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Pioneer Oil Refining Company

This former oil refinery outside Somerset, in Bexar County was contaminated by hydrocarbons. It has been cleaned up and is now in the operation and maintenance phase of the state Superfund program.

Site Summary

The site is on approximately 12 acres at 20280 Payne Road near Somerset, Bexar County, Texas. A waste oil refinery, Pioneer Oil Refining Co., operated at the site from 1910 to 1949 and produced oil and oil based products including roofing tar and lubricating type oil.   

Remedial Investigation

The TCEQ proposing the site to the state Superfund registry in 1990 and conducted a remedial investigation between 1993 and 1995. The investigation identified sludge impoundments and soil at the old refining building that was contaminated with lead, total petroleum hydrocarbons, and benzene. The groundwater was also contaminated with lead, total petroleum hydrocarbons, and benzene, and arsenic.

Superfund Registry and Remedial Actions

The TCEQ issued an administrative order in 2008, listing the site on the state Superfund registry, establishing cleanup goals, and selecting the remedial action.  This consisted of consolidating the stabilized sludge and soils in an on-site waste control unit, establishing a plume management zone and monitoring natural attenuation of the groundwater. These actions were completed in 2010.

Current Status

Now in the operation and maintenance phase, the TCEQ continues to routinely inspect the waste control unit and monitor the groundwater to ensure that the selected remedy remains effective.

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