Tuesday, February 23, 2016

EPA Directs Additional Safety Measures for San Jacinto River Waste Pits Superfund Site

DALLAS – (Feb. 17, 2016) Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced new safety requirements for the temporary armored cap at the San Jacinto River Waste Pits Superfund Site in Harris County, Texas. EPA has directed both International Paper and Industrial Maintenance Corporation, the potentially responsible parties (PRPs) for the San Jacinto Waste Pits Superfund site in Harris County, to add 24 hour/7 day a week surveillance and warning buoys around the perimeter of the site boundaries. Inspection protocol requirements will be expanded and double the frequency of required underwater inspections from semi-annual to quarterly. In addition, EPA has instructed the PRPs to conduct additional environmental sampling from the temporary armored cap, sediments, surface water and groundwater. On February 16, the PRPs confirmed their intent to address each of EPA’s directives. In December 2015, EPA’s inspection dive team discovered an area of possible damage to the temporary armored cap. Visual dive operations found displacement in the stone cover of the protective cap but could not fully delineate the damaged area or the full extent of damage to the protective cap. Pursuant to EPA’s direction and oversight, the PRPs delineated a damaged portion of the rock layer measuring 25’ by 22’ (surface area). The precise cause of the damage to the cap is unknown and under investigation. The EPA has employed the assistance of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to further investigate the possible causes of the damage.

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