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Posts published in “Day: August 3, 2017

Morman wants new EPA head Pruitt to put waste pits on “TOP TEN” priority list

HARRIS COUNTY – Pct. 2 Commissioner Jack Morman waded into the battle to remove the toxic waste pits from the San Jacinto River, with a two page letter to the new EPA Administrator last Friday, asking for an expedited removal of the material.

In his letter, Morman states that “As long as the dioxin pits remain in place, they create an ongoing hazard that will leach into the River and Galveston Bay. The site poses a serious threat to the health of our residents and to the environment.”

Morman referenced a new study that Pruitt commissioned, a Task Force that has made recommendations for expedited solutions to the nation’s 1330 Superfund sites. Pruitt has said that he will create a “TOP TEN” list of sites with priority to be cleaned up and reused. The list will contain sites that have been on the NPS (National Priority List) for over 5 years. Morman requested that the San Jacinto River Waste Pits be placed on that list.

Further, he said “Removal is the only remedy that resolves the contamination in the San Jacinto River Waste Pits with finality, eliminating the future costs and potential harm associated with leaving the waste in place.”

The EPA Dallas office is currently reviewing comments and technical reports, before issuing a final ROC (Record Of Decision). They plan to have this ready by the end of 2017, unless Pruitt moves to shorten the schedule.

In the Task Force report, Pruitt is quoted as saying he has a “passion to clean up the country’s worst pollution, as expeditiously and as thoroughly as possible.”

The report lists five goals for the EPA Superfund clean-up:

• Expediting Cleanup and Remediation

• Re-Invigorating Responsible Party Cleanup and Reuse

• Encouraging Private Investment

• Promoting Redevelopment and Community Revitalization

• Engaging Partners and Stakeholders.

Morman’s letter was widely distributed, going to the EPA, Texas Senators John Cornyn and Ted Cruz, U.S. Representatives Brian Babin, Gene Green, Randy Weber, and Ted Poe. Also EPA Regional Administrator Sam Coleman, and Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan.

The San Jacinto River Coalition and THEA, under the leadership of Jackie Young, continue the fight to have the waste pits completely removed.

In the monthly meeting of these organizations, Young noted that the organization known as Keep-It-Capped, or San Jacinto Citizens Against Pollution are continuing their efforts to have the EPA settle for a permanent cap over the toxic material, rather than complete removal.

She revealed that she has been served with a subpoena from their attorneys, requiring her to testify in what is known as “discovery,” and to furnish certain documents from her activities.

As a result, THEA is now in a fund raising mode to afford to continue the fight to clean-up the river.

Young also revealed that a Tweet from Pruitt revealed that he had met recently with the CEO of International Paper. Since this company is one of the PRP (Potential Responsible Parties) for the San Jacinto River Waste Pits, she questioned the propriety of the meeting.

Homicide inside Crosby Park

CROSBY – Family members and neighbors grieved and surrounded the scene as emergency responders franticly tried to save the life of a man and his step son that were shot after 5:00 p.m. last Friday in this areas most frequently used park.

Friday, Carlton Griffin, 45, was shot and died later and his stepson, Leonard Taylor, 17, was wounded by gunfire.

Two black males about 18 to 25 years old are suspected in the shooting that occurred in Crosby Park.

According to Sgt. Ben Beall of the Homicide Unit, “On Friday, 07.28.2017, at approximately 4:50 P.M. Deputies with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office responded to a disturbance at the Crosby Plaza Apartments, located at 6616 N. Main St. Shortly after arriving on the scene, Deputies were notified of a shooting at Crosby Park, located at 357 Hare RD, adjacent to the apartment complex. When Deputies arrived at the park, they located two males that were shot. The first male, Carlton Griffin, suffered multiple gunshot wounds and was pronounced dead at the scene. The second male, Leonard Taylor, suffered a single gunshot wound and was transported to the hospital in stable condition. Deputies determined that the shooting was related to the earlier disturbance at the apartment complex. Witnesses stated they saw two black male suspects flee the shooting scene on foot.

The shooting death of Carlton Griffin is being investigated by the Harris County Sheriff’s Office Homicide Unit. If anyone has any information regarding the shooting, they are asked to contact the Homicide Unit at 713.274.9100, or call Crime Stoppers at 713.222.TIPS(8477).”

However, another witness said he heard shots and when he looked, a dark grey 1500 Dodge 4 door speed from the parking lot. Even if one had nothing to do with the incident many would find it a prime time to vacate after shots were fired.

Harris County Emergency Service District #5, the ambulance service for Crosby, worked frantically to revive Griffin but he never regained consciousness and was pronounced dead on the scene. Family members say his stepson was taken to the hospital with non-lethal injuries.

Deputies closed the park area and interviewed witnesses and family. According to family members, the father and son were chasing after a man who had earlier knocked at their apartment door brandishing a pistol. This suspect was said to be upset because the victim’s stepdaughter, a special needs child, was making noise inside the apartment. The family member indicated the homicide victim and his stepson were chasing a suspect outside before they were shot.