Storm Harvey flooded or damaged 13 Texas Superfund sites -US EPA

Harvey aftermath Region begins long road to recovery

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said Saturday that 13 Superfund sites have been flooded or could be facing damage as a result of Hurricane Harvey.

The Associated Press wrote an article suggesting that the EPA did not take adequate steps to safeguard Superfund sites, or areas that have become polluted by hazardous materials and will have been listed by the EPA to be cleaned up. They found the sites to either be underwater or showing signs they were inundated before floodwaters receded. They were able to visit two locations in Corpus Christi on Thursday, they said, but found no significant damage.

Eleven sites have proven to be inaccessible for response teams, however the agency said teams are in place to inspect the areas once flooding from the storm subsides.

The impact of flooding on the sites is unknown.

Turner says he didn't know about the potential environmental concerns soon enough to discuss them with President Donald Trump during the president's visit.

The Associated Press has visited the sites - some still only accessible by boat. The 13 affected sites have industrial waste from petrochemical companies, acid compounds, solvents and pesticides.

EPA Director Scott Pruitt said earlier this year that cleaning up Superfund sites was a priority for him, though he also backed a budget that would cut his agency's funding by at least 30 percent.

San Jacinto River Waste Pits, which contains toxins linked to birth defects and cancer in the soil, is among the Superfund sites that were completely flooded.

The Houston metro area has always been a center of the USA petrochemical industry, and is home to more than a dozen Superfund sites.



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