EPA Superfund Program: JONES ROAD GROUND WATER PLUME, HOUSTON, TX

Superfund Site Profile

The Jones Road Ground Water Plume site is located in the northwest portion of Harris County, Texas. The source of groundwater contamination is the former Bell Dry Cleaners facility, which began dry cleaning operations in 1988 and closed in 2002. Chlorinated volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are the primary contaminants in groundwater. EPA selected a remedy for the site in 2010. The design of the remedy is currently underway.

Current Status   

On May 25, 2010, EPA issued the Proposed Plan for cleanup of the Jones Road Superfund Site based on the information included in the Remedial Investigation, Risk Assessment and Feasibility Study. The proposed remedial option was summarized in the Proposed Plan and made available for public comment from May 25, 2010 to June 23, 2010.  After consideration of public comments, EPA signed the Record of Decision (ROD) on September 23, 2010, to select the Preferred Alternative identified in the Proposed Plan to address the contaminants in soils and ground water.  The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) provided their input and concurrence on the Proposed Plan and ROD.  The design phase to implement the remedy selected is ongoing. 

Background   

The Jones Road Ground Water Plume site is located in the northwest portion of Harris County, Texas.  The source of Site contamination is the former Bell Dry Cleaners facility, which was located within the Cypress Shopping Center at 11600 Jones Road, approximately one-half mile north of the intersection of Jones Road and FM 1960, outside the city limits of northwest Houston, Texas. The Cypress Shopping Center was constructed in 1984, and the former Bell facility began dry cleaning operations sometime in 1988. The former Bell facility continued operating through May 2002 when the dry cleaning operations were shut down. The hazardous substances present at the Site include tetrachloroethylene, also known as perchloroethylene (PCE), and related breakdown products, trichloroethylene (TCE), 1,2-dichloroethylene (DCE), and vinyl chloride (VC).

The area around the Site is characterized by residential, commercial, and light industrial development. Residential development has been active since the 1960s effectively eliminating wildlife habitat from the area. Jones Road is the principal north-south corridor through the area, and FM 1960 (approximately one-half mile to the south) provides a southwest-northeast corridor. Commercial development is dominant along Jones Road with residential and limited commercial development along the side streets. Cypress Creek is located approximately one mile to the northwest of the subject area, and White Oak Bayou is located approximately 3,500 feet to the south.

The EPA conducted a time-critical removal action that included the installation of a water line and connections to homes and businesses at the Site. Construction of the water line began in January 2008 and was completed in November 2008. A total of 144 service connections were completed. The waterline is serviced by the White Oak Bend Municipal Utility District.

The EPA received funding to plug and abandon the water wells of customers who were connected to the water line installed by EPA in 2008.   Plugging and abandonment of the water wells began on October 27, 2011 and was completed on November 17, 2011.

The Record of Decision (ROD) for the Site was signed on September 23, 2010 and sets forth the selected remedy for the Site. The Selected Remedy as described in the ROD is In-Situ Enhancements to Pump and Treat. The in-situ treatments involve treating the soil and groundwater without removing them. A pilot study will be conducted to determine which in-situ treatments will be most effective and appropriate for the source area soil and ground water, and the deep ground water plume. The treatment technologies to be evaluated in the pilot study will likely include in-situ chemical oxidation (ISCO) for source area soil and shallow ground water, and bioaugmentation for the deep ground water plume.

Benefits   

Providing an alternate drinking water source to the community is an integral strategy to protect human health as well as conduct future remediation and restoration of the Chicot aquifer. Continuous use of private water wells may inhibit the effectiveness of aquifer restoration.

National Priorities Listing (NPL) History   

NPL Inclusion Proposal Date:  April 30, 2003
NPL Inclusion Final Date: September 29, 2003
HRS Score:    46.5


SITE STATUS

Construction
Complete?
No
Contaminated Ground
Water Status
Insufficient Data
Site-Wide Ready for
Anticipated Use?
No