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NPL Site Narrative for Tex-Tin Corp.

Texas City, Texas

Federal Register Notice:  September 18, 1998 (PDF) (6 pp, 173K, About PDF)

Conditions at Proposal (June 1996): The Tex-Tin Corporation site is located in Texas City, Galveston County, Texas. The site is located on the southwestern edge of a heavy industrial area in Texas City. North and west of the site are residential areas of the City of La Marque. The western portion of the site occurs in the adjacent city of La Marque. The site is bordered by Nan Lee street to the north, 6th Avenue to the west, the intersection of State Highway 3 and State Highway 146 to the south and the eastern property line of the Tex-Tin Corporation facility to the east.

The site consists of an area of contaminated soil that covers approximately 216 acres and includes a portion of two inactive industrial facilities, commercial properties, and a residential neighborhood. The eastern portion of the site contains a portion of the Tex-Tin Corporation and Morchem facilities, while the western portion of the site contains a residential neighborhood and commercial areas. These areas are within the area of soil contamination and are collectively referred to as the Tex-Tin Corporation site.

The Tex-Tin Corporation facility was constructed for tin smelting during World War II. The smelter produced Grade A tin ingots from 1941 to 1988. Annual production at the facility varied from 4,000 to more than 40,000 metric tons of Grade A tin. The waste products consisted primarily of an iron-rich acidic liquid (ferrous and ferric chloride) and slag. From 1988 to 1991, the facility operated as a secondary copper smelter. Tin-lead materials with a high lead content have been historically used at the facility. Bolivian ore, which was processed at the facility, contained high concentrations of arsenic and copper. Roasting was employed in the smelting process at Tex-Tin, and during this process, some of the arsenic and lead present in the materials were removed by volatilization. The facility includes a processing area, a small power generation station, fuel oil tanks, acid tanks, five wastewater treatment ponds, several large abandoned acid ponds, a ferric chloride pond, and numerous slag piles and drums.

The Morchem facility covers approximately 1.5 acres and is located to the west of and adjacent to the Tex-Tin Corporation facility. The facility operated a still bottoms and waste oil recovery plant from 1982 through December 1983. This facility includes a processing area, approximately 220 drums containing various liquids, and storage tanks.

Numerous investigations have been conducted at the Tex-Tin Corporation facility, including an extensive Remedial Investigation (RI). Two RI phases were conducted at the Tex-Tin and Morchem facilities. Phase I of the investigation was conducted by ERM-Southwest between November 1990 and April 1991 and Phase II was conducted by Woodward-Clyde Consultants between February and August of 1992. The RI included sampling of surface and subsurface soils, slag piles, sediments, surface water, groundwater, and air. Also conducted as part of the RI were a hydrogeologic study, a radiation survey and investigation, and an ecological survey and sampling.

Wastes are stored at the Tex-Tin facility in slag piles, surface impoundments, drums, tanks, a landfill, and an injection well. The piles of slag contain high concentrations of inorganics, some of which are above background levels. The drums, containing mostly catalyst and blowdown ash, are located in two staging areas and are in various stages of decay. A permitted 0.55 acre landfill contains approximately 341 pounds of spent uranium/antimony catalyst. The facility also contains a total of 21 ponds (surface impoundments), which typically have high concentrations of inorganics and low concentrations of organics.

Surface soil sampling of the neighborhood west and northwest of the Tex-Tin facility (downwind) was conducted by the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission (TNRCC) in February 1994 and EPA Region VI Technical Assistance Team (TAT) from November 1994 through January 1995. Soil contamination is of concern due to observed contamination within residential yards. Chemical analyses of the surface soil samples collected from 51 residential yards indicate metal contamination at levels greater than three times background levels. Metals detected significantly above background include arsenic, cadmium, copper, lead, mercury, and zinc.

Status (September 1998): EPA is considering various alternatives for the site.

For more information about the hazardous substances identified in this narrative summary, including general information regarding the effects of exposure to these substances on human health, please see the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) ToxFAQs. ATSDR ToxFAQs can be found on the Internet at ATSDR - ToxFAQs (http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/toxfaqs/index.asp) or by telephone at 1-888-42-ATSDR or 1-888-422-8737.

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