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Hu-Mar Chemicals

This former pesticide/herbicide production facility near Palacios, Matagorda County is in the Operation and Maintenance phase of the state Superfund program.

Site Summary

The Hu-Mar Chemicals site is located on McGlothlin Road, between 4th and 12th Street, west of State Highway 35 and north of the City of Palacios corporate limits, in Matagorda County, Texas. The approximately 18-acre property was used for the production of pesticides and herbicides in the 1970s.

The facility was constructed by the Consolidated Chemical Company in the 1970s for pesticide and herbicide production. Hu-Mar Chemicals, Inc. (Hu-Mar) began operations at the facility in 1978. Operations at the Hu-Mar facility included manufacturing and handling of herbicides and their precursors and byproducts, including thiocarbamates and phosgene gas, as well as disposal of the byproducts of herbicide manufacturing and other wastes generated at the site. In 1980, operations ceased after a temporary injunction was brought by the State of Texas against Hu-Mar for the improper storage of several hundred deteriorating drums containing unknown materials.

After the facility closed, Hu-Mar conducted removal activities. Drums containing chemicals stored in an old brick kiln were removed and properly disposed of off-site, the kiln was demolished, and the bricks and contaminated soil underlying the kiln were removed and properly disposed of off-site. Additionally, phosgene gas cylinders present at the facility were removed, on-site tanks were dismantled and removed, and surface impoundments were closed with regulatory approval. Subsequent investigations documented hazardous substances in soil and groundwater as a result of the historical pesticide and herbicide production.

Superfund Registry and Investigation

In January 2000, the TCEQ proposed the site to the state Superfund registry. The remedial investigation began in June 2000 and the focused feasibility study began in October 2008.

In May 2018, the TCEQ completed the focused feasibility study which evaluated remedial action alternatives for the site. In July 2018, the TCEQ prepared a Proposed Remedial Action Document, which described the proposed remedy for the site.

The TCEQ held a public meeting on September 20, 2018, in Palacios, Matagorda County, Texas, concerning the proposed remedy for the site.

On January 16, 2019, the TCEQ issued an Administrative Order which selected the site remedy and listed the site on the state registry of Superfund sites. The remedy for groundwater is the establishment of an on-site and off-site Plume Management Zone (PMZ) with limited in-situ chemical oxidation treatment, and the remedy for the soil is excavation and disposal of off-site soils and management of on-site soils within the groundwater PMZ.

Remedial Action

Remedial Action/Remedial Design Activities commenced in January 2019. By August 31, 2019, TCEQ completed excavation and disposal of contaminated soils and implementation of a Plume Management Zone for the groundwater. Institutional controls recorded in the real property records will limit land use at the site to commercial/industrial land use and prevent the use of and exposure to contaminated groundwater within the Plume Management Zone.

Current Status

The site is in the operation and maintenance phase. The TCEQ will periodically monitor the PMZ until the site reaches protective concentration levels.

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