Sherman voices approval for alternative Presco site clean up

Michael Hutchins
Herald Democrat
The city of Sherman is voicing approval for a municipal setting designation for Presco. The designation will allow Presco to rehabilitate its site to a lower standard for contamination than it would otherwise be required to under requirements with the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

The Sherman City Council is voicing support for alternative clean up efforts at a Sherman Industrial site. The council voted earlier this month to support an application by Presco Products for a Municipal Setting Designation, which would allow the property owners alternative clean up options when dealing with previous contamination on the site.

The designation would relieve some responsibilities for site clean in when the contamination poses no threat to neighboring areas and existing water resources.

"This is really Sherman's first municipal setting designation application that has been submitted to us. They had to do this before they submit their application to the TCEQ," Sherman Director of Engineering Wayne Lee said.

While the Presco request is the first time that Sherman has used a MSD, Lee said it has been used in other communities. In many cases, it is used in brownfield areas where contamination is not a threat to well sites and water on the site does not need to be cleaned to the same standard as other sites. With the designation, Lee said Presco will be able to show that it is safe to sell or redevelop the property.

"What I understand is that they are going to do clean up, but it might not be as extensive as it could have been otherwise," Council member Shawn Teamann said.

Paul Manley, representing Presco, said the contamination on the site is exceptionally old and has been there, stabilized for the great per of a century.

"It is there now; It has been there for over 100 years," he said.

Under normal circumstances, Presco would be required to bring the water up to drinking-water standards, however, if the water is not used, developers are able to instead bring it back up to a lesser standard.

This change would save the developer both cost and time in fully remediating the sites, which can be both costly and lengthy

The idea of Municipal Setting Designations in Sherman was first proposed in late 2019. The city approached Halff and Associates to look into the possible designation after Texas Instruments and Presco expressed interest.

With the approval of the council, the request will now move forward to the Texas Commission on environmental Quality.