EPA Proposes to Remove Toxic Waste Near San Jacinto River

Federal regulators have a plan to remove toxic waste that has festered for more than half a century near the San Jacinto River in Harris County. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday proposed to remove 202,000 cubic yards of dioxins and other pollutants from a 14-acre site along Interstate 10 east of Houston, which has long stirred environmental and health concerns. The projected price tag is $97 million. Five years ago, the companies responsible for the waste installed a temporary cap that sought to contain the sludge. But that armored structure has occasionally needed repairs — including a significant fix after divers found a 20-foot hole in it last December. “Based on the recommendation of EPA site managers and the on-going maintenance and repairs of the temporary cap, we are proposing to remove contaminated material and provide the community with the most protective cleanup plan for the San Jacinto waste pits site,” Ron Curry, an EPA regional administrator, said in a statement.

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