HOUSTON (FOX 26) -
The numbers are daunting - 17,000 truckloads of
cancer causing Dioxin waste buried on 14 acres of frequently submerged
San Jacinto River Shoreline very near to where the water flows into
The companies responsible want it to stay.
Community activists have demanded it's removal.
is a battle between small town Texas communities and corporate giants,
plain and simple," said Jackie Young of the San Jacinto River Coalition.
Right square in the middle - the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and their science.
In a much anticipated report the Corps determined the Superfund Site is mostly stable, despite some alarming flaws.
Rock Owens with the Harris County Attorney's Office says missing from the Corps' assessment is attention to the biggest risk.
thing that they didn't study and it's probably the most important thing
is what happens in the event we have a catastrophic storm.?" said Owens.
A storm that could rip the dump apart and spread Dioxin for miles.
One risk the Corps did assess was that posed by digging and hauling the waste way - suggesting an excavation could result in a significant release of the toxin.
But Young sees a total clean-up as by far the best of two imperfect options.
report clearly states that if best management practices are used the
risk for release is minimal and short term," said Young.
Calling the site "a loaded gun" Harris County's Owens says leaving the waste in place threatens the health of thousands.
get this stuff out of there. It's got to go. I mean leaving it in the
middle of a path of a hurricane is not the right thing to do. It
doesn't make any sense," said Owens.
International Paper, one of two companies responsible for the waste offered Fox 26 the following statement:
have worked cooperatively under the direction of US EPA following the
well established superfund process that the agency follows at superfund
sites across the country."