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San Jacinto River meeting explores ways to spend $10 million settlement funds

Ted Hollingsworth, Texas PWD
Ted Hollingsworth, Texas PWD

HIGHLANDS – The San Jacinto River Coalition, and the Galveston Bay Foundation, held a joint meeting last Tuesday night, to hear details of the State’s plans to use the settlement money from the lawsuit against the companies that created the Toxic Waste Pits in the river.

Representative from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Ted Hollingsworth and Jim Murphy, reviewed the history of the Waste Pits, and then discussed how the state’s share of the settlement, $10 million, could be used. They explained that the state legislature, through bills sponsored by Representative Wayne Smith and Sylvester Turner, had insured the money would come back to the communities around the river. However, the state stipulated that these funds could not be used to remove the toxic materials, or to compensate individuals for health or other damages.

TPWD said that they have a process for applying to use some of the $10 million, for projects that “mitigate the effects of environmental contamination and the effects of that contamination on natural resources and the public use of natural resources.” This is the language of the 84th legislatures’ Senate Bill 2.

Almost 100 residents of property along the San Jacinto River turned out to hear two representatives from the Texas Parks and Wildlife, and Jackie Young of the San Jacinto River Coalition.
Almost 100 residents of property along the San Jacinto River turned out to hear two representatives from the Texas Parks and Wildlife, and Jackie Young of the San Jacinto River Coalition.