Monday, November 21, 2011

Galveston County Superfund Site Nears the Next Five-Year Review

By: Duane Craig

MOTCO Inc. Superfund site in Galveston County, Texas up for second review

In less than a year, the MOTCO Inc. Superfund site in Galveston County, Texas, will be up for its second five-year review to verify that the current environmental issues are being properly addressed so they don’t pose threats to human and environmental health, according to the Environmental Protection Agency’s update on the site.

The last five-year review found the remediation to be working, however there were some areas of concern. Specifically, the review called for increased monitoring in one zone, additional response actions in another, “checking for any impacts from the planned public water supply well in the area, placement of institutional controls and continuing site operation and maintenance activities.”

During the peak of the cleanup activities, more than 7.5 thousand tons of oil, 8,000 tons of tar sludge, nearly 4,700 tons of contaminated soil and more than 3.5 million gallons of contaminated water were cleaned up. This site is a couple of miles southeast of La Marque in Galveston County.

The owners of the site recycled styrene tars and disposed of industrial petrochemical wastes there between 1959 and 1968 when it was forced out of business by a city ordinance that prohibited disposal of liquid wastes. Long-term pumping and treating of groundwater and the recovery of organic compounds are the primary ongoing cleanup activities.

A separate groundwater contamination plume is also being investigated. To date, more than 84 million gallons of groundwater have been recovered, and more than 50,000 gallons of liquid organic compounds have been recovered.

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