Kemah Townsite

Project name and location:

Kemah Townsite Brownfield, VCP No. 995

Project description:

SSCI was retained by Rex Hudson with Hudson & Associates to provide environmental engineering services associated with a Site located at 101 First Street in Kemah, Galveston County, Texas.  The Site was located along Clear Creek (near Galveston Bay) and adjacent to a property where boat repair and maintenance activities, sandblasting and painting had been conducted.

The Scope of services included the preparation of a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) in accordance with American Society of Testing Materials (ASTM) Standard Designation E 1527-97; subsurface investigations which included the collection and sampling of soil and groundwater samples and the installation of temporary monitor wells; a water well survey; a background soil investigation; regulatory agency interface and reporting in accordance with Texas Natural Resource Conservation (TNRCC) Voluntary Cleanup Program (VCP) requirements.  Information gathered as part of a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) indicated that remedial actions had occurred on the adjacent property and certain heavy metals in soil had been identified on that Site by another engineering firm during a previous investigation.  A subsurface investigation was conducted, which included the advancement of five soil borings and the installation of five temporary monitor wells using a Direct Push Drill Rig.  Soil and groundwater samples were collected and laboratory analyses (TPH, VOC, SVOC and Total Metals) performed.

In SSCI’s investigation, certain heavy metals in soil (arsenic, barium, cadmium, chromium and lead) had been identified at the Site above Risk Reduction Standard No. 2 – Soil to Groundwater Cross Media Protection for nonresidential soils.  In addition, barium in water had been identified above Risk Reduction Standard No. 2 – Groundwater Cleanup Standard for non-residential use.  SSCI recommended that the client attempt to obtain closure of the Site under the TNRCC VCP Risk Reduction Standard No. 2.  A VCP application with required documents (forms, Phase I ESA, Site Investigation Report) was issued to the TNRCC.  SSCI believed the elevated heavy metals in soil and groundwater at the Site were naturally occurring due to the clay-dominated soils at the Site and the location of the Site relative to Clear Creek and Galveston Bay.  To demonstrate this, a supplemental background soil investigation was conducted.  Five off-Site sample locations were chosen, and soil samples were collected and analyzed for Total Metals.  By calculating the upper tolerance limit of each heavy metal and analyzing barium for additional parameters (barium fraction and true total barium), SSCI demonstrated that the heavy metals identified on the Site were in fact naturally occurring and the TNRCC concurred.  SSCI secured closure of the Site under Risk Reduction Standard No. 1.  The TNRCC subsequently issued a Certificate of Completion to the client.  The Site is now operating as a restaurant.


Hudson & Associates

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