At Thursday night’s highly anticipated U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s community meeting about the San Jacinto River Waste Pits, elected officials from across the Houston area thanked and supported the EPA’s decision to remove toxic wastes from the site.
Baytown City Manager Rick Davis, Congressman Gene Green, Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan and representatives with Harris County Commissioner Jack Morman’s office all made comments in favor of removal.
“On behalf of our mayor and city council, I would like to express support for the complete remediation of the waste pits,” said Davis. “We view anything short of this is a deferment of this responsibility to a future generation, and not terribly responsible. Therefore, we will continue to support full remediation and in fact on Oct. 27, the council and mayor will take up yet another resolution in support of the EPA decision.”
In late September, the EPA proposed an $87 million cleanup to remove an estimated 152,000 cubic yards of contaminated material located north of Interstate 10, within the San Jacinto River between Channelview and Highlands. EPA’s preferred remedy also proposes a $9.9 million cleanup to remove and additional 50,000 cubic yards of waste materials located south of I-10 for offsite disposal.
“Federal law encourages the EPA to do the best they can for a permanent fix, so we don’t have to continue worrying about another barge getting loose and releasing dioxin into the water,” said Green at the meeting. “So that’s why I’m hear tonight, having worked on this for years, to see the goal of this Superfund site get cleaned up.”
Harris County Attorney Ryan, who for years has been involved in a civil suit with the responsible parties, also thanked the EPA for their proposed cleanup solution for future generations to come.