Pearland-Manvel Landfill

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1.0 Site Identification

Type of Site: Complex Materials
Location: Pearland, TX
License No.: RW-PEA1
Docket No.:
License Status: Expired

2.0 Site Status Summary

The site is a portion of a closed landfill in Pearland, TX that operated from the mid 1960's until the early 1970's. The site is approximately 5 acres in size and is located between and adjacent to the two previously closed landfills. During its operation, the contaminated portion served as the entrance area to the two landfills. After closure of the landfills, illegal dumping of radioactive materials, municipal solid waste, and potentially hazardous waste occurred in the entrance area. Cesium-137 contaminated materials from the Hastings site were disposed of in this area of the landfill in the late 1960s to early 1970s. There is some dispute as to the ownership of the site. Both Brazoria County and the City of Pearland agreed to work together to decommission the site.

An additional effort was made, working through State Superfund Section of the TCEQ, to request that USEPA do a removal assessment. The USEPA performed a crude assessment sometime in Dec. 1999. Brazoria County contributed to the effort by providing heavy equipment to clear brush. USEPA's removal assessment was completed in mid-2000. USEPA declined to take any action because the site failed to rank high enough. Letters were sent to Brazoria County and the cities of Pearland and Manvel on 4/17/01 requiring clean- up of the old landfill by 9/02.

Currently, the Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) Section of the TCEQ is the lead on this site with support from RML on the radiological portion.

3.0 Major Technical or Regulatory Issues

The workplan for the site investigation was submitted by Berg Oliver and Associates, Inc. in Feb., 2002. TCEQ staff provided comments and sent a letter requesting additional information in April 2002. Site investigation activities began on 08/04/03. The site investigation and assessment was completed at the end of August 2003. As part of the site investigation, Berg Oliver and Associates, installed six groundwater monitoring wells along the perimeter. Sample results from the wells indicated americium-241 (Am-241) at 19 pCi/L in one monitoring well and chlorobenzene, above residential levels under Texas Risk Reduction Program (TRRP), in another well. In addition, the consultant performed a complete site survey and identified six areas with radiological contamination. The consultant advanced borings in the six contaminated areas and installed dry wells for down-hole surveys. The surveys indicated contamination in three of the dry wells, with surface readings as high as 500 μR/hr and readings at 1.5 feet below grade up to 1,300 μR/hr. Soil samples taken in the same locations indicated concentrations of Cs-137 as high as 1,290 pCi/g at the surface. The TCEQ requested that four additional wells be installed outside the property line in the right-of-way to determine if any offsite migration had occurred. The consultants installed the wells prior to getting approval of the workplan to do so. TCEQ staff is currently reviewing the consultant response to comments on QA/QC issues related to sample results of the samples taken from the four additional monitoring wells. No additional work or sampling has occurred at the site.

Page Last Reviewed/Updated Tuesday, March 09, 2021