Ranking of TxDOT Maintenance Sections with Shallow Injection Wells for Prioritizing Remedial Investigations

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1997

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Shallow large-diameter injection wells have been utilized for the disposal of waste fluids at approximately 59 Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) maintenance sections. The types of waste fluids discharged into these wells include motor oil, brake and transmission fluid, hydraulic fluid, solvent, carburetor cleaner, waste diesel fuel and gasoline, paint, paint thinner, and possibly herbicides, as well as wastewater from vehicle wash racks and workshop sinks. Recognizing the potential for these materials to contaminate local groundwater and affect human health, safety, and the environment, TxDOT initiated plans to identify maintenance sections with injection wells and to conduct remediation-focused site assessments to mitigate risks.

The Bureau of Economic Geology conducted a comprehensive questionnaire-format survey of 311 maintenance sections in 25 districts to confirm the number of maintenance sections with injection wells and to prioritize them for remediation-focused site investigations. We utilized 13 environmental scoring criteria to rank the maintenance sections. The scoring was based on questionnaire results, information gathered during visits to 46 maintenance sections, and both published and unpublished environmental data. Institutional and other factors, such as property ownership, also influenced the prioritization of funds for further investigations.

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