COMING OFF THE STATE WATCHLIST DOESN’T MEAN HOUSTON’S POLLUTION HOTSPOTS DON’T STILL NEED TO BE WATCHED Of the 14Â sites pulled offÂ the Texas Commission for Environmental Quality’s special pollution watchlist since 2007, Elena Craft writes in the Chronicle’s Gray Matters column today, some 8 of them have since had new noteworthy upticks of various chemicals linked to health issues like breathing problems, nerve problems, or cancer, according to the Environmental Defense Fund’sÂ recent study.Â Craft dives into some of the sticky aspectsÂ of trying to keep track of whether chemical levels are above normal for visitors and residentsÂ near spotsÂ like Milby ParkÂ (above) and the Lynchburg Ferry area,Â including the fact that the data collected by on-site monitors isn’t always available to the publicÂ right away, and that short-term high levels of problem chemicals don’t usually get investigated. “The absence of information about these seemingly random pollution spikes is troubling,” CraftÂ writes, “because it suggests that TCEQ has stopped paying attention before its work is truly complete.” [Houston Chronicle; previously on Swamplot] Photo of Milby Park: Ric F.
Some of theÂ 42 acres of land just purchased for development by Avera Companies are shown here from above, east across the Ship ChannelÂ from the San Jacinto BattlegroundÂ (that’s the bottom half of the star-topped obeliskÂ visible towardÂ the top left). Â The property is on a peninsulaÂ of land about 2 milesÂ downstream from the I-10 bridge and the San Jacinto Waste Pits.Â The eastern terminal of the Lynchburg FerryÂ can be seen here at the end of Independence Highway,Â with the Lynchburg reservoir lyingÂ Â to the north.
The company saysÂ Kirby Inland Marine is set to be the first tenant for the property, and will use a section of the propertyÂ to let up to 76 bargesÂ tie up and hang out as necessary. Kirby justÂ agreed last month to a $4.9-million settlement with the Department of Justice over its role in that March 2014 barge-meets-carrier oil spillÂ that shut down the Port for a few days and spread oil along roughlyÂ 160 miles of Texas coastÂ between Galveston Bay and Padre Island National Seashore. (Kirby Offshore Marine, another of the corporation’s subdivisions, is currently dealing withÂ fallout from last week’sÂ tugboat-meets-shore fuel spill off the coast of British Columbia.)
Here’s a view of the rest of the property, showing a bit ofÂ Burnet BayÂ on the left and the San Jacinto RiverÂ upstream toward I-10 on the right:
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Floating Around Near Baytown