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Jackie Young on San Jacinto River Waste Pits

Our very own Jackie Young was on KHOU this past Friday to talk about Texans Together and the San Jacinto River Coalition's efforts to bring awareness of the presence of toxic chemicals in the water and groundwater surrounding the San Jacinto River Waste Pits.

The report highlights Jackie's work and documents her and her family's personal struggles with illness from exposure to toxic chemicals. There have been several cases of rare illness around the San Jacinto River Waste Pits occurring in people's domestic animals and pets as well as their families. The toxic chemicals affect humans and animals alike and the ecosystem surrounding the hazardous waste pits remains in danger to toxic exposure.

The San Jacinto River Waste Pits were built in the 1960's and used as a disposal of paper mill waste. During that time, the pulp and paper mill waste was transported by barge and unloaded at this site. The chemicals used by the paper mill are categorized as hazardous substances, by the U.S. Government, and may be leaking into the water and groundwater used by the communities surrounding the waste pits. The documented increased occurrence of rare diseases surrounding the area, in both humans and animals, also highlights the danger of exposure to these toxic chemicals. 

Texans Together has been hard at work organizing the community, raising local awareness, and getting the site increased attention. Our efforts are paying off, as Jackie's work was also the subject of a recent editorial cartoon series by Nick Anderson that is running in the Houston Chronicle

You can check out part 2 of that series in the Houston Chronicle's Sunday Edition for June 22nd.

The San Jacinto River waste pits will have to be addressed eventually. The caps that currently seal the chemicals in are not immune to natural geologic or environmental processes. A major storm like a hurricane could compromise the cap and expose the public and the surrounding ecosystem to the hazardous chemicals. With the San Jacinto River Waste Pits, it's not a matter of if we will have to respond but when we will have to respond. Whether that response will be proactive or in an emergency capacity will all depend on how we can get the EPA to address this site.

Stay tuned for more updates on the San Jacinto River Coalition's work around the San Jacinto River Waste Pits. To stay up to date with the latest news, you can subscribe to our newsletter. You can follow us on twitter or like us on facebook @TexansTogether.

 



Contact Us

Texans Together Education Fund

P.O. Box 1296
Houston, Texas 77251-1296

713-782-8833

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Blog | by Dr. Radut