Dr. King's Report is Out!
On May 31st Texans Together and The San Jacinto River Coalition held a press conference at the San Jacinto Monument to discuss Dr. Stephen King's report on the impact of the San Jaconto River waste pits on the environment. Despite the temporary cap that has been put in place dioxon and furan levels are just as high as they were a year ago.
Pictured here is the guide we hired to take Dr. King and our President Fred Lewis around the river to collect fish and sediment samples. Here is a PDF that contains where the fish samples were taken. You can download Dr. King's Report here. This include the executive summary.
Brief Summary of Dr. King’s Scientific Report of May 2012
Dr. Stephen King is a well-known and respected Houston area environmental toxicologist. In September 2011, at the request of Texans Together Education Fund and the San Jacinto River Coalition, Dr. King collected nine sediment samples near the San Jacinto River Waste Pits (SJRWP) site and obtained nine fillet samples from fish and an oyster caught nearby.The samples were analyzed by a certified toxicological lab for the toxic compounds polychlorinated dibenzo-para-dioxins (dioxins) and polychlorinated dibemzofurans (furans).
Laboratory results show:
- Sediment samples were within the ranges of dioxins and/or furans found in samples that had been collected by the TCEQ at the SJRWP site in 2005 (3 years before it was designated a superfund site).
- Aquatic life samples had levels of PCDD and PCDF in some cases near or within the ranges found in samples collected at Morgan’s Point and/or at the San Jacinto Monument as reported in a 1990 EPA study.
The fact that the samples contained measurable concentrations of dioxins and furans, according to Dr. King, “strongly suggests that the waste pits have been and are still a source of dioxin and furan contamination of the San Jacinto River”—even after the temporary remediation of the site performed in spring 2011.
Based on these results, Dr. King has “recommended that [in proximity to the SJRWP] wading, swimming, fishing, crabbing, and collecting oysters and clams should be banned. It is strongly recommended that the consumption of fish, crabs, oysters, and clams caught in proximity to the SJRWP among vulnerable or at-risk individuals, such as pregnant women, infants, children, the elderly, persons with impaired liver function, and among individuals with an impaired immune system be prohibited.
Despite the Texas Department of State Health …Advisories … healthy adults should consider not consuming any fish or shellfish caught near the SJRWP because of the likelihood that the aquatic life will contain dioxins and furans.”
Additional New Facts and Information:
- The Pasadena Champion Paper Mill, which is the source of the SJRWP’s hazardous waste, used chlorine in its bleaching processes. The waste byproducts of such processes are known to contain, besides dioxins and furans, over 300 additional chemical compounds, of which a number are carcinogens, mutagens, and teratogens.Governmental authorities are not known to have tested for these chemicals.
- Studies of plants and animals located in proximity to pulp and paper mills have provided evidence of the genotoxic effects of pulp and paper mill effluents and waste.The incidence, for example, of cancerous disease in speckled trout caught in bay waters heavily impacted by pulp mill operations was 50.4%.