Railcar full of chemicals to be dug up

GALVESTON, TX Removing the tank car found buried near a cruise-ship terminal is a reversal for the port. The initial plan had been to leave the car buried after removing the contents, filling it with slurry and paving over it.

After consulting with state pollution regulators, port officials said Monday they would have to remove the tank to comply with a long list of rules, including testing for hazardous materials at the bottom of the tank and the soil beneath it.

Port Director Steve Cernak said testing the soil under the tank would be difficult without removing the tank car, which is about 40 feet long and 10 feet in diameter.

Cernak estimates it will cost the port $55,000 to remove the car and dispose of its contents. He said that if the port is going to have remove the tank car, it doesn't intend to bury it again.

Workers found the tank car almost two months ago when they were removing track to install a storm drain for a parking lot. Port officials say that who buried the tank car and why is a mystery.

Initial samples taken by the port's environmental consultants detected DDE, a breakdown product of DDT. Tests also detected the pesticide Endosulfan.

Port officials say they don't know the concentrations of pesticides in the railcar. Officials have said some of the railcar's contents could be rainwater.

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