Superfund Information Systems: Site Profile

Superfund Site:

UNITED CREOSOTING CO.
CONROE, TX

Cleanup Activities

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Background

The 100-acre United Creosoting Co. site is located in Conroe, Texas. A wood-treating facility operated at the site from 1946 until 1972. Following pressure treatment of lumber, facility operations rinsed the pressure cylinders and routed wastewater to one of two process waste ponds on site. Facility operations contaminated soil and groundwater with hazardous chemicals. Following cleanup, groundwater monitoring is ongoing.

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What Has Been Done to Clean Up the Site?

The site is being addressed through federal and state actions.

EPA has conducted several five-year reviews of the site’s remedy. These reviews ensure that the remedies put in place protect public health and the environment, and function as intended by site decision documents. The most recent review concluded that response actions at the site are in accordance with the remedy selected by EPA and that the remedy continues to be protective of human health and the environment.

Soil cleanup has allowed redevelopment of the site for residential and commercial use. Ongoing groundwater monitoring as part of the monitored natural attenuation remedy will prevent accidental exposure to contaminated groundwater and monitor any changes in groundwater use.

 

The site is located at the intersection of North First Street and Hilbig Road in Conroe, Montgomery County, Texas, about 40 miles north of Houston. The site is about one mile east of Interstate 45 and a quarter-mile south of Loop 336. The site is bounded on the west and south by Alligator Creek, on the north by Dolores Street, and on the east by the Missouri-Pacific rail lines. The physical characteristics of the site have been altered by development of the property. Light industrial structures and a portion of the Tanglewood East residential subdivision currently occupy the site. Other residential areas border the site to the north, south and west. Industrial, commercial and residential areas are located east of the site.

The United Creosoting Company operated as a wood-treating facility from 1946 to 1972. Former facility operations included a coal-tar distillation still, a processing building, tanks, pressure cylinders, two waste ponds and several areas where treated lumber was stored. In the wood-treating operation, formed lumber, such as telephone poles and railroad ties, was treated in a two-step process by the pressurized addition of creosote and PCP. Following the pressure treatment, the pressure cylinders were rinsed and the wastewater routed to one of the two process waste ponds on site. Segregation of the two waste streams allowed possible reclamation and reuse. The larger pond held mainly the creosote waste. The smaller pond held the PCP process waste. Creosote was produced through an on-site coal tar distillation unit and stored in lined pits just east of the process waste ponds.

About 15,000 people live within two miles of the site. The nearest drinking water well is 1.8 miles southeast of the site, screened 160 feet below the ground surface.

The site is located at the intersection of North First Street and Hilbig Road in Conroe, Montgomery County, Texas, about 40 miles north of Houston. The site is about one mile east of Interstate 45 and a quarter-mile south of Loop 336. The site is bounded on the west and south by Alligator Creek, on the north by Dolores Street, and on the east by the Missouri-Pacific rail lines. The physical characteristics of the site have been altered by development of the property. Light industrial structures and a portion of the Tanglewood East residential subdivision currently occupy the site. Other residential areas border the site to the north, south and west. Industrial, commercial and residential areas are located east of the site.

The United Creosoting Company operated as a wood-treating facility from 1946 to 1972. Former facility operations included a coal-tar distillation still, a processing building, tanks, pressure cylinders, two waste ponds and several areas where treated lumber was stored. In the wood-treating operation, formed lumber, such as telephone poles and railroad ties, was treated in a two-step process by the pressurized addition of creosote and PCP. Following the pressure treatment, the pressure cylinders were rinsed and the wastewater routed to one of the two process waste ponds on site. Segregation of the two waste streams allowed possible reclamation and reuse. The larger pond held mainly the creosote waste. The smaller pond held the PCP process waste. Creosote was produced through an on-site coal tar distillation unit and stored in lined pits just east of the process waste ponds.

About 15,000 people live within two miles of the site. The nearest drinking water well is 1.8 miles southeast of the site, screened 160 feet below the ground surface.

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What Is the Current Site Status?

The site’s long-term remedy include sampling of residential areas, excavation of soil above residential and industrial action levels in the residential and commercial areas of the site, consolidation of excavated soil on site, backfilling and landscaping of excavated areas, treatment of excavated soil on site using critical fluid extraction (CFE), off-site disposal of organic extract from the CFE process, and on-site disposal of treated soil. It also included excavation and off-site disposal of about 30,000 tons of contaminated soil, and backfilling and restoration of backfilled areas. Construction of the remedy took place between 1992 and 1999. Following cleanup activities, no operation and maintenance activities are required for soil cleanup. Groundwater monitoring is ongoing.

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Sampling and Monitoring

The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has the lead for operation and maintenance of the groundwater monitoring system. A groundwater monitoring event was conducted at the United Creosoting site on August 21 -24, 2012.

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