Site Investigation and Waste Analysis of the Runnels County SWD Site, Runnels County, Texas

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The Runnels County Salt Water Disposal (SWD), Inc., site is an abandoned commercial saltwater disposal facility in Runnels County (Figure 1). The facility was permitted around 1976 and operated for approximately 16 years. The site, located on the W. J. Poe Lease and approximately [number] acres in area, contains three permitted lined pits. In February 1992, the pit permits were terminated after several notices to cease operation. The permits were revoked because of excess pit fluid levels, overflow from the pits, and excess oil and basic sediment in the pits. Site operations have ceased. Although a closure order was finalized, the site has not been closed as specified. In addition to the three lined pits, the site contains one unlined "trash" pit, 13 metal storage tanks, and an oil overflow area. All four pits and five tanks contain varying quantities of oil, fluid, and sludge. The remaining tanks are abandoned and have no contents. The Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) has used state funds to perform repeated emergency abatement actions to remove and dispose of pit fluids in efforts to prevent the pits from overflowing. Also at this site, the RRC has plugged two abandoned salt-water disposal wells, sampled and analyzed some of the wastes, and supervised some surface cleanup work, including limited backfill of the trash pit. The Bureau of Economic Geology (BEG) investigated this site on behalf of the RRC to determine the composition and volume of the waste fluids at the site, consider the potential for subsurface contamination, and evaluate remedial options.


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