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EPA Proposes San Patricio County Site to Federal Cleanup Priorities List

Release Date: 9/5/2002
Contact Information: For more information contact the Office of External Affairs at (214) 665-2200.

      The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposes to add the Falcon Refinery site near Ingleside, Texas, to the federal Superfund National Priorities List (NPL), EPA and Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) announced today. Hazardous substances have migrated or could migrate from this site to active fisheries and sensitive environments in adjacent wetlands, Redfish Bay, Aransas Bay and Corpus Christi Bay.

      "Adding this site to the Superfund list makes federal dollars available, allowing EPA and the TCEQ to speed their cleanup and meet the agencies' commitment to protecting public health and our environment," EPA Regional Administrator Gregg Cooke said.

      TCEQ Chairman Robert J. Huston said, "The TCEQ stands ready to assist the EPA in addressing problem sites such as this one. Continued cooperation between our agencies is essential to clean up all contaminated properties, particularly those located in environmentally sensitive areas of our state."

      The Falcon Refinery site occupies about 104 acres in San Patricio County, Texas, about 1.7 miles southeast of State Highway 361, at the northwest and southeast corners of Farm to Market 2725 and Bishop Road. The refinery operated intermittently since 1980 and is currently inactive. When in operation, the refinery had a 40,000-barrel-per-day capacity and produced primarily naphtha, jet fuel, kerosene, diesel and fuel oil.

      In March 1986, an inspection by the Texas Water Commission revealed that the company had disposed of cooling tower sludges onsite and discharged untreated wastewater into sandy, unlined containment structures.

      During a January 2000 compliance inspection, the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission (TNRCC) observed a leak from a tank in a naptha stabilizer unit.  TNRCC estimated that approximately 220 gallons of industrial waste had leaked from the tank.  In response, TNRCC conducted soil and sediment sampling in May 2000, in which it documented hazardous materials in sediment samples collected from the nearby wetlands and Redfish Bay.   Redfish Bay supports an active finfish and shellfish fishery and potential habitat areas for several state and federal threatened or endangered species.  The Redfish Bay, Aransas Bay, Corpus Christi Bay system is a designated National Estuary.  

      The EPA Superfund program works closely with state agencies to clean and restore uncontrolled contaminated properties. Superfund cleans sites when the work required is beyond the resources of state and local agencies.

      EPA will seek public comments for 60 days on adding this site to the NPL. Those comments will be addressed before the Agency makes the final decision about adding the site to the NPL. During this public comment period, the Agency will continue to develop cleanup plans so that actual work may begin as quickly after NPL listing as possible.

      The public comment period will end on Nov. 4, 2002. More information on making comments is available on the EPA web site at

      Additional information about the Falcon Refinery site is available on the EPA web site at