On Friday, the Environmental Protection Agency announced high levels of dioxin waste are currently exposed to the San Jacinto River from the San Jacinto River Waste Pits Superfund Site. In the EPA dive team’s recent inspection, they found 22 areas of concern and collected samples from those locations. The sample results show levels of 60,500 ng/kg of dioxin exposed to the river. The level that prompts a cleanup is 30 ng/kg.
The executive director of Texas Health and Environment Alliance, Jackie Young: “Yet again astronomic levels of dioxin are found exposed to the river from the San Jacinto Waste Pits. The bottom line is the cap is not working and public health and the environment are at risk.”
Per the EPA statement: “The dioxin in the waste material does not dissolve easily in water, but it can migrate further out into the surrounding sediments.”
EPA is directing the potentially responsible corporate parties of the Superfund site in Texas to take immediate action to address damage to the protective cap. Initial repairs will begin shortly at the damaged areas where the protective rock was missing. Upon completion, EPA will inspect the final repair.
EPA has directed both International Paper and Industrial Maintenance Corporation, the potentially responsible parties for the San Jacinto Waste Pits Superfund site in Harris County, to take steps to ensure that the exposed waste material is isolated and securely covered. The dioxin in the waste material does not dissolve easily in water, but it can migrate further out into the surrounding sediments.