCEQ reviewed and approved the Soil Removal Report documenting work associated with the excavation and off-site disposal activities on the southern 14.7-acre parcel.
  • May 10, 2011, The TCEQ mailed a newsletter to residents and property owners.
  • October-November 2011, the TCEQ reviewed and approved the Site-Specific Health and Safety Plan; Radiological Closure Work Plan; Solids, Soil and Storm Water Removal Work Plan; and the Supplemental Remedial Investigation Report.
  • February-April 2012, the Radiological Closure Work Plan and the Solids, Soil and Storm Water Removal Work Plan were implemented. The TCEQ reviewed the draft Feasibility Study and provided comments.
  • August 2012, the TCEQ reviewed the draft Feasibility Study Revision 1 and provided comments.
  • December 2012, the TCEQ reviewed and approved the Final Feasibility Study Report for groundwater.
  • May 2013, the TCEQ reviewed and approved the October 2012 Groundwater Monitoring Report.
  • May 2014, a Proposed Remedial Action Document (PRAD) was prepared for the Federated Metals site.
  • June 6, 2014, legal notices were published in the Texas Register (39 TexReg 4515) and the Houston Chronicle newspaper announcing a public meeting to be held on Thursday, July 17, 2014 at 7:00 p.m., in the Ebbert L. Furr High School auditorium, 520 Mercury Drive, Houston, Texas.  The purpose of the meeting is to obtain public input and information concerning the proposed remedy for the site.
  • December 8, 2014, the TCEQ issued a Remedy Selection Document outlining the groundwater remedy at the site.

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