National Priorities List (NPL) Sites (Federal Superfund)

Texas Instruments (Formerly Burr-Brown) Project Area

Community Involvement Activities Public Health Impact Site Hydrogeology
Contacts Public Meeting Calendar Site Map
Contaminants Public Notice Calendar Site Status Update
Information Repository Site History

The Texas Instruments Project Area is located in Area B of the Tucson International Airport Area (TIAA) Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) site in Tucson, Arizona. The site is on the National Priorities List  (NPL), which is periodically updated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The property is located at 6730 S. Tucson Boulevard, on the northeast side of the Tucson International Airport. It is bounded by Tucson Boulevard on the east, Aragon Road on the south, Plumer Boulevard on the west and Valencia Road on the north.


Site Status Update:

In April 2012, EPA issued a Record of Decision (ROD) amendment. The ROD amendment selected In-Situ Chemical Oxidation (ISCO) as an appropriate technology for application at the Texas Instruments, West-Cap and Arizona Air National Guard (AANG) project areas. Following issuance of the ROD amendment, EPA began negotiations with Texas Instruments to implement an ISCO remedy at the Texas Instruments project area. Texas Instruments continues to collect groundwater monitoring data in order to track the movement of potassium permanganate through groundwater at the site from a 2009 ISCO pilot test until negotiations are completed.

In 2014 and 2015, EPA, the U.S. Justice Department, ADEQ, and Texas Instruments continued to negotiate the terms for a new consent decree and statement of work. The consent decree and statement of work will describe the remedial design and remedial action activities that Texas Instruments must implement as part of the ROD Amendment. These documents are expected to be completed in summer 2015.


Community Involvement Activities:

To provide community members with an opportunity to learn about the cleanup process and to obtain local perspective for decisions concerning the cleanup, a Unified Community Advisory Board (UCAB) was formed in 1995. The UCAB meets the third Wednesday of January, April, July, and October. These meetings, which are open to the public, begin at 5:45 p.m. at the El Pueblo Activity Center located at 101 W. Irvington Rd. in Tucson, AZ 85714. 

Further information may be found in the January 2012 Tucson International Airport Area Superfund site fact sheet published by EPA.


Site History:

1969: Texas Instruments (formerly Burr-Brown) began operation as a micro-electronics manufacturing facility. Past manufacturing and disposal practices resulted in the release of hazardous wastes into the soil and groundwater

1983: The TIAA site was placed on the NPL on September 8, 1983.

1988: A ROD for the regional groundwater at TIAA was issued by the EPA. This ROD also covered groundwater contamination in Area B which includes the Texas Instruments project area.  

1990: In March, a Consent Decree (CD) was signed by EPA and the Burr-Brown Corporation (now Texas Instruments) requiring Burr-Brown to clean up the eastern-most part of the contamination within Area B. The CD also required Burr-Brown to reimburse EPA for past and future oversight costs.

1992: In January, a groundwater pump and treat remediation system for Burr-Brown began operation. This system extracts contaminated groundwater and treated it using air stripping technologies before it was used in their manufacturing processes.

1997 - 1999: In March 1997, operation of the pump and treat remediation system was temporarily discontinued while EPA built a groundwater extraction system at the West-Cap project area. In November 1999, the pump and treat remediation system resumed operation with additional water being pumped from West-Cap.

2000: Texas Instruments bought Burr-Brown.

2006: In August, the West-Cap pump and treat system ceased operation while EPA installed two additional groundwater extraction wells at the West-Cap project area. Due to construction of the new wells, groundwater from the West-Cap project area was no longer pumped to the Texas Instruments' treatment plant pending a planned upgrade of the treatment system to accommodate increased pumping.

2007: PA and the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) learned that Texas instruments would be moving their manufacturing process out of Tucson within the next few years.

2008: ADEQ recommended evaluation of the deep vadose zone. Texas Instruments further characterized trichloroethene (TCE) contamination in the vadose zone and in soils immediately below the water table. Laboratory results indicated that all soil samples were below applicable regulatory standards.

2009: In September, the groundwater pump and treat remediation system was shut off at the Texas Instruments property. Since 1992, this system removed about 16.3 pounds of TCE from approximately 176 million gallons of groundwater beneath the Texas Instruments project area.

Drilling and installation of a new injection well was completed in September 2009. The new well was designed for the injection of potassium permanganate during an ISCO pilot test. The pilot test began in October 2009 and was designed to determine if it would be a feasible alternative to the previous pump and treat system. Texas Instruments continues to collect groundwater monitoring data in order to track the movement of potassium permanganate through groundwater at the site.

