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EPA expands Superfund interviews to two days in Highlands, with wrap-up session

Congressman Brian Babin examines the Geofabric materials to be used in the ongoing repairs of the cap over the toxic waste pits in the San Jacinto River. Babin visited the site in July, with EPA Region 6 Remedial Chief John Meyer.

HIGHLANDS – Janetta Coats of the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) has announced that she will be in Highlands on Tuesday, Sept. 11 from 1pm to 5pm, and Wednesday, Sept. 12 from 1pm to 7pm, conducting one-on-one interviews with residents that have been affected by the waste pits, or have an opinion for the official CIP record. Interviews will take place at the Highlands Community Center, and last about one hour each. Everyone is welcome to participate, by calling Coats at 1-800-533- 3508 to schedule an interview. A Round Table Discussion will take place from 5pm to 6pm on Wednesday.

Coats issued the following statement on the CIP interview process:

We appreciate your willingness to participate in the interview process to update the San Jacinto River Waste Pits Community Involvement Plan (CIP). The community interviews are conducted to gather information for the CIP. The interviews are a way to meet with community members and learn about their site-related needs, concerns, and expectations, as well as how the community gets information and prefers to received information from EPA.

The CIP is a required activity under the National Contingency Plan (NCP) to ensure the public appropriate opportunities for involvement is a wide variety to ensure public involvement. We will interview a broad range of people in order to gain the greatest variety of perspectives about the site, including PRPs, if needed.

In general the objective for the community interviews will include:

• identify community members to be interviewed

• identify issues/questions/ and concerns most important to community members

• Identify potential environmental justice issues

• identify most important communications outlets (newspapers, websites, blogs etc., most commonly used)

• people the community trust

• identify unmet needs in the community.

Group interviews, telephone, and focus groups in conjunction with individual interviews may be conducted.

The following dates have been secured at the Highlands Community Center/Highlands, Texas to schedule individual and group discussions: 

September 11, 2018 1pm until 5:00 pm.

September 12, 2018 1pm until 7:00 pm.

Round Table Discussion:

September 12, 2018, 5:00 pm until 6:00 pm.

We will not have a power point presentation. The interviews will be questions and answer discussions.

You will be contacted via phone or email in advance to schedule an appoint during the times identified above. All interviewees names are confidential and will not be used in the CIP.

Although it may or may not take an hour for each interview, we would like to allow enough time to answer any additional questions you may have during the interview. After all the interviews are completed, a summary will be prepared and provided in the CIP in the Community Needs and Concerns section of the CIP.

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