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Texans Together Participates in San Jacinto River Press Conference

The San Jacinto River Coalition is in full gear for the next steps in the fight to clean up the waste pits for good. Yesterday the Coalition held a press conference to discuss the recent report released by the Army Corps of Engineers which casts serious doubts on the integrity of the temporary remediation cap built by the responsible parties. Additionally, representatives from Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan’s office were on hand to outline to ongoing lawsuit against Waste Management and International Paper, the companies responsible for the pollution.

The press conference was well covered including reporters from Telemundo, The Houston Chronicle, and Isiah Carey of Fox 26’s The Isiah Factor. Organizers from Texans Together spoke with the media one-on-one, and during the press conference itself. This mainstream coverage underscores the major impact for the Houston region of the San Jacinto waste pits, and the dangers of leaving the toxins capped in place.

According to the Army Corps of Engineers, the temporary remediation cap is likely to fall victim to erosion from naturally occurring waves, and those caused by the frequent barge traffic along the river. Due to shoddy construction, the cap is already showing signs of deterioration due to a minor flooding event, despite the promise that it was built to withstand a 100 year storm event. In the event of a major hurricane, a storm surge could carry Agent Orange, and other chemicals found in the waste pits up to 150 miles.

Several residents from Highlands, Texas and the East Harris County area attended the press conference, including Pamela Bonta who spoke about her efforts to track health concerns in the area, including several cases of a rare cancer. The coalition - who boasts two new members after local residents decided to join at today’s press conference -, will meet again on Wednesday, January 8th. They will discuss plans for the upcoming EPA meeting wehre the community will have the chance for its voice to be heard regarding the remediation of the San Jacinto River Superfund site.  

While Waste Management and International Paper hope to cap the pits in their current location and cross their fingers for the future, the community wants the pollution removed entirely and moved to a different site, not in danger of polluting a major waterway. Texans Together and the San Jacinto River Coalition are prepared to fight for the responsible parties to permanently remediate this site and ensure that the San Jacinto river remains part of the vibrant East Harris County community.

 


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