Texas superfund site leaked chemicals after Hurricane Harvey

Officials test sediment samples at the San Jacinto Waste Pits Superfund site after Hurricane Harvey hit the region in Texas. Photo courtesy EPA

Sept. 30 (UPI) — A superfund site near Houston leaked toxic chemicals after Hurricane Harvey hit the southeast Texas coast, the Environmental Protection Agency.

In a news release issued Thursday, the agency said a protective cap at the San Jacinto Waste Pits Superfund site had been damaged and waste material was exposed. Tests conducted on sediment samples at the site found elevated levels of dioxin.

“The sample showed dioxins above 70,000 ng/kg. EPA recommend clean up level for the site is 30 ng/kg,” the EPA said.

The EPA said it has repaired the damaged area but it may “direct additional visual dive operations to check for displacement in the stone cover of the protective cap and more fully evaluate the cap for damage by Hurricane Harvey.”

Parts of the superfund site are usually underwater, but water levels increased between 12 feet and 14 feet due to Harvey.

The EPA said the other 42 superfund sites in the areas affected by Hurricane Harvey were “cleared.”


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