Gene Green seeks more warning signs, fencing on San Jacinto River

Congressman Gene Green

HIGHLANDS– In a letter to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa Jackson sent Aug. 10, Rep. Gene Green (TX-29) requested the immediate attention of the EPA through the installation of additional fencing and warning signs around the San Jacinto Waste Pits Site. Several constituents expressed concerns with inadequate notice to local fisherman of the toxic water.
“While fishing in local waters is widespread, people may not realize how toxic the San Jacinto Waste Pits Site is and the danger they are putting themselves in by eating what they catch from this water,” said Green.
The 20-acre site is on the western bank of the San Jacinto River. Originally constructed as a disposal for pulp and paper mills, the water has high levels of dioxin concentrations. Because of tidal forces, the dioxin concentrations have moved beyond the current placement of security fences and signs. Green urged Administrator Jackson to mitigate a potential public health problem by additional protective measures to avoid fishing in this hazardous water.

Regional Administrator Al Armendariz of EPA Region 6 responded with preliminary approval to International Paper Company and McGinnes Industrial Maintenance Corporation for additional fencing and warning signs at the site. The Regional Administrator also gave a commitment to continue working with the community and responsible parties to address these concerns moving forward.
“We will continue to work with the EPA to inform the public about the dangers of fishing in this water and prevent the consumption of contaminated fish,” continued Green.