TI alternative site clean up presses on

Michael Hutchins
Herald Democrat
The request relates to property owned by Texas Instruments at 6412 U.S. Highway 75 South.

Sherman gave Texas Instruments a pat on the back last week for its alternative efforts to clean up its production site. The city formally voiced support April 19 for Texas Instruments as it seeks a municipal setting designation: a an alternative form of clean up for industrial sites.

The designation relieves industrial site owners from some responsibilities for site clean up in situations where the groundwater is never used for potable purposes and contamination poses no threat to neighboring areas and existing water resources.

"Just as a reminder, the intent of such an application is to provide data to the city to show that the groundwater contamination from past activity is at safe levels and or contained and not a threat to potable wells or aquifers," said Wayne Lee, Sherman Director of Engineering.

The request relates to property owned by Texas Instruments at 6412 U.S. Highway 75 South.

The designation is an alternative form of site clean up by the TCEQ that started around 2003. Prior to this, site owners would be required to clean up ground water on a contamination site to the point that it was drinking quality. This could prove exceedingly expensive and cost prohibitive, which in turn can prevent redevelopment.

The city of Sherman started discussing the possibility of supporting municipal designations in late 2019 when both Presco and Texas Instruments approached the city about the designations.

“It was new to us to be honest,” City Manager Robby Hefton said in 2019. “What we propose tonight is to evaluate on a case-by-case basis the merits of this program and make a decision as staff and council on whether we should produce an ordinance that would be in support of these applications.”

Texas Instruments marks the second designation that the city has supported following a similar request by Presco earlier this year. In the case Presco, officials said the stabilized contamination on site represented old uses that date back to nearly a century.

"It is there now; It has been there for over 100 years," Presco representative Paul Manley said.