NPL Site Narrative for R & H Oil Company
R & H OIL COMPANY
San Antonio, Texas
The R&H Oil Company site is an inactive refinery and gasoline blending facility located at 403 Somerset Road in a densely populated area of San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas. In the past, the R&H Oil Company site has also been referred to as the Eldorado Refining and Marketing, Inc. site and Tropicana Energy site. The site is located approximately 6.5 miles southwest of downtown San Antonio and encompasses two properties on a total of 7 acres of land. The site is being proposed to the NPL because several spills and other releases of petroleum-related waste during facility operations have resulted in the contamination of shallow ground water beneath the facility and threaten nearby municipal drinking water wells used by the City of San Antonio.
Records indicate that petroleum refining operations began at the site as early as 1938 and continued until 1978. The refining operations produced several petroleum products including gasoline, fuel oils, and ink oil. The site was later utilized as a gasoline blending facility from March 1988 through April 1989. During this time, the site received ethanol, gasoline, and various gasoline range components which were blended for sale as full specification gasoline. A small parcel of the property was sold in 1987 and was subsequently used to reprocess spent oils from various generators including automotive oils, lubricating oils, hydraulic oils, cooling oils, and heavy equipment oils. The property was abandoned sometime after April 1989.
Structures remaining on the abandoned site include 40 above ground storage tanks (ASTs), ranging in capacity from 5,000 to 400,000 gallons; process piping; dozens of 55-gallon drums; an API separator, used in petroleum refining to separate oil and water; an earthen sump; and several areas of contaminated soil. Sludge and tar-like material has been observed in and around the ASTs and in the API separator. The drums were found to contain combustible or flammable liquids, acid, oil and water mixtures, and chlorinated solvents.
A plume of petroleum hydrocarbon-contaminated ground water has been identified in the shallow alluvial aquifer beneath the R&H Oil Company site. The majority of the plume underlies the former facility property. Various substances have been detected in the ground water beneath the property, including benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, 2-methyl naphthalene, naphthalene, xylenes, arsenic, barium, and zinc.
Although the contaminated alluvial aquifer is not currently used as a potable water supply, it is underlain by the Edwards aquifer, which is a karst aquifer and one of the most permeable and productive carbonate aquifers in the United States. The Edwards aquifer has been designated as a "sole source" water supply for the City of San Antonio. Karst aquifers, like the Edwards, are susceptible to the natural creation of underground cavities and channels and, as such, are extremely vulnerable to contaminant migration.
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.