Contact Us


All News Releases By Date


Sites in Houston and the Panhandle Added to National Superfund List

Release Date: 1/15/1999
Contact Information: For more information contact the Office of External Affairs at (214) 665-2200.

       The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission (TNRCC) announced today that a former industrial site in Houston and a closed drinking water well in Perryton, Texas, have been added to the Federal Superfund Program's National Priority List (NPL).

       "By working together, EPA and the State of Texas will be able to clean these sites faster to better protect the public health and the environment of these communities. EPA's goal is to renew contaminated sites and make them available for future development. After a Superfund cleanup, both the stigma and the risk that can sap a community's prosperity is removed," EPA Regional Administrator Gregg Cooke said.

       "The inclusion of these two sites on the Superfund's NPL provides federal funds to clean up these critical areas in Texas," said TNRCC Commissioner Ralph Marquez. "The TNRCC and the EPA want to make certain we protect the Ogallala Aquifer in the Perryton well case, and adjacent residential areas in the case of the MDI site.  In both cases, we'll work with the EPA closely to ensure that these areas return to a useful state and are no longer threats to the affected communities."

       The water well in Perryton has been closed since June 1989, when the Texas Department of Health found carbon tetrachloride contamination. Engineers have not been able to pinpoint the source of the contamination. Scientists are concerned about the potential to pollute the Ogallala aquifer, the principal drinking water source for many Panhandle residents.

       The former site of Many Diversified Interest Inc. (MDI) is about two miles from downtown Houston. The site contains more than 4,000 drums of spent catalyst material from refineries and chemical plants which were abandoned on the property in the late 1980s.Without cleanup, continuing deterioration of the drums will increase the threat of contamination of surrounding residential areas.

       The Federal Superfund program was created by Congress in 1980 to clean uncontrolled hazardous waste sites. Both of these sites were proposed to be added to the NPL September 29, 1998. All of the comments received during the 60-day public comment period for each of these sites were in  favor of the sites being added to the NPL.

       Additional information about these properties is available on EPA's web site at (Perryton) and (MDI).