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Hurricane Harvey

Environmental Groups Call For Increased EPA Oversight in Houston

The reported spills, which have been not publicly detailed, occurred at U.S. Oil Recovery, a former petroleum industry waste processing plant contaminated with a dangerous brew of cancer-causing chemicals.



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A gate at the U.S. Oil Recovery Superfund site is shown Thursday, Sept. 14, 2017, in Pasadena, Texas, where three tanks once used to store toxic waste were flooded during Hurricane Harvey. The Environmental Protection Agency says it has found no evidence that toxins washed off the site, but is still assessing damage. (AP Photo)

The Environmental Protection Agency is still assessing a potentially-toxic spill at the U.S. Oil Recovery Superfund site in Pasadena.

The Associated Press broke news of the spill after analyzing a federal environmental hotline and aerial photos of the site after flooding from Harvey. The spill has led Houston-area environmental groups to call for an increased EPA presence in the region.

“EPA needs a field office in the Houston area and this is why,” Neil Carman, a former TCEQ investigator and Clean Air Program Director of the Lone Star Sierra Club chapter, told Houston Public Media. “The only thing they have in Houston is a laboratory which apparently they're going to shut down.”

Carman’s call for an EPA field office were echoed by the Citizen’s Environmental Coalition, a group which connects environmental organizations in Texas.