Highway 18 Ground Water, Kermit, Texas : EPA facility id: TXN000606716
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Highway 18 Ground Water, Kermit, Texas : EPA facility id: TXN000606716

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      The Highway 18 Groundwater Plume site is located in Kermit, Winkler County, Texas. In August 2017, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) added the site to its National Priority List (NPL) because of groundwater contamination with tetrachloroethylene (PCE) and trichloroethylene (TCE). During routine monitoring of the Kermit public water system (PWS), TCE was first detected in 1994 and PCE was detected in 2000.

      In 2013, 2014, and 2015, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) collected samples from 18 private residential water wells and 11 unblended public drinking water wells, in Kermit, Texas. TCEQ detected PCE and TCE in wells during the sampling events. In 2014 and 2015, TCEQ also sampled soil surrounding four commercial properties that are potential source locations. TCE, PCE and other contaminants were not detected in soil samples. The source area(s), full extent of the groundwater contamination, and the direction of the groundwater flow are still unknown at this time.

      The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) was established by Congress in 1980 under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, also known as the Superfund law. Since 1986, ATSDR has been required by law to conduct a public health evaluation at each site on the EPA NPL. The Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) has a cooperative agreement with ATSDR to perform public health evaluations for all listed NPL sites in the state of Texas. The ATSDR and DSHS’s top priority at this site is to ensure that the community around the site has the best information possible to safeguard its health. In doing so, DSHS evaluates available data to determine if there are exposures to chemicals that could be harmful to health and makes health recommendations to reduce or eliminate any harmful exposures identified, as necessary.

      DSHS evaluated available environmental data including limited water samples from 18 private residential wells from 2013 to 2015 and a more robust data set of routine compliance samples taken as part of the Safe Drinking Water Act requirements of the Kermit PWS from 1994 to 2018 to determine if past and present exposures to chemicals in drinking water may harm people’s health. DSHS will review and evaluate additional data as it becomes available.


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