Will construction of the terminal on Harbor Island mobilize previously contaminated soils?

The property on Harbor Island that is now owned by the Port of Corpus Christi Authority was for many decades (since 1920’s) owned by private interests and used as a crude oil receiving, shipping and storage facility.  

The Port of Corpus Christi Authority purchased 75.126 acres of land from Fin-Tex Pipe Line Co. (Fina) in January 31, 1996.  This property included a number of oil storage tanks and one ship dock fronting on the Corpus Christi Ship Channel that had existed since the 1930’s.  As a condition of the sale to the Port of Corpus Christi Authority, Atofina agreed to remove the oil storage tanks and associated underground pipelines and to remediate the site to Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC) standards for industrial facilities.  The oil storage tanks and associated underground pipelines were removed and cleanup action occurred.  On June 4, 2003, the RRC issued a letter of concurrence for Atofina’s Remediation Completion Report.   A deed recordation of the property’s past land use was filed with the County and on August 23, 2003, a “No Further Action” letter was submitted to Atofina by the RRC.  

The Port of Corpus Christi Authority acquired ownership of 214.168 acres of land from Koch Pipeline Company, L.P. (Koch) on August 20, 1996.  Koch acquired this property from Exxon a couple of years earlier but had never operated the terminal.  This property included a number of oil storage tanks and two small ship docks fronting on the Corpus Christi Ship Channel that had existed and been operated by Exxon since the 1930’s.  The oil storage tanks and associated underground pipelines were removed and cleanup action occurred.  A deed recordation of the property’s past land use was filed with the County and on January 5, 2015, a “No Further Action” letter was submitted to ExxonMobil by the RRC.

Former Exxon Restrictive Covenant


Former Fina Restrictive Covenant

The RRC is a signatory on both Restrictive Covenants and further specify within the document that “The RRC has determined that the Affected Properties currently meet standards for commercial/industrial use. Based on information contained in the reports identified above, the chemicals of concern pose no significant present or future risk to humans or the environment based on commercial/industrial use. With the filing of this document, the RRC does not require any further remediation of the Affected Properties as long as the Affected Properties are not put to residential use and/or the shallow groundwater is not used for any purpose other than monitoring.”

The Port of Corpus Christi Authority has begun demolition of the dilapidated structures.  In the process, the Port of Corpus Christi Authority has also contracted with a consultant, GHD, to further evaluate areas where historical contamination is exposed or become accessible following demolition of the structures.  Sampling of soil to determine if historical contamination has exceeded the cleanup levels previously approved by the RRC will occur and the results of which will be provided to the RRC for their approval.  Construction contracts include Technical Specification 02 61 14 – <Name> which relates to taking necessary precautions and utilizing best practices to ensure that the historical contamination at the site is properly contained onsite.

Corpus Christi Ship Channel Deepening Project: Approach to Assessing Project Impact

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