On your way home from checking out the new UT campus site, you might pass by 1 of the 6 Superfund sites located within Beltway 8 — but you almost certainly won’t notice. Just across the Sam’s Club parking lot from the former home of Astroworld, the Sol Lynn/Industrial Transformers site (tucked behind the brush-covered chainlink fence on the right, in the photo above) has no signage identifying it as a project on the EPA’s National Priorities List for cleanup. The little site at Knight Rd. and the 610 feeder is surrounded on two sides by an innocuous grassy lot:
A peek inside the fenced area from Mansard St. to the south doesn’t clarify much:
The site was the late ’60s home of an electrical transformer recycling company, which was called out in 1971 by City of Houston Water Pollution Control Division for dumping carcinogenic fluids from dismantled transformers onto the ground. Subsequent chemical recycling operations in the area in 1979 and 1980 didn’t improve conditions, and a plan of action to clean up the site was officially determined and documented by the EPA in 1988.
But subsequent monitoring showed that cleanup efforts were only questionably successful, and multiple subsequent rounds of study have still not officially closed the case on the site; the EPA still lists the site’s Contaminated Ground Water Status as “not under control”. The site was sold by Sol H. Lynn in 1993, near the end of Round 1 of the cleanup, to Discount Communications.
- SOL LYNN/INDUSTRIAL TRANSFORMERS, HOUSTON, TX [EPA Superfund Program]
- Superfun with Superfund [Texas Observer]
Photos: Swamplot inbox