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Environmentalists Applaud EPA Decision On Waste Pits

The EPA has ordered two companies to make more extensive repairs around a Superfund toxic waste site near Houston following Hurricane Harvey.

Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt has ordered International Paper and a Waste Management subsidiary to underwrite a $115 million cleanup. The companies have been arguing that the current covering is sufficient.

Shane Bonnot is with the Coastal Conservation Association.

“We advocated strongly for a complete removal of the waste pits there at the San Jacinto River. We have some substantial erosion around the temporary cap. Putting what they would call a permanent cap over this site is just not a viable option for a system that’s just so prone to a flood and subsidence.”

A survey of the area near the San Jacinto River Waste Pits found erosion of the river bottom adjacent to the fabric and stone cap intended to keep highly contaminated sediments from washing away. Testing conducted after Harvey showed cancer-causing dioxins were exposed to the river water.

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