US OIL RECOVERY
On this page:
- What Is Being Done to Clean Up the Site?
- What Is the Current Site Status?
- EPA’s Involvement at the Site
- Enforcement Information
- Operable Units (opens new page)
- Cleanup Progress (opens new page)
The site consists of two separate properties which are located in Pasadena, Texas, north of Highway 225. USOR operations at the 400 N. Richey Street property included receipt of municipal and industrial Class I and Class II wastewater, characteristically hazardous waste, used oil and oily sludges, as well as municipal solid waste. Its affiliate, MCC Recycling (MCC), conducted associated operations at the 200 N. Richey Street property, which was a former sewage treatment plant owned by the City of Pasadena from approximately 1945 until it was acquired by USOR in January 2009.
As part of the initial response actions, the EPA took steps to contain off-site migration, mitigate the threat to the public and to Vince Bayou, and stabilize the Site in July 2010, November 2010, and January 2011. As part of those efforts, approximately 833,500 gallons of non-hazardous contaminated storm water were transported off-site. Hazardous and non-hazardous sludges were removed and also disposed of off-site. Pursuant to an AOC dated August 25, 2011, the EPA has continued to protect the public health, welfare, and the environment by overseeing subsequent Site stabilization activities performed by the PRP Group. In addition to the removal action activities described above, the PRP Group stabilization activities have included: (1) Site security and video monitoring; (2) regular inspections of the Site; and (3) pump down/removal of liquids as necessary to prevent releases from containment areas and other Site structures. As part of those efforts and the removal action activities, approximately 3,000,000 gallons of liquid and 600,000 gallons of solids have been removed and transported off-site. The PRP Group obtained a Court-appointed Receiver with legal custody and control over the Site. The Receiver’s role is to assist the Group in its performance of the EPA- approved actions at the Site.
National Priorities Listing (NPL) History
NPL Inclusion Proposal Date: September 16, 2011
NPL Inclusion Final Date: September 18, 2012
HRS Score: 50.00
For more information onthe EPA Removal Actions please visit the website: www.epaosc.org/USOR-PRP
What Is Being Done to Clean Up the Site?
The EPA has continued to protect the public health, welfare and the environment, including Vince Bayou, by overseeing subsequent Site stabilization activities performed by some the PRP Group.
An administrative settlement between the EPA and Bayer Crop Science, Inc. and members of the PRP Group was signed in May 2015. This settlement is for the preparation and performance of a Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study (RI/FS) for the 400 North Richey Street property, known as Area of Investigation 1, of the U.S. Oil Recovery Superfund Site.
What Is the Current Site Status?
The PRP Group began stabilization activities at the Site around November 2011. In accordance with an EPA approved work plan, and in coordination with the EPA and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ), a remediation contractor hired by the Potential Responsible Party (PRP) Group, has been stabilizing the Site.
In accordance with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-approved work plans, remediation contractors hired by the Potentially Responsible Parties (known as the “PRP Group”) have completed a series of removal actions on the U.S. Oil Recovery (USOR) property (the Site). These activities have included: (1) removal/disposal of solids and liquids from two frac tanks and more than 230 roll-off containers followed by pressure washing of the containers; (2) removal/disposal of liquids, sludges and PVC piping from the bioreactor, a large aboveground concrete structure on the property, followed by pressure washing/ demolition of the bioreactor, and removal of concrete/ steel bioreactor demolition debris; (3) characterization and removal/disposal of more than 1,100 containers (drums and totes) and their contents from within the USOR warehouse; (4) characterization and removal of liquids from aboveground storage tanks (ASTs) within a 30+ AST tank farm; (5) characterization of solids within the ASTs; and (6) inventory and characterization of residual liquids and solids in former processing equipment on the property. The PRP Group is in the process of the removal of remaining residual wastes from the ASTs and former process equipment. The 226 roll-off containers that were emptied and washed as part of the Roll-off Removal Action were, with EPA approval, temporarily transferred to a nearby property (located approximately 1,000 feet north of the USOR site). These containers have been sold and were removed from that property by July 31, 2017.
An administrative settlement between the EPA, the PRP Group and Bayer Crop Science, Inc. was signed on May 14, 2015. This Administrative Order on Consent (AOC) is for the preparation and performance of a Remedial Investigation and Feasibility Study (RI/FS) for the 400 N. Richey Street property, known as Area of Investigation 1 (AOI-1), of the USOR property. The RI/FS Work Plan and associated plans prepared by the PRP Group were approved by the EPA on February 23, 2016. The AOI-1 RI/FS field activities started in May 2016 and is currently ongoing.
Currently the PRP group’s contractors conduct routine Bi-Weekly Site Monitoring and routinely address any technical issues that come up that include maintaining adequate freeboard.
The bayou is within the area of several fish consumption advisories.
EPA’s Involvement at the Site
In an initial response action, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) took steps to contain off-site migration, mitigate the threat to the public and to Vince Bayou, and stabilize the Site in July 2010, November 2010, and January 2011. As part of those efforts, approximately 833,500 gallons of non- hazardous oily liquid waste were transported off-site. Hazardous and non-hazardous sludges were removed and also disposed off-site.
Since August 2011, the EPA has continued to protect the public health, welfare and the environment, including Vince Bayou, by overseeing subsequent Site stabilization activities performed by some of the Potentially Responsible Parties (known as the “PRP Group”). The PRP Group also obtained the Court appointment of a Receiver with legal custody and control over the Site. Part of the Receiver’s role is to also assist the Group in its performance of the EPA approved actions at the Site.
During cleanup, a site can be divided into a number of distinct areas depending on its complexity. These areas, called operable units (OUs), may address geographic areas, specific problems, or areas where a specific action is required. Examples of typical operable units include construction of a groundwater pump and treatment system or construction of a cap over a landfill.