Superfund Information Systems: Site Profile

Superfund Site:

PETRO-CHEMICAL SYSTEMS, INC. (TURTLE BAYOU)
LIBERTY, TX

Redevelopment

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About the Superfund Redevelopment Initiative

This nationally coordinated effort provides EPA and its partners with a process to return Superfund sites to productive use. Learn more at Superfund Redevelopment Initiative.

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Redevelopment at the Site

The Petro-Chemical Systems, Inc. Superfund site is located in a rural area 15 miles southeast of Liberty, Texas. Site operations started before 1970 and continued until the late 1970s. Parties dumped waste oils on County Road (CR 126) and into unlined waste pits along the road. After 1974, the owner subdivided the site into 5-acre and 15-acre plots. The owner sold the plots for residential development. EPA listed the site on the Superfund program’s National Priorities List (NPL) in 1986 to address groundwater and soil contamination. In 1988, EPA and the State of Texas dug up, back-filled and re-built CR 126. Potentially responsible parties completed soil cleanup to industrial standards and re-built CR 126 to meet County Standards in 2010. The County assumed responsibility for long term maintenance of CR 126 in 2011. Groundwater monitoring continues. Due to liability concerns, one of the responsible parties bought out the residential properties and for those residents not interested in relocating they bought out the groundwater rights. The site is in public services continued use, as CR 126 crosses the site. 

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Economic Activity at the Site

As of December 2016, EPA did not have economic data related to on-site businesses, or economic data were not applicable due to site use. View information about redevelopment economics at Superfund sites.

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Activity and Use Limitations

At this site, activity and use limitations that EPA calls institutional controls are in place. Institutional controls play an important role in site remedies because they reduce exposure to contamination by limiting land or resource use. They also guide human behavior. For instance, zoning restrictions prevent land uses – such as residential uses – that are not consistent with the level of cleanup. For more background, see Institutional Controls.

EPEC has purchased several properties and has institutional controls in place at other properties. These controls grant EPEC groundwater rights across those properties and/or restrict land use for those properties.

 As of February 2005, Lyondell acquired all contaminated properties in the WRA, MWA, OTA and EA. It restricted access to these areas such that residential use does not occur. Since acquiring these properties, Lyondell’s bankruptcy was finalized, and the Lyondell Trust was established in March 2010. Access to
Lyondell disposal areas is controlled by a combination of fences, gates, signs, cable guards and natural barriers. Signs are posted at access locations, which indicate that there may be chemicals on the property and that digging and drilling are restricted to protect human health and the environment. Institutional controls for the Lyondell Trustee properties are in the process of being implemented. 

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