2010: Texas Instruments collected groundwater monitoring data in order to track the movement of potassium permanganate through groundwater at the site. Groundwater level measurements were also collected to evaluate site groundwater conditions. Data suggest that groundwater levels in most of the Texas Instruments monitoring wells have remained relatively stable.

2011: EPA issued a proposed plan to amend the existing ROD for the clean-up projects associated with Area B. This included the AANG, West-Cap, West Plume B, and Texas Instruments Project Areas. In the proposed plan, EPA evaluated several remedial alternatives including ISCO using potassium permanganate.

2012: In April, EPA issued the ROD Amendment.  The ROD Amendment selected ISCO as an appropriate technology to replace the pump and treat remedies at the Texas Instruments, West-Cap, and AANG Project Areas. The ROD Amendment also concluded that monitored natural attenuation will continue for West Plume B. 

2013: Following issuance of the ROD amendment, EPA began negotiations with Texas Instruments to implement an ISCO remedy at the Texas Instruments project area. ADEQ provided technical input on the remedy design. Texas Instruments continued to collect groundwater monitoring data in order to track the movement of potassium permanganate through groundwater at the site from the 2009 ISCO pilot test.

2014: EPA, the U.S. Justice Department, ADEQ, and Texas Instruments continued to negotiate the terms for a new consent decree and statement of work. The consent decree and statement of work describes the remedial design and remedial action activities that Texas Instruments must implement as part of the ROD Amendment.


Contaminants:

The current contaminants of concern in groundwater include volatile organic compounds (VOCs), mainly TCE, with smaller amounts of tetrachloroethene (PCE). TCE concentrations range from less than 1.0 part per billion (ppb) to about 13 ppb. Contaminants of concern at the site may change as new data become available.  


Public Health Impact:

The City of Tucson is the main municipal water provider at this site. All municipal wells in the area that were contaminated with TCE have been shut down. Most of the domestic wells have either been shut down or converted to irrigation wells. However, a few residents with domestic wells with low levels of TCE have chosen to continue using their wells. If you are drinking water from a private well within the boundaries of the TIAA site, please contact the ADEQ Project Manager.


Site Hydrogeology:

In Area B of the TIAA site, which includes the Texas Instruments project area, the regional aquifer is comprised of two aquifer zones separated by a middle aquitard. The middle aquitard limits the contamination to the upper zone of the regional aquifer, which is about 70 to 100 feet thick.

The upper zone of the regional aquifer can also be further subdivided into upper and lower subunits. The lateral continuity of the upper and lower subunits is difficult to estimate due to heterogeneities resulting from the meandering streams that deposited these sediments. In places, the streams deposited relatively coarse-grained sands and gravels, but in other areas fine-grained overbank and floodplain deposits were left behind. The upper zone of the regional aquifer extends from the water table located at a depth of about 85 to 100 feet below ground surface (bgs), to the top of the middle aquitard at a depth of about 175 feet bgs.

The groundwater flow direction in the upper zone of the regional aquifer is generally toward the north-northwest, but flow within the coarse-grained upper and lower subunits is more toward the northwest or west. More detailed descriptions of the hydrogeology of the Texas Instruments project area can be found in reports and studies available at the TIAA Information Repository.


Contacts:

Name Phone/Fax E-mail
William Ellett, ADEQ (520) 628-6714* (520) 628-6745 fax [email protected]
Mary Aycock, EPA Remedial Project Manager (415) 972-3289**/(415) 947-3526 fax [email protected]
Sarah Cafasso, EPA Community Involvement Coordinator (415) 415-972-3076**/ (415) 947-3528 fax [email protected]
Caroline Oppleman, ADEQ Community Involvement Coordinator (602) 771-6890 (602) 771-4138 fax [email protected]

*In Arizona, but outside the Tucson area, call toll-free at (888) 271-9302.
**Call EPA’s toll-free message line at (800) 231-3075.


Information Repository:

Interested parties can review select site documents at the TCE Superfund Information Library located at 202 W. Valencia Road, Tucson, AZ 85706, at the Valencia Branch Public Library in Tucson, (520) 594-5390. The complete official site file can be reviewed at the EPA Region IX, Records Center, Mail Stop SFD-7C, 95 Hawthorne Street, Room 403, San Francisco, CA 94105, (415) 536-2000.

Interested parties can review site information here on this page and at the ADEQ Record Center located at 1110 W. Washington Street, Phoenix, Arizona. Please contact (602) 771-4380 or (800) 234-5677 ext. 6027714380 for hours of operation and to schedule an appointment.

Site Map

EPA Fact Sheet

U.S. EPA Site Description