Closing In on Cleanup Time at the San Jacinto Waste Pits

CLOSING IN ON CLEANUP TIME AT THE SAN JACINTO WASTE PITS The EPA, TCEQ, and the 2 companies they’re holding responsible for cleaning up the San Jacinto Waste Pits near I-10 will soon get started on the design phase of a project to remove about 212,000 cubic yards of dioxin-contaminated muck from the Superfund site — reports the Chronicle’s Alex Stuckey. It’s “expected to take about 29 months,” she writes, “with the clean-up to follow.” The cooperation marks a friendly turnaround in the EPA’s relationship with the 2 companies — International Paper Co. and McGinnis Industrial Maintenance — which it thought about taking to court last year after they initially opposed the agency’s plan. Going that route, writes Stuckey, could have brought “years of litigation and cleanup delays.” [Houston Chronicle; previously on Swamplot] Photo of waste pits after Harvey flooding: Greg Moss

13 Comment

  • 29 months to design a way to remove the waste that we’ve known about for years, before any cleanup begins? God help this country if we’re ever in a war again.

  • @ShadyHeightster: The US is in six wars right now: Libya, Yemen, Syria, Somalia, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

  • I’d call the environmental lawyers first. Screw relying on the wussies in the government. The government “leaders” always protect their egos, their turf, their hidden agendas and they always outsource their HYPOCRISY !!! If this pit was in the RICH (read white ) areas of Houston : the Memorial Villages, Tanglewood, River Oaks, Bellaire ,West U., Southside Place, Southgate, Shady Acres, Shadowlawn, Broadacres, etc. all HELL would have broken loose; the elected & non elected officials would have been blasted in person, online and on social media; investigations would have been undertaken,etc. None of the typical lame, bureaucratic delay/delay/delay , foot dragging , Orwellian Washington,D.C / Austin / Harris County / City of Houston double speak BULLSHIT would have occurred . The DO NOTHING , industry PROTECTING , special interest enabling , special interest whores would have bobbed and weaved and avoided any responsibility !!!! And we all KNOW that’s how the do nothing to very little , TAX payer funded, government employees operate in this era !!!!

  • Memebag, he means converting to a war economy and joining in agreement on normally polarizing issues to save an entire continent or more. Is that possible anymore? If that waste pit is any indication then I have to wonder.

  • A war is profitable for a lot of corporations. This doesn’t make anyone money except the lawyers, landfills, trucking companies, and cleanup crew.
    Besides, it isn’t 29 months of actual design. These Superfund sites are design-by-committee, with the committee generally being bean counters and lawyers who question every step of the engineer’s design. It’s a safe bet that there will be three or four phases of design (preliminary, 30%, 90%, and final), with three or four months of comments, questions, and bickering between the various parties reviewing it after each phase.

  • Y’all think this is the worst injustice in environmental law? Lol. There’s a landfill in St. Louis holding untold amounts of radioactive waste, in unknown locations, and it’s been ON FIRE for years now, with no plan in place to prevent the fire from incinerating that nuclear waste.

  • HappyGoLucky: You’re almost right. Where you go off the rails is thinking its about race. It’s not. That’s a weak crutch that the left loves to bring out.
    I can buy 100% that it’s about income and class. When shit happens in a rich area, things got done. When it happens in a poor area, nothing is done. It’s not because the rich areas are “white”, it’s because they’re rich. If there is some white slum, it’s ignored. If it’s a rich area, the level of skin tone matters not at all.

  • My thought process was that after Pearl Harbor was attacked, the government, with the help of private industry, converted things like automobile plants into building aircraft for the war effort. In the space of months, not years. I know the waste pits aren’t a war effort, but our culture of collaborativeness really slows things down. We’ve known about the waste pits and the danger they pose for a decade or more. You’re telling me no one has thought of ways to mitigate that and we have to start over fresh?

  • Wow, HappyGoLucky is neither. The spit was flying out of my phone. i think you’ve been wading in that pit.

  • Couple more Harvey events in the next 29 months and no one will have to worry about cleaning this site as it’ll all be floating around in Galveston Bay and the Gulf.

  • “Culture of collaborativeness”? The government paid for those armaments in WWII. GM and other big companies weren’t sacrificing profits for the good of the nation. And the government is still paying for armaments for all of our current wars. If the people decide they want to clean up toxic waste then the government will pay for that, too. None of this is really altruistic.

  • ShadyHeightster-we understood you. He’s picking nits. If anything Memebag is proof of your point.

  • Semper is right, not even close to the worst thing currently on the EPA’s radar.

    For this, my understanding is the issue is how to remove the sediments without closing down that portion of the waterway and without disturbing I-10. Add in the fact that basically any amount of dioxin getting out during removal will create a massive shitstorm, and yeah it is going to take awhile to figure out how to do it all. I suspect there may be time for a couple pilot tests as well.