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Waste Pits comments are in review process

Jackie Young, TxHEA executive director

The TxHEA organization, the environmental watchdog for the San Jacinto River Waste Pits, held their regular monthly meetings last week in Highlands and McNair.

Executive Director Jackie Young reported on developments in the review process that is now ongoing, according to David Gray of the EPA.

Young said that the PRP, or Potential Responsible Parties, have asked for a further extension of the comment perior, but that has been denied by EPA, indicating they are moving ahead with their review process. Young said that a total of 57,000 comments had been received, but these include signatures on petitions, as well as individually written remarks. The comment period ran for 105 days, from Sept. 28, 2016 thru Jan. 28, 2017. Since the typical public comment period is 30 days, EPA responded to the request from MIMC “EPA has determined that a further extension… is not appropriate.” MIMC is McGinnes Industrial Maintenance Corporation, one of the two PRPs.

In their request for a further extension, MIMC stated that they were conducting work at the site for aesthetic reasons, and that the stone and membrane “cap” on the pits has not required as much maintenance as EPA projected.

To counter this argument, Young presented a slide that detailed erosion or damage, and repairs that were required, from July 2012 until June 2016 totalling seven different events. She termed these episodes

“The Repair Saga Continues.”

Next Young presented a report on 101 wells that were tested by Harris County’s contractor, InControl Technologies. She noted that all the wells had dioxins and metals below the allowble safe threshhold, but questioned whether this limit should be lowered for safe water use. She said that Harris County Polllution Control would be at the March 7 meeting of TxHEA to discuss this further.

In discussing the public comments that were submitted to EPA by TxHEA, Young noted that one of the requests was to lower the allowable dioxin threshhold on the treated site from 300 ng/kg, to 30 ng/kg. This material is termed the Principal Threat Waste, and the threshhold will determine how much of the polluted material is removed.

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ROTARY DISTRICT 5890 ANNUAL ALL CLUB MEETING

City-wide Rotary gathering draws local clubs

North Shore Rotary helped run the program, with Amir Khan and wife Sabrina (left), Bill Palko and wife Debby (right), with District Governor Eric Liu (center) with wife Sandra on the speaker platform.

Jacinto City/Galena Park Rotary’s Ramon Garza and Ernesto Paredes and their spouses, with others at the table enjoyed the Valentine themed program.

North Shore Rotary president Kim Gonzalez, with PDG John Painter, Matt Davis, Adam Lund, Lucia Bates and spouses.

North Shore Rotary’s second table had Derrill Painter, Dr. Don Nino, and other Rotarians attending.

Sheldon ISD Board approves new AD/Head Football Coach

Derek Fitzhenry (Photo by DERIK MOORE / Sheldon ISD)

Members of the Sheldon ISD School Board unanimously approved North Shore Assistant Head Football Coach Derek Fitzhenry as the new C. E. King High School Athletic Director and Head Football Coach in a special meeting Tuesday evening at the Ney Administration Building.

Fitzhenry is replacing outgoing Athletic Director and Head Football Coach Don Price who will be retiring this year following 41 years of service as an educator and coach.

“Coach Fitzhenry is the ideal candidate to fill this position,” Sheldon ISD Superintendent King Davis said. “He is passionate about his players – both on and off the field – and he wants to see each of them succeed in life.”

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