The Environmental Protection Agency and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality announced the Van der Horst USA Corp. site in Terrell has been proposed to the National Priorities List of Superfund sites.
The Van der Horst USA site, located in a commercial warehouse district, is an inactive chromium and iron plating facility that began operations in the 1950s and operated until December 2006. Finished products associated with these plating operations included natural gas pipeline cylinders for the transportation of natural gas and cylinder bores for large diesel engines such as railroad locomotive engines. As part of the plating operations, the facility generated spent kerosene, wastewater treatment sludge, and chromium contaminated wastewater and soil.
When the site was abandoned in April 2007, these wastes remained on-site in two underground sumps, 27 various-sized vats, and 450 55-gallon drums. A residential neighborhood lies less than one mile to the southeast of the facility.
In May 2008, a small fire occurred in the main building at the facility and under an emergency action the TCEQ and EPA responded. EPA is currently conducting a cleanup of the site to segregate, classify, and dispose of hazardous wastes. Due to the large amount of waste and groundwater contamination present, the short term cleanup will not fully remediate the site, making it necessary to propose it to the NPL.