EPA: Yeah, Better Clean Out the Dioxin Pits from the San Jacinto River Now That They’ve Leaked

EPA: YEAH, BETTER CLEAN OUT THE DIOXIN PITS FROM THE SAN JACINTO RIVER NOW THAT THEY’VE LEAKED A bit later than had been urged by those alarmed by the longterm presence of pits full of toxic waste sealed only with a tarp on top hanging out in the San Jacinto River, the EPA has now approved a plan to remove most of the dioxin stored within them. “As exemplified today, EPA is prioritizing Superfund clean-up by making decisions in a decisive, timely manner,” reads a statement from administrator Scott Pruitt released this afternoon. “The San Jacinto Waste Pits site was added to the National Priority List nearly a decade ago.” What’s the rush? As predicted by EPA studies and many a casual observer, the pits appeared to have leaked extensively after Hurricane Harvey flooding. Under the new $115 million plan, cofferdams will be installed around the pits and almost 212,000 cubic yards of dioxin-contaminated material will be excavated — leaving just enough behind that the agency can, it says, ensure controls that will “prevent access, eliminate off-site migration, and monitor the natural recovery into the future.” [EPA; more info; Houston Chronicle; previously on Swamplot] Video of waste pits after Harvey flooding: Greg Moss

2 Comment

  • I’m sorry…why are we leaving any behind here? I mean if we’re going to go through the effort of cleaning most of it out why the heck would there be any left in the first place?

  • My initial thought is that the only reason some waste is going to be left is that it is not economically feasible to remove it all. Some of that stuff has probably leaked and spread from the main sites and that they cannot dig 100% of it out, but I am just theorizing here. I’m no expert on dioxin contamination, but curious as to the “natural recovery” they reference.