The November 6th Mid-term election brought about a number of changes in our elected officials, and some of these are involved in promoting or maintaining progress on the Superfund San Jacinto River Waste Pits.
Three U.S. Congressmen have been involved in getting the site on the Superfund role, and now two of them have been replaced. Gene Green has retired, and his seat was won by Sylvia Garcia. Ted Poe has also retired, and Dan Crenshaw was elected to fill his seat. Brian Babin remains in office. These three Congressmen have repeatedly prodded the EPA to put the site on the “Priority List” for remedial action, and to continue to monitor progress.
The Superfund site is in Harris County Precinct 2, which will have a new Commissioner in January. Adrian Garcia will hold the position and replace Jack Morman. Morman has been vocal in supporting the clean-up and removal of the toxic wastes at the site, which have the potential to pollute the river and Galveston Bay.
The County Judge is now Ed Emmett, but will be replaced in January by Lina Hidalgo. The county received $10 million dollars from the lawsuit against the Responsible Parties, and has administered that money along guidelines from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.
One officeholder that kept his seat was Briscoe Cain, the state representative for District 127. Cain replaced Wayne Smith, who carried the original legislation through the Texas Legislature to get the $10 million dollars of the settlement money allocated to Harris County.
Additionally, this year the EPA replaced their head, Scott Pruitt, with acting head Andrew Wheeler, and several positions at the Dallas EPA Region 6 have changed due to retirements.
The EPA has said that the Superfund Process, and the Record of Decision, have been set into motion and will be followed to completion. It remains to be seen if the new principals involved are committed to that goal.