It has been over 20 yrs since Rhonda and Hollie began this journey. Thank you ladies again for the perseverance and hard work you have put into this. Below is the email from Brett Kendrick of the region 6 EPA. It describes proposed actions concerning our situation. As soon as the weather clears up we will be walking the area to determine the specific locations we want tested. One of our members has been in touch with a couple of labs for obtaining and testing the samples. Please take a few minutes to review the email below and post your comments to our Facebook site. Thank you. ​

EPA Response to initiate a new assessment to include soil ,air, and water testing 

From: Kendrick, Bret
Date: Wed, Mar 6, 2019, 2:45 PM
Subject: Update - Meadowlark-Williams Community Concerns


Mr. Phillips, 

The purpose of this e-mail is to update you on EPA Superfund’s activities in response to your request in an e-mail message dated January 17.  In your e-mail message, you identified the Valspar facility (now Sherwin-Williams) as a concern to the Meadowlark-Williams community.  You also identified concerns associated with the Globe-Union/Johnson Controls facility and U.S. Foods.

 

On February 1, the EPA participated in an initial call with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) to discuss your concerns and to gain an understanding of the operations, permits, and compliance history for each of the facilities identified (Valspar, Globe-Union/Johnson Controls, and US Foods).  The TCEQ has also informed the EPA of additional communications they had with you on February 15 and 19.  On February 22, the EPA and TCEQ participated in a call with Mr. Jason Chessher, Director of Health with the City of Garland to discuss potential actions that may be taken by the City in response to your concerns regarding the former Globe-Union facility.

 

Below is a summary of actions currently being taken in response to the concerns that have been raised by the Meadowlark-Williams community:

 

JOHNSON CONTROLS (GLOBE-UNION)

According to documents received from the TCEQ, Globe-Union began operating at this location in 1976.  They ceased manufacturing in April 1995 and closed the facility in July 1995.  Between April and July 1995, all processing/manufacturing equipment were reportedly removed from this location and shipped to other plants.  In May 1996, a Leaking Petroleum Storage Tank case was closed at the facility.  Currently, the facility is leased to Texas America Express Inc. (TAE) and Advanced Water Management (AWM).  TAE appears to be a contract hauler (long distance trucking and hauling) and AWM is a soil conditioner company for water management.  Neither company is in the TCEQ’s database and neither appear to have any operations that would fall under TCEQ regulations.

 

In several previous communications, you have stated that Globe-Union periodically discharged thousands of gallons of waste water (containing spent lead battery acid) into the surrounding area, and that a couple of “buried barrels” have been observed in the creek directly behind the former Globe-Union facility.  You also wrote in your latest communication that the Globe-Union facility operated five (5) lead smelters on-site while manufacturing batteries.

 

The EPA Superfund and TCEQ have initiated a new assessment (Preliminary Assessment) of the former Globe-Union facility.  Today’s Preliminary Assessment reports are much more thorough than the reports completed in the 1980’s.  This Preliminary Assessment will gather available information regarding past operations conducted at the facility, pathways in which potential contaminants may have migrated off the facility and potential receptors.  The Preliminary Assessment will also include a visual inspection of the facility and surrounding area.  Results of any other investigations conducted by the TCEQ or City of Garland will be incorporated into the Preliminary Assessment report, if available.  It is anticipated that this Preliminary Assessment will be completed within six months (September 2019).

 

U.S. FOODS (Kraft)

U.S. Foods is located immediately north of the Meadowlark neighborhood near the intersection between Forest Lane and Shiloh Road.  In past communications, you stated that this facility has over-applied herbicides that created a “brown earth patch” that killed 6-inch diameter trees and completely destroyed the vegetation along their (U.S. Foods’) fence line and the City right-of-way.

 

TCEQ Region 4 has referred concerns about the herbicide application to the City of Garland for investigation.  The City of Garland has a Phase I Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permit, and this complaint falls under their jurisdiction.  Once the City’s investigation is completed, the EPA and TCEQ will review the results and determine the need for any additional action with regards to this concern.

 

SHERWIN-WILLIAMS (VALSPAR)

The Sherwin-Williams facility (formerly Valspar) is an active facility manufacturing paint product.  The operations are regulated by the TCEQ, and the facility has numerous active permits with the TCEQ including air permits, registered Petroleum Storage Tanks (PSTs), storm water permits, and is a Large Quantity Generator (LQG) of hazardous waste.  Because the facility is active and is regulated under environmental programs other than Superfund, the EPA is required to defer to these other environmental programs.  The TCEQ administers and enforces these other environmental programs.  The EPA would encourage you and other members of the community to communicate specific concerns regarding the facility to the Region 4 Office of the TCEQ.

 

Based on our latest information from the TCEQ, an investigation into your February 15 complaint regarding odors/air emissions emanating from the facility has been opened.

 

Please let me know a convenient date and time that you would like to discuss any of the information provided above.

 

Thank you, 

Bret Kendrick

Site Assessment Manager

Superfund Division

U.S. EPA, Region 6