NPL Site Narrative for Van der Horst USA Corporation
VAN DER HORST USA CORPORATION
The former Van der Horst USA Corporation (Van der Horst) site is located approximately 300 yards from downtown Terrell, Texas. The site is located within Kaufman County and is situated on approximately 3.5 acres of land. The main building where chrome and iron plating occurred is located at 419 East Grove Street. The wastewater treatment building is located at 410 East Grove Street. The remaining land consists of undeveloped land on the east side of the wastewater treatment building.
The Van der Horst facility began operations as a chrome and iron plating facility in the 1950s and operated until December 2006. Finished products associated with these plating operations included natural gas pipeline cylinders for the transportation of natural gas and cylinder bores for large diesel engines such as railroad locomotive engines.
As part of the plating operations, the facility generated spent kerosene, wastewater treatment sludge, and chromium contaminated wastewater and soil. When the site was abandoned in April 2007, these wastes remained on-site in two underground sumps, 27 variously-sized plating vats, and 450 55-gallon drums. Two closed surface lagoons which treated chromium wastewater were also present to the east of the wastewater treatment building.
Potential Impacts on Surrounding Community/Environment:
The closest residences are located in the Stallings Addition housing complex, less than one mile southeast of the facility. Before EPA response activities began in May 2008, the lack of segregation of drum waste, the open chromium-contaminated waste vats and the chromium-contaminated wastewater within the basement sump created a significant and imminent threat to public health and the environment. Discolored water has been seen running down East Grove Street and discolored soils are visible within drainage pathways.
Response Activities (to date):
On May 28, 2008, a small fire occurred in the main building at the Van der Horst facility. On May 29, 2008, EPA initiated Emergency Response activities. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality and EPA collected samples, performed hazardous categorization, separated various drums and containers into similar waste streams, and removed the chromium rinse water from the facility basement sump to stabilize the site. Site stabilization included the construction of a temporary earthen berm around the site to minimize off-site migration of site contamination to the sewer and overland drainage. Fencing was also erected around the site to prevent access to the facility. EPA removal activities are ongoing.
Need for NPL Listing:
The State of Texas referred the site to EPA for NPL listing and potential remedial activities. Without Superfund cleanup, this site will continue to be a source of chromium to surface water, to ground water underlying the facility and nearby residential areas. Other federal and state cleanup programs were evaluated but are not viable at this time.
[The description of the site (release) is based on information available at the time the site was evaluated with the HRS. The description may change as additional information is gathered on the sources and extent of contamination. See 56 FR 5600, February 11, 1991, or subsequent FR notices.]
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.