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EPA awards $50,000 grant for RiverSuperfund Site

HIGHLANDS— On May 26, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that a $50,000 grant would be awarded to assist in the cleanup process of the San Jacinto River Waste Pits Superfund site, located near the 29th Congressional District. Two Houston-area environmental organizations, the Galveston Bay Foundation and Texans Together, applied for the technical assistance grant.
The San Jacinto River waste pits are approximately 3.5 acres in total size and are located near the western bank of the San Jacinto River, immediately north of the I-10 bridge, with portions of the original pits underwater. The pits were dug prior to 1965 but much of the toxic waste originated from paper mill activities. The site has been on the EPA’s National Priorities List (NPL) of uncontrolled or abandoned hazardous waste sites identified for long-term clean up since March 19, 2008.

“I’m glad to see the EPA supporting our efforts and making progress toward cleaning up the San Jacinto River Superfund site. This site is extremely important since it feeds into the Houston Ship Channel and Galveston Bay. We can’t change what wasn’t known in the past, but it’s critical that we continue our efforts to contain and clean up the toxins in these pits today.”
Since the first technical assistance grant was awarded in 1988, more than $20 million has been awarded directly to community groups. The grant funds will allow the groups to hire a technical advisor to review government documents and provide input for EPA decision making.
Congress made public involvement an important part of the Superfund process when the program was established in 1980. The EPA and Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) continue to seek input and provide information at community meetings throughout the Harris County area.