The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Water Infrastructure Resiliency and Finance Center, in collaboration with the...
Old chemical plant site could impact local drinking water
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has started its remedial investigation at the Eldorado Chemical Co. Superfund site near San Antonio, Texas. The first phase of work will include groundwater sampling and geophysical evaluation of monitoring and water wells.
The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality referred the site to the EPA Superfund program for cleanup. The EPA remedial investigation started in late April 2017 with plans to complete the work by the end of summer. Subsequent activities will include defining the remaining contaminant sources on the property using soil, soil gas and groundwater sampling.
The Remedial Investigation/Feasibility study is anticipated to take about three years to complete and will result in a proposed plan for cleanup. The public will have an opportunity to review the plan and make comments.
In September 2016, EPA added the site to the list of contaminated sites that pose risks to public health and the environment as part of the Superfund program. After defining the potential risks to public health, EPA will be able to provide the best scientific strategy to clean the site.
The site is located in the suburb of Live Oak, Bexar County, Texas, northeast of San Antonio. The former cleaning product manufacturing site contains soil and groundwater contaminated with chlorinated solvents, including tetrachloroethene, trichloroethene, dichloroethene and vinyl chloride.
If not addressed, the contaminants could harm the Edwards Aquifer, which provides drinking water to 215,722 local residents. Tetrachloroethylene is considered a potential human carcinogen. Animal studies have shown exposure over long periods could cause other effects in the liver and kidneys and changes in brain chemistry.
Superfund is the federal program that investigates and cleans up the most complex, uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous waste sites in the country and converts them into productive community resources by eliminating or reducing public health risks and environmental contamination.