The old Cusol plant near the North Belt and 249 has been shut-down for a few years now, but more than 500 unlabeled, rusted and leaking 55-gallon drums of chemicals remained.
"People that lived in the neighborhood were complaining about very strong chemical odors were coming from the
facility and the fact that it was unsecured and that transients were actually inhabiting the place."
Rock Owens is the Chief of the Environmental Division of the Harris County Attorneys Office. Because the owner of the property couldn’t afford to clean it up, the county approached the EPA about helping with the clean-up. The agency agreed to take over the project.
"The EPA has moved in the they're in the process of cleaning-up the site. It's already been secured and fenced and everything so people can't get into it and it's generally a lot safer than it was."
Owens says the property is now in default and will likely be sold. He says getting it cleaned-up will make the neighborhood a safer and better place to live.
"This is a win-win for everybody. This is a real example of where local government working with the federal government have actually been able to come in and do something positive for the people of the neighborhood who do their taxes."
The EPA is paying for the entire clean-up as part of its emergency response program.