Enforcement Negotiations, Environmental Media Sampling, and Tank System Closure Documentation for a Refinery–Texas Gulf Coast

TES was engaged by the owners of a small specialty refinery facility to resolve issues related to the cleaning and closure of a tank system. The previous owner of the refinery had entered into an Agreed Final Judgment (AFJ) to resolve allegations that it had illegally stored hazardous waste in four tanks located within a tank battery that contained twenty tanks. Unfortunately, the new owners of the facility made their purchase without a full understanding of the tasks, level of documentation, and related expenses necessary to complete the requirements of the Ordering Provisions contained within the AFJ and the evolving requests of the TCEQ staff. TES negotiated the specific requirements of the TCEQ with regard to satisfactory documentation of tank system closure and the absence of releases from the associated secondary containment structure. TES met with TCEQ representatives in Austin and negotiated a dramatic reduction in the number of soil samples and monitor wells required to obtain concurrence that releases from the secondary containment had not occurred. TES engaged a drilling contractor, supervised drilling activities, and collected samples of soil and water from borings and monitor wells. TES prepared a report to document that the sampling and testing done on environmental media collected from the site supported a conclusion that no releases from the tank system occurred, and a subsequent report on background levels of metals in soils along the Intracoastal waterway. TCEQ concurred with the reports and granted closure of the tank system with no further action.


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