You are on page 1of 3
Jon Niermann, Chairman Emily Lindley, Commissioner ‘Toby Baker, Executive Director TEXAS COMMISSION ON ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY Protecting Texas by Reducing and Preventing Potion February 12, 2019 ‘VIA HAND DELIVERY ‘Mr. David Polston, President Inland Recycling, LLC 1022 Schultz Road Columbus, Texas 78934 Re: DEMAND TO CONDUCT REMEDIATION RESULTING FROM A DISCHARGE ON OR BEFORE February 6, 2019 at: Skull Creek, originating from Altair Recycling Facility, 6254 Highway 71 South, Altair (Colorado County), Texas 77412 ‘TCEQ SWR No. 87017; EPA ID No.: TXRO00083735; Used Oll Registration No: A86293 Dear Mr. Polston: (On February 10, 2019, Ms. Tina Tran of the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) Houston Region Office conducted an on-site investigation at the above-referenced location in response to an off-site release, On February 12, 2019, Mr, Kevin McLeod and Ms. Kendra Bemhagen of the TCEQ Houston Region Office conduicted an on-site investigation at the above- referenced location in response to an off-site release. During the investigation, Ms. Bernhagen of the TCEQ issued a verbal demand instructing you to take immediate action to address the above-described conditions. TCEQ is now memorializing this demand in writing. By this letter, TCEQ is demanding you, the responsible person, take immediate action to. address this substantial endangerment/pill. Specifically, stop additional releases, contain and remediate all off-site impact. Because of this release or potential release to the environment, time is of the essence and action must be taken immediately. Any delay will allow further impacts to human health and the environment. Conditions at this site are an imminent threat and substantial endangerment to human health and/or the environment, Because you are the owner or operator of a site from which a release emanates and caused/aliowed a spill, discharge, or emissions, you are required by Texas law to address these conditions immediately and completely. The TCEQ would prefer that you, the responsible person, address these conditions; however, if you do not or if you do so. + inadequately, the TCEQ, or its contractor, has authority to enter the property and take steps necessary to alleviate the substantial endangerment, If the TCEO addresses the situation, it will seek cost recovery for expenses incurred and resulting from the substantial endangerment. Under certain circumstances, the TCEQ can recover twice the amount spent. Please provide written documentation within five working days from the receipt of this letter that the conditions have been addressed. ‘TCEQ Region 12 + 5425 Polk St, Ste. H * Houston, Texas 77023-1452 » 713-767-3500 + Fax 713-767-3520 ‘Austin Headquarters 512-239-1000 + teeqtexas.gov * How is our customer service? toeqtexas.gov/customersurvey Mr. David Polston, President Page 2 February 12, 2019 jority ~ Chapter 26 of the Texas Water Code: ‘The Texas Legislature by and through TCEQ requires certain actions by specific persons regarding spill and discharge responses by law, Section 26.262 of the Texas Water Code (IWC), states “it is the policy of this State to prevent the spill or discharge of hazardous substances into the waters in the State and to cause the removal of such spills and discharges without undue delay." Chapter 26 of TWC requires immediate action by the responsible person or the ‘TCEQ will have to take over the cleanup. Section 26.266(a) of TWC states a property owner or operator “shall tmmediately undertake all reasonable actions to abate and remove the discharge or spill subject to applicable federal and state requirements, and subject to the control of the federal on-scene coordinator.” Additionally, Section 26.266(b) of TWC states “[Jn the event that the responsible person is unwilling or in the opinion of the executive director is unable to remove the discharge or spill, or the removal operation of the responsible person is inadequate, the commission may undertake the removal of the discharge or spill and may retain agents for these purposes who shall operate under the direction of the executive director.” Section 26.263(6) of TWC states a "person responsible” or “responsible person" is “(A) the owner, ‘operator, or demise charterer of a vessel from which a spill emanates; (B) the owner or operator of a facility from which a spill emanates; (C) any other person who causes, suffers, allows, or permits a spill or discharge.” ‘The applicable law allows TCEQ to recover costs in certain circumstances. Concerning cost recovery efforts, Section 26.265if) of TWC directs the state to seck recovery from responsible persons. Section 26.265(d) describes types of costs the state may recover. It states “in addition to any cause of action under Chapter 40, Natural Resources Code, the state has a cause of action against any responsible person for recovery of: (1) expenditures out of the [Texas Spill Response Account]; and (2) costs that would have been incurred or paid by the responsible person if the responsible person had fully carried out the duties under Section 26.266 of [TWC1 Including: (A) reasonable costs of reasonable and necessary scientific studies to determine impacts of the spill on the environment and natural resources and to determine the manner in ‘which to respond to spill impacts; (B) costs of attorney services; (C) out-of-pocket costs associated with state agency action; (D) reasonable costs incurred by the state in cleanup ‘operations, including costs of personnel, equipment, and supplies and restoration of land and aquatic resources held in trust or owned by the state; and (E) costs of remediating injuries proximately caused by reasonable cleanup activities.” Please know that Section 26.265(g) of ‘TWC states that “in a suit brought under (Section 26.265(d) of TWC] any responsfble person ‘who, after reasonable notice has been given by the executive director, has failed, after a reasonable period, to carry out his duties under Section 26.266 of [TWC] is liable to the state for twice the costs incurred by the state under this subchapter in cleaning up the spill or discharge.” Description of site Altair Recycling is an oll andl gas waste recycling facility which offers the following services: oil and water-based solids recycling; oil and water-based fluids recovery; water disposal; and truck/tank washing. Cause of Concern On February 10, 2019, a spill was observed downstream of the facility that resulted in a fish kill, There is also an imminent threat of discharge to the Colorado River. Recommended Response Mr. David Polston, President Page 3 February 12, 2019 Recommended Response ‘The following actions, at a minimum, are required to mitigate the conditions present at the site, which constitute an imminent and substantial endangerment of human health and the ‘environment: cease discharging; determine the vertical and lateral extent of contamination from, releases on the property and off-site; remediate the on-site and off-site impacts to any impacted, water bodies (e.g,, Skull Creek) and locations in the vicinity and downstream. Also, provide a detailed list of the chemicals managed and/or processed on the site; provide a site diagram indicating the process areas, offices and storage locations for the materials used in the recycling activities, contain and remediate any remaining containers of materials. Il actions are to meet the requirements of state and federal remediation, and waste determination and disposal documentation. ‘TCEQ Region 12 will monitor conditions to determine the adequacy of the response activities. I you or members of your staff have any questions, please feel free to contact Ms. Guadalupe Quiroz, Emergency Response Work Leader, in the Houston Region Office at (713) 767-3608 or (713) 409-2517, Sincerely, + ze wp. M: (Seater Brie M. Beale, P.G., R.S. ‘egional Director Houston Region Office NMB/GO/ug, cc: Mr. Kenneth Owens, Property Owner, 6314 Aspen Cove Court, Sugar Land, Texas 77479