Toxic waste site risk to thousands if not moved before next hurricane

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HOUSTON, TX – On the Gulf Coast of Texas, the question isn’t if, but when, the next hurricane will come. And a new report from Texas A&M University-Galveston says before the next one hits, a lot of toxic waste needs to be cleaned up. If not, they say, the sludge at the San Jacinto River waste pits super-fund site could put thousands at risk.

In 1965, the Harris County Health Unit approved the San Jacinto site for the disposal of paper mill waste, including chemicals such as Dioxin.

“Dioxin is not something that will go away. It is persistent, it is bio accumulative, and it is very toxic in very low doses,” explains Jackie Young with Texans Together.

“The only way if you want to protect surrounding communities and the environment, is to fully remove these pits,” states Dr. Sam Brody from Texas A&M University-Galveston.

A report supplied to NewsFix from International Paper claims that digging up and removing the waste contained at the site would be worse — it could increase contamination to fish, and it would take 19 months to complete. They suggest reinforcing the existing caps which cover the waste.

Young claims the real concerns can be found in the cost of excavation. She explains, “I think the only thing stopping in this situation would be cost…full removal ranges from $100 million to $300 million.”

The E.P.A. will make the final decision from a list of 6 proposed resolutions that range from doing nothing at all, to a complete excavation and relocation.

Hmm, we’d be interested to know just who is going to want this anywhere near the place they call home, no matter how far inland it is.

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