Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Investigations Continue in Happy Texas to Uncover Local Environmental Issues

By: Duane Craig

The Environmental Protection Agency is overseeing a further investigation on current environmental issues at the North East 2nd Street Site (formerly called Attebury) in Happy, Texas. Happy sits 35 miles south of downtown Amarillo and was the home to Attebury Grain, a company providing grain storage.

In 1962, a fire wiped out the grain storage facility, and those fighting the fire used an unknown amount of carbon tetrachloride to put it out. Later, soil vapor tests and sampling of the groundwater by the state exposed a list of environmental issues, including carbon tetrachloride, chloroform, 1,2-dichloroethane, methylene chloride and other chemicals at the site. While the Santa Rosa aquifer, the one supplying the public water supply to Happy, is not affected, the larger Ogallala aquifer is, and that forced the abandonment of one residential well and one city well.

Soil gas samples done in 2009 told investigators where to lay out a grid pattern of soil gas diffusion samplers that were expected to show where concentrations of volatile organic compounds lay. Potential source areas were discovered, and the next step will be an investigation that maps out the nature and extent of the environmental issues there.

This site is at 201 North Gordon along the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe railroad tracks. The site is between Northwest 3rd Street and Northwest 2nd Streets, and it is east of Talley Avenue. This site is in Swisher County.

No comments: