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The 4-acre Van Der Horst USA Corporation site is located in Terrell, Texas. A chromium and iron electroplating facility operated at the site from the 1950s until 2006. Plating operations generated spent kerosene, wastewater treatment sludge and chromium-contaminated wastewater. Facility operations contaminated soil, sediment and groundwater. Site investigations and long-term cleanup planning are ongoing.

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What Has Been Done to Clean Up the Site?

The site is being addressed through federal and state actions.  The groundwater bioremediation and sediment excavtion will begin once funding is available.

The site is located at 410 and 419 East Grove Street in Terrell, Texas, in a mixed industrial and residential area on the southeast boundary of the city. It is bounded by a railroad to the north and a new section of State Highway 34 is under construction to the east. The nearest residences are located less than a quarter-mile southeast of the former facility. Surface water runoff flows about 300 feet east to Frazier Creek. Frazier Creek flows for about 2,000 feet before joining Kings Creek, which then eventually empties into Cedar Creek Reservoir.

The Van Der Horst USA Corporation operated a chromium (tri- and hexavalent) and iron electroplating facility on site for more than 55 years. The facility began operations in the 1950s and closed down in December 2006. The operation was permanently abandoned in April 2007. Finished products associated with plating operations included pipeline cylinders for the transportation of natural gas and cylinder bores for large diesel engines, including railroad locomotive engines.

The operations occupied a 4-acre plot, which was divided by East Grove Street. The main electroplating facility was located on the northern portion of the site and the wastewater treatment facility was located on the southern portion. As part of the plating operations, the company generated spent kerosene, wastewater treatment sludge and chromium-contaminated wastewater. Sources of contamination were present in four locations at the site: the settling lagoons, underground sumps, vats and drums. These sources contained chromium waste that has been released into groundwater and surface water transport pathways.




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What Is the Current Site Status?

EPA completed the site’s remedial investigation and feasibility study along with selecting long-term remedies for groundwater and soil clean. EPA is currently working to investigate the remaining buildings on site to select long-term remedies for these areas in addition to the aready selected remedies for groundwater and soil contamination.
A pilot study to evaluate potential cleanup options for contaminated groundwater took place in 2013. Collection of groundwater, soil, soil gas, indoor air, sediment and surface water samples took place during four major phases of the investigation. Installation of additional monitoring wells took place in 2012. In 2009, the Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT) conducted soil and groundwater investigations to identify potential environmental impacts within the future right-of-way of State Highway 34. TXDOT conducted soil borings and installed temporary monitoring wells near the site that indicated the presence of contamination in groundwater.

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Emergency Response and Removal

Cleanup has also included removal actions, or short-term cleanups, to address immediate threats to human health and the environment. Removal actions in 2009 addressed structural damage to the former electroplating facility and excavated two lagoons located east of the wastewater treatment facility to about two feet below ground surface.

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